Tips for Living With Your Home On The Market

Real Estate Agent with Virginia Capital Realty

I came across this informative post that I would like all my Sellers to review.  Having your home on the market, as I have stated before, is a huge imposition because your home becomes a product to market/sell to the public versus a private space to keep in any shape you desire.

Original content by Carol-Ann Palmieri S-96414

Tips for Living With Your Home On The Market

Do you have your home on the market or are you thinking of it?    If so, it will come as no surprise to you that you will have you home exposed to the world in living color!   life in a fishbowl

It might be somewhat like living in a fishbowl.   Which is exactly what you want!  

Having your home exposed to as many potential buyers as possible will bring you the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.  

Your job is to choose the Realtor who can and will expose your home correctly in as many places as possible.    Once you do, your home will be presented with not only text, but color views of each and every nook and cranny of your home.  It will likely include mapping and video.  Your agent might even suggest opening  your doors for a public open house or at least an agents preview.  

Don't be alarmed!   It is all a part of merchandising.   One can't make a decision on a home that they can't see.       

So I have heard it's a little like living in a fishbowl.  

How to Minimize the Discomfort?

There are a couple of things you can do to make this process easier.   

  • Stage it.    Again, think merchandising.    This might be a little inconvenient.  Remember, it is not a reflection on how you live or decorate, but meant to take the purchaser in the direction of moving themselves in.
  • Best foot forward.   Okay, it's showtime!   You want your home to look it's best as soon as it hits the market.   Don't wait for a later time for the photos.   Almost all buyers will see your home on line before they visit in person.  This is good news as it weeds out the looky loos.   At the same time you wouldn't want to miss that first time opportunity to capture the hearts of that potential buyer with an incomplete marketing opportunity.    It is, in my opinion a mistake to begin marketing halfway with the thoughts of catching up later.  Defer to your Realtors expertise on what is important to accomplish before hitting the market full force.
  • Strategy.   Defer and confer with your agent regarding the best strategy for your home.  Be cognizant of the norm in the area.  Do buyers attend open houses?   If so, it might be that your first showings start at an open house.   This is just an example, but there could be ways to get the first looks through with as little disruption to you as possible. 
  • Price it right.   If you do this, your home will sell in a reasonable amount of time, minimizing your time on the market.   You get the drift.   Different for different homes in different market places.  
  • Be Prepared.  I'm not talking here about the physical presentation.   People will ask all kinds of questions.  They may seem prying.  The may seem personal.   They may seem ridiculous.    Regardless.   Be prepared on your agents advice to answer.  We generally regard these questions, as "buying questions".   Meaning, that anyone who is not interested will not bother with questions.   So when that buyer asks what your heating bill was last year... we know it is subjective, but it is something they feel they need to have answered in order to move forward. 
  • Leave the House.  You do not want to be in the house while a potential buyer and their agent walk through.   For many reasons including they won't linger and poke around.  They need to do that in order to make a buying decision.  But from the Sellers point of view, that lingering and poking is very unsettling.    You don't need it.  Leave the showing to the professionals. 
  • Communication.   This is a two way thing here.  If you have any concerns after or before a showing, bring them to the attention of your agent!!   Do not let something fester.   Also,a good agent will communicate with you to let you know to the best of their ability how the showing went.  Most times, they will not know the buyers particulars.   Where they work, how old they are, etc, but they can let you know if there is possible interest, or any other thing pertinent to the showing.   
  • Breathe!   Try to relax.  We know that you have to live here too.   There is a balance between living "show ready" and having a life.   Try to minimize the stress by thinking before hand where you will stash things and what your routine will be for showings.  It is unlikely these days that someone will ask for a last minute showing.   You will have plenty of time to get your home ready and get out.
  • Realistic Expectations.   Sometimes people expect that the first person that walks through the door is the "one".   That is not usually the case, although that is the goal.    Expect that you might have several buyers through.   The more the better.   I kind of like to think of that old saying about kissing a lot of toads before you find the prince.  I hope you have heard that before!   

Please know, that your Realtor knows how hard it is to have your home on the market and how emotional it is to having people walk through it.     She / He will try as hard as possible to make it as comfortable for you as possible.  

Life In The Fishbowl.....

The whole thing might feel a bit disconcerting.   

But, if you are feeling that way, I would venture to say that your Realtor is doing a great job!


Are you thinking of putting your home on the market?   Put my 25 years of real estate experience to work for you.   

I can be reached at 508-494-9061 or email at

Carol-Ann Palmieri

Al and Cal Realty Group




Comments (6)

Michele Cadogan 917-861-9166
Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229 - Brooklyn, NY
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker -


Thanks for this reblog, I missed the original- all good tips for sellers with homes on the market. 

Oct 18, 2012 12:44 AM
Linda Mayer
Instant Enhancement Home Staging - Austin, TX

All excellent points Carol Ann.   One suggestion I would add is to warn the kids that there will be times when they will have to quit their video games to leave the house for a showing.  This was a problem I had when my house was on the market.

As a home stager, I stress the importance of making a good first impression.  The house needs to look good in order for the MLS photos to bring in the buyers.

Oct 18, 2012 01:20 AM
Andrew Ostrander
Ostrander Real Estate Group - Phoenix, AZ
Ostrander Real Estate Group

Glad you reblogged as I missed it too.  It made me think of a client that had a huge barrier to showing the home and we needed 1-2 days notice.  I even pleaded with her to move sooner so I could get a lockbox on it.  In the end, we sold, but she took a hit of over $250k just because it was so hard to show and caused a huge "days on market" issue.

Oct 18, 2012 02:24 AM
Athina Boukas
Virginia Capital Realty - Richmond, VA
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Michele, Linda, Andrew:

Thank you for dropping by.  This "seller's advice" list is classic and has been true forever.  Once in a while we need a fresh point of view on how to get it across to our sellers.  

Oct 18, 2012 11:36 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Athina -- these are all good tips for when your home is on the market. I'd add that pets and all evidence of pets should be removed as well :-)

Apr 08, 2013 04:37 PM
Athina Boukas
Virginia Capital Realty - Richmond, VA
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Absolutley Maureen! This is very important, and probably more important than just having the sellers leave the house!

Apr 09, 2013 10:40 AM