I've been reading lots of blogs lately that discuss varying levels of showing problems. The common theme has to do with the dis-courtesy of buyer agents who give short notices for showings or who try to give large showing windows.
I do think that the age of 24 hour notice is gone. This generation of buyers are very immediate and they often want to see things when they want to see them.
Many of my buyers, especially the ones in the lower ranges, like to drive by the homes on their own before scheduling them for showings. It is rare that I get the list that makes the cut more than 24 hours ahead of when we are planning to show. The few times I have gotten a list a few days out we will still end up with last minute additions and deletions because the market changes daily.
I think a seller or a listing agent that requires 24 (or worse, 48) hour notice, who limit the showing windows to 30 minutes, or require that the listing agent be present for all showings are doing themselves a dis-service.
The only way to sell your house is to get it seen. Buyers will not buy a house that they did not see. Last week my buyer had 15 houses she liked. We were obviously not going to see 15 houses in one day so we had the must sees and the remainder. The remainder were put on the rotation based on who allowed us to show. Many people re-scheduled our showing time and where possible we accommodated that, but otherwise that house was just eliminated.
Of course, this is not FAIR. However, very little about business is fair!!! In reality (except in special circumstances), no buyer is going to see every home on the market that matches their criteria. Therefore, it's important that a listing makes itself as attractive and convenient to each potential buyer.
I've heard many agents say that is not reasonable to expect sellers to have the house ready to show at all times. I disagree with this. I have lived this and I know it is a horrible, stressful experience. However, YOU listed your home for sale, therefore inviting people to traipse through. YOU want it sold. It needs to be ready to be shown with relatively short notice at all times! I tell my sellers wherever possible DO NOT decline a showing. In the rare instance (such as a surgery or illness, etc) when a showing has to be declined I call the buyer agent to explain what is going on and attempt to find a time that is convenient to reschedule.
This of course does not excuse the buyer agent who does not call ahead or who attempts to show a home at 9pm. There are always going to be dis-courteous people on all sides on the transaction.
The long and short of it is - Make Your House (or Listing) the Easiest One on the List for Us to See!