Three things you can control to get your house sold - Part UNO

Real Estate Agent with Select Realty Professionals

When you are selling your house, a lot of things are outside of your control. Who is (and how many are!) in the market to buy, interest rates, consumer sentiment. If you really need to sell it can be discouraging hearing all the bad news out there.


There are things you can control and that can help you unload your white elephant. Some will make more of a difference than others. Keep in mind that if you can't provide one of these things, be prepared to really step up to the plate on one or two of the others!

How easy is it to get into your house?

Is it easy to schedule appointments?

I use the Centralized Showing Service (CSS) to make appointments. Other agents can make appointments to see your home online 24/7 or via phone 8am-8pm 7 days a week. As a buyer's agent, I always groan a little inside when I see the words "Call Listing Agent for Appt" Some agents are better about answering and returning phone calls, some are worse - and then some are abysmal.

With CSS you don't have to worry about whether I'm with another client or if I'm out in the boondocks where my cell doesn't get service. When someone wants to make an appointment, they can, pretty much immediately. Period. It costs me a little bit o' cash but it's well worth it. For you? It's free.

Will you make your home available on short notice?

When an agent wants to show your home, CSS will call you or your spouse or your office or your cell or...(you get the idea).

Most agents try to give as much notice as possible but there's always that out of town client who is leaving in 3 hours and just noticed your adorable little cottage in the woods. So they might ring you up from outside your front door. If you've just stepped out of the shower, feel free to ask them to wait an hour. But if there's any way you can accommodate the request, letting them in is going to go a long way toward getting your house sold.

Side note: Having a for sale sign in your front yard makes some people think that you have a revolving door. If a random person knocks and asks to have a look-see don't just let them in. Give them my number and ask them to make an appointment. Letting a complete stranger into your house isn't something you'd normally do, is it? Don't do it now either.

Which brings me to point number three: Are you going to be home during showings?

When prospective buyers are looking at your house, you want them to be at ease, sauntering through and savoring the idea of living there. If you, the seller, are there, they'll instead feel like they are intruding on someone else's home. Because they are.

If you're a stay at home mom with three napping toddlers it can be difficult to clear out for every showing. Make the effort anyway. Even just meeting someone in the driveway on your way out can change the potential buyer's feelings about the home. I know it sounds weird but coming face to face with the owner of a home can kill the vibe of a showing. All of a sudden, it's no longer maybe going to be their house, it's yours.

Is it easy to actually get in the door?

Does the door stick? Do you have to jiggle the key just right? Can the buyer's agent open the door seamlessly and smoothly? If the answer is yes, yes, or no (respectively), change the locks, sand down the door, remove whatever obstacles there are for that agent and those buyers. You'll be glad you did.

Stay tuned for the two other things you can control when it comes to selling your house. Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

Originally posted at Chattanooga Real Estate News

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Julia Odom enjoys long walks on the beach, debating the renovation vs. restoration question and hanging out with home inspectors.

Visit Chattanooga Real Estate News to search homes for sale or view the rest of her blog

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Holly Weatherwax
Associate Broker, Momentum Realty - Reston, VA
A Great Real Estate Experience

These are all great points and things that Realtors often assume that sellers know.  I think it is important to re-emphasize these points even to experienced sellers!

Sep 12, 2010 02:54 AM #1
Dan Jasmer
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Sarasota, FL
Changing the way you look at real estate

Great for all sellers and listing agents to read.   It amazes me how many homes we have shown where the door was finicky or so dirty you almost didn't want to touch it.  First impressions are lasting impressions..... 

Sep 12, 2010 02:59 AM #2
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

Since it took me three days to get an appt to show a house for an out of town buyer this week, this really hit home for me. How many people would have given up after the first or second try?

@ Holly - We set up appts so often that sometimes it doesn't occur that a seller doesn't understand how it works. 

@ Dan - Dirty doors? Ugghh! I always get a laugh when I tell people after a showing that I'm going to the bathroom to wash the foreclosure off my hands.

Sep 12, 2010 03:22 AM #3
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR


A wonderful post! With the market sluggish in so many areas, one missed showing can be a very sizable percentage denied potential sales.

all the best...

Sep 12, 2010 03:23 AM #4
Joshua Zargari
MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating - Lynbrook, NY
MJ Decorators Workshop

Great points Julia!

Sep 12, 2010 03:25 AM #5
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

Huge part of getting the house sold = if it can't be seen it can't be sold!

At any rate, while you are working on the locks might as well paint the door.  That leaves a nice lasting impression since that is the area where we spend the most time looking at the house (while we are unlocking the door.)

Sep 13, 2010 03:15 AM #6
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Julia, If we can’t show the property we can’t sell it! I will not take a listing if the homeowners will not agree to a lockbox and fully cooperating with the sale. Homeowners have a role in the sales process … and as you point out … Accessibility is one of them.

Sep 13, 2010 05:15 PM #7
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