5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 Lic. #01871795

5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown

In some real estate markets, having the seller or the listing agent present is the norm.  It is not the norm in the Central Coast real estate market, and if the seller or the listing agent is present for a showing it can detract greatly from viewing the home.  This is especially the case in today's real estate market where more than likely your competition is a vacant home that the buyer can linger in freely for as long as they desire.  So, if the buyer has to look at you while they are looking at your house, your home may stand out for the wrong reasons.  The following are 5 reasons why you and your agent should not be present when your home is shown:

1.       There is an art to showing houses.  When working as a buyer's agent, I have my own style of showing houses that is, in part, designed to help clients remember the houses they see.  I know you think no one could forget your house, but trust me after the fourth house most people get a little foggy, especially once we've narrowed down the type of house they like.  We are then usually looking at a bunch of pretty similar houses.  I know where I want to start and where I want to finish so that that particular client can remember the things that are important to them about a home.  But, because you are standing in the family room on the phone, I have to hit the hallway first.  Then, your honey thinks the dumb REALTOR® missed something, calls out loudly, and leads my clients into the garage.  Now, the first memory my client has of your home is the dark, cold, dusty garage.  Chances are if I want to get them to remember your home later on, I now have to bring up the water heater insulation - which is not exactly what you thought they'd remember, right?  You may already suspect, and you are indeed right -- water heater insulation doesn't sell houses. 

2.       You don't know what they like.  It's a very natural inclination to jump in when a question is asked or to point out something about YOUR home that the agent seems to have missed.  That's why you don't need to be there.  You probably won't be able to resist.  And, you can't say or do the wrong thing if you're not there right?  Now it isn't always possible for people to leave for showings, and I know that.  So, you should at a minimum step out the home if possible or contain yourself to one very small pre-determined area, and most important be silent (No helping!).  Why?  Well, you are excitedly pointing out the fresh faux paint in the living room and my client just went on a 10 minute diatribe about the overproliferation of faux painting at the house we saw right before this one.  I can point out things to them that I know they like and make sure they don't miss them.  You are making sure the last thing they notice about your home is something they hate. 

3.       I can handle the basics.  I'd probably be able to discern that the range is electric when my client asks so I don't need you there to answer that question.  And, those heating vents probably mean a forced air furnace - I get that.  It's also in the listing sheet in my hand.  If the buyer does ask a question I can't answer, I am quite capable of writing it down and calling about it later.  And, now with the advent of texting, I can even text your agent and have the answer on the spot before we walk out of the house.  Now, if you don't believe that I am capable of locking up your home, (and you may have good reason if getting in and out is equivalent to solving a Rubik's Cube), you can wait in your car around the corner and when I have taken my best stab at it, I will call you and you can zip around the corner and double check me.   But, for the most part, I've got this covered.

4.       We can't say anything.  Recently, I had an almost terrific showing where the listing agent thought it would be a great idea to pop in unannounced near the end and re-shuffle the brochure box.  I, personally, was more annoyed at her lack of a plausible excuse. (I mean if you are going to be that bold you should think it through - 5 pieces of paper laying on the counter don't need straightening - bring some extra flyers in and at least take a stab at convincing me.)  But, the buyers on the other hand were completely turned off.  Talk about throwing ice water on that fire.  Why did her mere appearance spoil an otherwise great showing?  Well an educated buyer who is working with their own buyer's agent will view your agent as a sort of spy.  No one likes being spied on.  If they feel that they can't speak freely, they may get more caught up in being offended than in the house.

5.       Letting it Sink in - Talking about your home in hushed tones in the driveway is not the same thing as letting it sink in while standing in their favorite room of the house.  Buying a home isn't just about the stats -- square footage, number of bedrooms, and lot size.  Homes also have a feeling to them and I can't create that back at my office.  Now, don't worry we shouldn't need to arrange an overnight stay or anything.  But, I do need to let the clients spend enough time in the home to let the feeling of the home sink in so they can call that feeling back up when it is time to decide which home they want to buy.  Ten or fifteen uninterrupted minutes will typically suffice.  But, if you are there doing a last minute vacuum job in the bedroom (helping?), the vibe may never arrive.  As a buyer's agent, I want to sell your house, but if you turn your home into an obstacle course of distractions, I can only do so much.  I'm a REALTOR®, not a miracle worker. 

If you are thinking of selling your Central Coast home, you need an experienced REALTOR® on your side to help you avoid common seller pitfalls and guide you through the process of getting your home sold quickly and for top dollar.  Creating a showing environment that is welcoming to potential buyers is a big part of that.  When you are ready to list your home, contact me at (805) 878-9879 for a consultation.

Tni LeBlancMint Properties
Broker/Attorney, REALTOR®
CA DRE License # 01871795
(805) 878-9879

Serving  Santa Maria, Orcutt, Nipomo, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Solvang, Buellton, Lompoc, Vandenberg Village, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, and Avila Beach.

*Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker.

Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2011 *5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown*


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Re-Blogged 15 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joe Yates 01/09/2011 04:52 AM
  2. Gene Riemenschneider 01/09/2011 07:44 AM
  3. Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS, SRES, CMRS 01/09/2011 08:14 AM
  4. Chris Ann Cleland 01/09/2011 08:34 AM
  5. Cindy Jones 01/09/2011 02:10 PM
  6. Pamela Stangler 01/09/2011 02:21 PM
  7. Brandon & Grace Yee 01/09/2011 06:50 PM
  8. Kerry L Klun, Broker/Owner 01/09/2011 06:54 PM
  9. Joe Kenny 01/10/2011 01:42 AM
  10. Jimmy Gilley 01/10/2011 01:44 AM
  11. Sheldon Neal 01/10/2011 01:58 AM
  12. Kathleen Cooper 01/10/2011 02:23 AM
  13. Ellie McIntire 01/10/2011 04:57 AM
  14. Mark Delgado 01/13/2011 03:26 AM
  15. Bill Burchard 04/03/2011 01:11 PM
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leave while your home is being shown

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Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Once in a while, it's unavoidable. For instance, when there is a baby in the household, and your buyer can't come when it's convenient for the seller.  But as a general rule, I'd much rather the seller's weren't there. Today for instance, I'm taking a buyer for a walk-through and the mom and the kids will be there.  Don't really have a choice with the buyer's schedule, so off we go. We close on Friday, so we're already through the tough stuff.

Jan 10, 2011 05:11 AM #69
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Tni, nothing is more of a turn-off than having the seller present. Unfortunately, sellers think that no one can sell their house like they can...isn't that called FSBO. How does that usually work out? Not so well.

Jan 10, 2011 05:37 AM #70
Faye Y. Taylor
StepStone Realty, LLC - Floresville, TX
Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia & San Antoni

Excellent points.

The buyers agent is the ONE person who understands the buyer and their desires and wants.  Sometimes the seller actually says the wrong thing to the buyer (imagine that).

Jan 10, 2011 06:03 AM #71
Barb Merrill
Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC - Tempe, AZ
GRI, Associate Broker

I agree!  A relaxed atmosphere where the Buyer can linger is opening the best possibility to sell.  I can't stress enough the appeal the entry makes.  Remember, the Buyer makes their decision in the first 15 seconds.  That quiet Ahhh.... feeling is priceless!

Jan 10, 2011 06:07 AM #72
Chris and Berna Sloan
Group 1 Real Estate - Tooele, UT
Tooele UT

It's not the norm in Utah either. However, sometimes it can't be helped, and we must do the best we can. I've often mentioned to agents that they are potentially hurting their clients when they "pop" in. Mostly, they are young and trying too hard. I don't see many experienced agents making these mistakes. Most agents also advise their clients to bail during a showing for the same reason. Thanks for the great info!

Jan 10, 2011 07:56 AM #73
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
Hi Tni, terrific coverage of this topic. As a matter of courtesy I suggest to sellers that it is o.k. for them to wait in the listing until I arrive - then they need to leave, period ! Best of 2011 to you !
Jan 10, 2011 09:24 AM #74
Laura Barron
www.RealFamilyRealEstate.com - McKinney, TX
D + B Real Estate - Collin County Texas & Beyond

Well written post with great points about stepping aside during showings.  I'm bookmarking this one.  Thank you!

Jan 10, 2011 11:29 AM #75
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Hi Tri: I had a showing recently on a listing where I need to deactivate the alarm, then planned to leave. The buyers showed up early and their agent showed up late. So I felt compelled to let them in, sat them on the deck to watch the ocean to wait, and retreated. Turned out fine, but I felt the agent should have communicated with her client that she was going to be late. But have the seller there? Never.

Jan 10, 2011 01:35 PM #76
Stanley Stepak
Howard Hanna - Avon Lake, OH - Avon Lake, OH
Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake,

Great post Tni.  I agree on all of the above. I have had luxury listings where the owner has asked me to be there for all showings concerned about security of their home. I felt sick being there knowing that it made both the buyer and their agent uncomfortable being there. It takes away the "neutral effect" of looking at the home if you are lingering around. The buyer spends more time thinking about you rather than the home. That's my opinion.

Jan 10, 2011 01:38 PM #77
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

At some point, we have to relay to our sellers the importance of getting out of their own way when selling their home.  Particularly for sale by owners that later turn to agents to sell....they just don't get why they had so many "fantastic" open house turnouts or "interested" buyers but NO offers.  Well, it is because the buyers were being NICE to you...they did not wish to offend you!  Great discussion.

Jan 10, 2011 01:39 PM #78
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

This is a relevant and important post.  Many Sellers do not get it!!!

Jan 10, 2011 03:58 PM #79
Peter Michelbach

Hi Tni--

very good points...valid in my neck of the woods, in sunny Perth W.Australia  as well.

Extremely seldom do I get sellers insisting staying at home...some times there are valid reasons...the hidden safe, or the tenant who strongly insists 'seeing' it all....

...in those circumstances, both seller and/or tenant  and buyer are made aware ('prepared' beforehand)  and asked if they agree to walk the 'red carpet'....yes, totally agree it is a mindset...and thank you for bringing it up. Great comments and thank you all for sharing. Peter

Jan 10, 2011 08:03 PM #80
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Thanks so much for all the positive responses; there are too many to respond to them all individually now.  Selling a house is a difficult process and it is important for sellers to be reminded what that experience is like for buyers. 

Thanks Curt - I really appreciate reading that. 

Ruthmarie - Sometimes people can be their own worst enemy during the process, that's where a good agent comes in handy!

Pat Tasker - I have to head over there and check that one out.

Liz Lockhart - Thanks so much for the suggest!  It worked!

Wendy Rich-Soto - Thanks so much glad you like the posts!

Lenn - So true you want the buyer to want to spend time in the home.  If they really like it they will linger and that many times means an offer. It is difficult for buyers to write on a home they feel rushed seeing, and they always feel rushed when the seller is present.  Just human nature.

Phil- So true.  No matter how well meaning the sellers are they always pointing out things that eitehr the buyers hate or that are just not important to them.  Let their own agent do the showing.

Sally & David - That is such an annoying move.

Charita - So true!

Glen - So true I once showed a home where the seller stole my buyer's boyfriend in high school.  Glad the seller wasn't present for that one.  But yes personality conflicts as well.  Don't limit your pool of buyers.

Hi Cindy - It's my real full name.   I wrote a post about my name recently.  If you want a quick laugh you might want to check it out.

Thanks Irene - I would do the same!

Jeanne - What was she thinking.  That's not exactly a selling poitn for anybody!

Joe Kenny - Thanks for the re-blog!

Jan 11, 2011 01:41 AM #81
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Kelly in the Keys- I agree the post was inspired by a showing I had on Saturday.  My buyer asked me if the range was gas or electric and the seller screams out from the next room "ELECTRIC" before I have a chance to say anything.  And I really do believe I could've answered that one!  LOL.

Barbara - I agree. Just don't be there.  You're nervous, they are nervous, the odds of something stupid being said are very high.

Jimmy Gilley - Thanks for the re-blog!

Thanks Rhonda!

Jeff - Yes I do believe the home will sell faster with an unaccompanied viewing.

Stephanie - Yes flow is KEY!

Thanks Gay - I do have a plan for them and AR is great motivation to keep the writing going.  I love the comments they are a lot of fun. 

Thank you Dr. Swamy!  Maybe it is the lawyer in me! 

Karen Crowson- I agree sometimes it is unavoidable.  But other times. . . I've actually seen seller think they SHOULD be there for a showing.

Tammie - So true - let the agents handle it from here!

Jan 11, 2011 01:54 AM #82
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Faye - So true.  Imagine that.  LOL.

Barb - Yes, and the showing that inspired this -- I asked the seller twice do you want us to wait until you leave? No.  Do you want us to wait until you are done cleaning up?  No.  No, come right in while we are vacuuming.  That's a great first 15 seconds!

Chris - I just really don't see what they gain from it.  The risk of offending people is too high and what is gained in exchange?

Bill G. - Good advice!

Hella- (Love your name by the way).  For sure I would have called if I was going to be late.  Nice of you to park them in front of a true selling point!

Stan Stepak - I agree.  Buyers don't need two agents following them around the home.  One is enough.

Karen- Right. I've heard that time and time again from FSBOs. 

Thanks Sharon!

Peter -  Yes a warning helps!

Jan 11, 2011 02:14 AM #83
Terri Poehler
Realtor - Coral Springs, FL
Coral Springs Real Estate Agent

Tni, you're right about possibly saying the WRONG thing. I know what the buyers are looking for and always point out all the positive. But if the seller mentions too many details that lead right into what the buyers didn't want, that's it. It's done.

Jan 11, 2011 08:31 AM #84
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

This would never work in a designated agency state.  If the listing agent isn't present, he is not upholding his fiduciary duties to the seller by representing the seller's interests to a prospective purchaser.  All too many times have I seen buyers agents zoom in and out of a home, bad mouthing the property and the listing agent (note: please don't do this, you could find yourself violating the Realtor® Code of Ethics) thinking that they are doing their clients a favor.  Actually they are not.  If the listing agent is present, he can answer questions, demonstrate some of the unique features or amenities of the home and demonstrate why they are the neighborhood expert by explaining features of the neighborhood, community and services.  The listing agent can also be a resource to the buyer's agent when negotiating a purchase price by providing comps to support the asking price.

Actually, now that I think about it, unless you are a transactional broker, or a facilitator, you still have fiduciary obligations to the seller.  That's why sub-agency is not good for buyers because the "buyer's agent" is often times a sub-agent of the listing agent.

HMM. Anyone want to comment?

Jan 11, 2011 11:15 AM #85
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Terri - So true.

Weichert - Hey you got to the party kinda late -- I was just about to turn out the lights!  LOL.  The post is aimed at a market where the seller being home is not the norm.  It makes that clear in the first two sentences!  I am aware that in places like Manhattan the listing agent is always there.  And I know even there buyer's don't LIKE IT.  But in an area where you are the only one or one of two it can have the effect of making buyers completely ignore your house.

Also, you may see buyer's agents zoom in and out of home but it may be because the buyers don't like the home!   Why waste time?  If you are there it's true the showing takes longer because they are humoring you!  Which is another reason buyers get annoyed by you or the seller being there -- they are focused on not offending you instead of whether they like the home.  If they know immediately they don't like the home they will leave, but with a seller there trying to show them the bathroom cabinets they are going to play along.  If you are upset at agents bad mouthing you believe me they can do that in the house or standing out front of it.  You being there may delay it but not prevent it.

As far as the listing agent being a resource for comps, I think that of course the listing agent will submit comps to me especially when they are reaching price wise.  But, there is no way I'm going to rely on his or her comps, I'm gonna check them myself.  Besides you can email me your comps, you don't have to stand in the kitchen with us to give me your comps.  Representing your client doesn't require you to be present at showings.  In my opinion, your presence as the listing agent or seller does more harm than good -- I can easily see why someone who is used to a different system would see it differently -- they are used to doing it one way and it seems odd to them.  In my market, buyers are used to seeing homes without the seller or the listing agent, so it seems odd to them.   That was my point.

Jan 11, 2011 12:36 PM #86
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant
Sounds like we agree to disagree here...
Jan 14, 2011 12:39 PM #87
Emcee M. Arah
Remax Excellence - Silver Spring, MD - Silver Spring, MD
Realtor w/Architectural Dimension, AHWD CRS B-Arch

I just came across this post, Tni, and think it was very good indeed! It's nice to see the seller's side from the buyer's perspective.  Makes us (as the listing agents) think a little differently, I believe.


Apr 03, 2011 03:28 PM #88
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