If You Want to Sell Your Home, Make It Easy For Buyers to See Your Home

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

Truthfully, the title of this post is good advice by itself, but I wanted to take a minute to explain some common mistakes I've seen sellers make. I strive to keep my own clients from making these errors, of course.

First and foremost, I always advise my clients who are selling to try to allow every single showing if at all possible. Yes, this will be inconvenient at times. Yes, you may get 5 minutes' notice, or there may be an agent sitting in the driveway calling you. I recognize that it's not possible under every circumstance, but try to be as accommodating as you can be. It only takes ONE buyer to sell your home, and you never know which one that will be. Don't scare them away. If nothing else, if they call and it's not a good time, ask if you can have 15 minutes to straighten up the place, or finish dinner, etc. When I'm showing houses, I am more organized than average, and I typically give a call the evening before I am going to show the home, but I don't expect that of every agent, and neither should you, frankly. 

This leads to my next point: when you aren't flexible with showings, particularly if you have too many hoops to jump through ("24 hour notice", "call so that seller can move dogs", "no showings before 1pm"), it comes across as unmotivated and your house will be skipped sometimes, simply because it's too challenging to show. 

If you don't have a lockbox, your chances of getting showings decrease. The exception to this rule applies to high-end luxury homes, at least in Austin. Most agents expect that if they're showing several $3 million homes, they will be meeting with the listing agent at each one. This is not the case for $250,000 homes. If you require an appointment (either with yourself or with your listing agent), you are much less likely to make the list. Don't let your agent convince you otherwise.

For investment properties that are still occupied, be careful not to allow the tenant to have too much leeway about determining showing times. I have seen this blow sales with qualified cash buyers more than once. Here's a good example from last year: Your Tenants Might Have Cost You an Easy Sale.

Overall, the goal is to get as many ready, willing, and able buyers through the home as you can, increasing your chances of finding the right buyer for your home. As I said above, it only takes one. 

Thanks for reading!

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tawheedmanzoor/

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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!


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  1. Tammie White, Broker 01/18/2014 09:14 AM
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Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

All the great marketing and photos do nothing if no one can get inside to see the house!  Great post.

Jan 14, 2014 06:59 AM #1
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Jason you must be reading my mind lately as we're dove tailing on topics! I just wrote a doozy post today on this very subject. After 6 or so attempts to show a home we still had no luck.

Jan 14, 2014 07:29 AM #2
Jennifer Prestwich
Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster - Henderson, CO
Madison & Co Properties

AMEN, JASON!  I had one seller years ago who declined every single showing... turns out they thought someone would buy the place from the pictures online!  Unfortunately, we know that it doesn't work that way.  Whenever you are trying to sell, you need to get as many eyes on the property as you can - live and in person!

Jan 14, 2014 09:20 AM #3
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move

So very true. When I see a listing expired; I always look at the showing instructions.  When I see "Appt Required" I start to understand why it didn't sell.

Jan 14, 2014 09:46 AM #4
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Jason ~ I agree.  The title is great advice all on its own.  But I did love the rest of your post!

Jan 14, 2014 09:55 AM #6
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I'm always interested in how other markets operate.  Up here, all showings are by appointment only and usually with a minimum of 24 hours notice. 

Jan 14, 2014 10:31 AM #7
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Jason, That is a great advice filled post!  Making it easier for buyers to get into your home is key in getting it sold!

Jan 14, 2014 10:47 AM #8
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Exellent read, Jason. I have been working on this topic for a post but haven't gotten it out there yet. I probably still will because it is an ongoing issue and the more guidance we can give sellers perhaps the better they will understand the issues.


Jan 14, 2014 12:16 PM #9
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Jason, I recently sold a condo that had a very unusual showing schedule. It was tenant occupied with an infant baby. The tenants only allowed showings on Wednesdays from noon to 2 p.m. Can you believe that? No weekends or evenings. I know because I tried with several different buyers. But I finally got it sold. Although, the tenant said upon my last visit there, "It's you again?!!"

Jan 14, 2014 01:30 PM #10
Kaye Swain
Keller Williams Real Estate Roseville CA - Roseville, CA
Your Roseville Real Estate Agent

Grand points, Jason. And you aren't kidding. Even when it's just rentals, tenants who are uncooperative can cost landlords an excellent new tenant to replace them! 

Jan 14, 2014 04:21 PM #11
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes


People selling their home do not understand the importance of customer focus and being easy to do business with.  They do need to see the value proposition of making it easy to see.  This post explains that very well.

Jan 14, 2014 11:19 PM #12
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Jason: This is one of those posts that I will rememer in it's simple statement of what the seller needs to do--it will not insult the seller, it will not intimidate the seller into behaving a certain way--It simply states the obvious and lets the seller know that if they really want to sell they will let the house be shown! Great post! :)

Jan 15, 2014 07:48 AM #13
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Exactly...get as many ready, willing and able buyers through the door so you can get SOLD.  Make it easy to see your home :).  I have only seen one seller (and I had the buyer) that refused to have a lockbox and the listing agent had to open the door...what a pain.  

Jan 15, 2014 08:21 AM #14
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

I know that as a buyers agent- if a seller makes it to hard to show that is a dirct implication of how a transaction will go with that particular seller... 

Jan 15, 2014 01:05 PM #15
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


You had me saying great, Great, GREAT until you got to lock boxes. I don’t disagree with your conclusions about high-end houses, but where do you draw the line? I don’t know anyone who values their low-end contents and less than those at the high-end! Lock boxes belong on all homes when they are un-occupied for long periods of time.


Jan 16, 2014 03:05 AM #16
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

BILL - I draw the line wherever it makes the house an oddity. If every other home in the area and price range is on a lockbox, and yours isn't, and I have to arrange a specific time to meet someone there, it's simply much less convenient and much less likely to be shown. In Austin, that line seems to start somewhere around $1 million and up. I don't think contents are typically at risk whenever a REALTOR is showing the home. I have only experienced theft from a listing once, and it was my very first listing ever, priced at $70,500. They had a washer and dryer on a screened-in porch that they left after they moved out. They were promptly stolen.

Jan 16, 2014 03:14 AM #17
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Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
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