Surviving the Short Notice Holiday Showings

Real Estate Agent with Cherimie Crane & Associates

Sellers all over the country cringe at the thought of cranberry sauce interruptions. Family in town, food on the table, luggage and coats spread all over the house only to get the short notice showing call. It is an unwanted aspect of holiday stress. Just because you are settled in for the week, doesn’t mean that prospective buyers aren’t traveling to your town to view your home.

Of course you can deny permission to show your home, but you could also be passing a valid contract directly on to your neighbor. Buyers who schedule showings during the holidays are often very serious and capable buyers. As inconvenient as it may be, it is imperative that you allow for those short notice showings.

Below are a few tips on how to contain the chaos of holiday showings;

1.     Inform and warn your entire family- Most likely everyone already knows of your goal to sell your home; however, remind them that goal doesn’t get a vacation. Contain luggage, toys, shoes, one area that can easily be tidied up if the call comes.


2.     Scale back if necessary- Although this may give many heart palpitations, it won’t be the end of the world if your 21 course meal is scaled down to a modest 10 course. Kitchens sell homes; don’t let yours become so overcrowded with the scent of sweet potato pie that a short notice showing throws you comfortably in the pit of despair.


3.     Keep Handi-Wipes at the ready- Keep a container of Handi-Wipes in each room of the house. Poised and ready for a quick surface wipe down when needed. If children are in the house, give each child a room that they are responsible for should a call come!~ You may be surprised how serious they take such a huge responsibility!



4.     Dirty Shoes, No Service!- No one has ever been denied Thanksgiving Day turkey by asking all guest to remove their well-traveled shoes at the door. Have a strict no- shoe policy. Keep extra cozy (even holiday themed) socks at the door. Your family will understand, if not, get a new family.


5.     Clean as you go, best that you can- This is not the most fun portion of Thanksgiving and often requires back up. It is necessary and will make the shock of a short notice showing a little less painful.


6.     We are Thankful for Our Family, Please Excuse Their Mess- I tell all of my sellers who have family visiting to make a sign or a card with a thankful apology. Should it be impossible to follow the rest of the tips, leave this plea along with some tasty treats and hope for the best.


It isn’t ideal, but it is important that you allow as many showings as possible during the marketing of your property. I promise the world isn’t against you. The Realtor has a family as well and most likely would rather be eating some sort of casserole than running out to show your home; however, it is their job. Your job is to do the best you can to make the most out of even the short notice showings during the holiday season.




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Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United RealtorsĀ® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Cherimie,

Excellent post with great tips for sellers who have their home on the market during the Holidays. Easy to follow and will help if a call for showing comes in..these are serious buyers looking at this time of they is best to accommodate their needs if you are interested in selling!! Suggested!!

Nov 19, 2012 08:59 PM #1
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

The holiday season can be good for sales. The actual Holiday itself is off limits. Its family time!

Nov 19, 2012 09:07 PM #2
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal RealtorĀ®

Good post with very helpful tips. I do have one question. I would think the buyer could be quite uncomfortable entering a home on a holiday where ones family is gathered. Personally, for me, I do not show properties on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years Day

Nov 19, 2012 09:25 PM #3
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Thank you all for your comments!! I am referring to the season as a whole, and not just the actual day itself. I have found most buyers are respectful of the actual day!

Nov 19, 2012 09:27 PM #4
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Cherimie, The goal is to get the house shown and sold and in the meantime to enjoy life and to not get too stressed out about things.

Nov 19, 2012 09:28 PM #5
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Cherimie. What a great attitude and focus. I am there now so I hear you. You gotta do what you gotta do. Enjoy the day.

Nov 19, 2012 10:26 PM #6
Dick & Sandy Beals
Wilmington Real Estate 4U Wilmington, NC - Wilmington, NC

Great Advice!  I like the "get a new family"....we always seem to have family drama!

Dick Beals

Nov 19, 2012 11:06 PM #7
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Cherimie, with the influx of customers that the holidays provide these fair warnings to our sellers should be taken to heart.  We find that OH traffic increases substantially and actual showing time is far less causing minimal distress to the owners.  Our proximity to the beach precludes the No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service rule!    

Nov 20, 2012 12:51 AM #8
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

I have always said that holiday home shoppers are the most serious.. I will take quality over quantity any day!!!

Nov 20, 2012 02:08 AM #9
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

I love your tip #6, "we are thankful for our family; please excuse their mess."

My idea for tipe #7: pass the holiday duty to another family member this year!

Dec 02, 2012 06:47 AM #10
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Cherimie!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week!

Dec 02, 2012 07:11 AM #11
Kim & Kristine Halverson
Compass - Santa Monica, CA
Sisters, Realtors

True, it's not ideal but, the buyers are really good this time of year.  Kristine

Dec 02, 2012 09:44 AM #12
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

I like your advice. Plus, as long as the beds are made, the bathrooms clean, the dishes washed and everyone knows not to unpack all over the room, you are good to go as far as I'm concerned. However, you would think that someone who has their home on the market would visit someone else over the Holidays.

Dec 02, 2012 11:18 AM #13
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Good advice, Cherimie.

Sellers during the holiday season should expect some inconvience and be prepared to not live their lives as theyr normally would. And I suspect many buyers are not going to be too concerned if things are a little less than in stellar condition if they know guests are in residence, etc. 

And If a little more notice is needed, then make a change in the showing instructions in the MLS.



Dec 02, 2012 02:13 PM #14
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