WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME STAYING WHILE YOU SHOW MY HOUSE???
This question may be the most obsurd one you will ever be asked by a home seller. And yet, if you don't discuss it with him/her, you may end up being mighty embarrassed by the presence of the owner when your customers arrive! The time is now to clarify why it is totally unaceptable for the owner to remain on the premises while it is being shown for sale.
Just about a month ago, I had a big disagreement with the man who owned the house I was marketing and trying to sell. It started out as a disagreement about the price of the house. I had taken the listing with the written agreement to drop the price in 30 days if we did not get immediate showings and interest from the public.
We were well past the 30 days and he was still resisting the price drop--he was also telling me "I will be in residence" when I called to set up the few appointments that I was able to set up.
Since it was the summer--he was more than happy to sit out at the pool. That was bad enough; now this fall he was staying in his bedroom at his desk and on his computer whenever I was showing the house. This was after I had told him it is always better not to be there and why!
He was also listening in on the coments and the conversations I was having with agents and customers; the reason I know is that he repeated several things to me right after an open house I had. He was settled in upstairs, in his room in the hottest weather we had all summer long...Since he was there and not about to leave I called to him up the stairs and asked him if I could turn on the AC. He told me "Well, I never use the AC..." and left me standing there in a pool of sweat as I tried to conduct the 2 hour open house! I said "Well anyone who walks in here is going to think you don't have a working CAC."...There was dead silence from the room upstairs.
I called him later and told him there were several things I needed him to do for me if I was to continue handling the listing:
- He needed to be out of the house so that the potential buyers would be able to envision the house as their own as I showed it to them--I let him know that several customers told me they had not really had a good look at the house because the owner was there.
- The price needed to be dropped by a significant number in order for me to continue marketing it; I supplied him with the current comps which reflected an even greater difference in asking to actual selling prices. The market had taken another price drop since I first took the listing, in exisitng homes and the price of his property needed to reflect that difference.
- I explained that in the current market, exisitng homes were taking a beating because if someone has a lot of money to spend on a home, they want new construction and they are willing to pay twice what they will pay for an existing home. If they buy an existing home they almost always tear it down and build new, or renovate totally so it is just like new. I let him know this is a fact of life and the price on his home was making it impossible to sell it.
- I also told him that if he wanted to sell his home in 100 degree weather, he needed to have the AC running--other wise it is surmised by customers that the AC does not work; why else would you not have it running on such a hot day? Besides, I could not face another day inside the house or outside the house for that matter, in such unbearable heat.
I finally figured out that this man would do none of the things I requested and thats when I saw the light: He is not a seller and in fact may even be using my services in showings and open houses as a sick social engagement--where he was able to be there--see people, talk to them about his family (he had model ships all over his house because he came from a long line of Admirals in his family) and to listen to their "forced" compliments about the fine job he did in building his house!
I had no trouble telling him I could no longer represent his property. I gave him the reason of price, lack of consideration of the need for an uninterrupted chance to view the property, and the fact that the heat was unbearale for people to spend any time what-so-ever in his house without the use of the CAC.
Whew....I have never felt better!