When a Showing Takes Longer Than Was Scheduled With The Seller

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

When a Showing Takes Longer Than Was Scheduled With The Seller

As I was standing over my cooktop, preparing a homemade cup of cocoa, my phone rang.  With snow approaching the Bristow area, I thought perhaps it would be my mother asking if I was in for the night.  Even though I'm a grown, middle aged woman, my mother still worries.  And maybe she should.  After all, I had just returned from picking up my car from the dealership where it had been repaired from the damages suffered when I lost control around a turn, driving on ice.  Wasn't my Mom.  It was a client.

Immediately, I could sense irritation.  The seller wanted guidance on what to do.  They had a showing scheduled from 6:30pm-7pm.  When returning home with his spouse and dogs, he saw a truck still in his driveway.  His inclination was to knock on the door and see how much longer they would be.  

My suggestion was that they drive around for fifteen more minutes and come back.  The last thing you want to do is hurry up a buyer who is probably in there figuring out if they will put the big screen TV in the family room or the living room.  No buyer stays in a home much longer than ten minutes if they don't like it.  If the buyers were still there, let them be.  Let them really fall in love.  Don't ruin the moment or make them feel rushed.

Is it inconvenient when buyers take longer than you think they will?  Sure.  It must be annoying to be a seller and have to leave for strangers to walk through and on top of it, have it take longer than they told you would.  However, you have to keep the annoyance in perspective.  The buyers aren't in there talking about their plans for the weekend.  They are trying on your home.  It fits like a glove.  They feel very comfortable there.  They want to check one more thing in the master bedroom.  Then they want to double check if the kitchen has a gas range.  Oh...one more thing, they walked through so fast, how many closets are there?  How big is the garage?

Showings taking a bit longer than expected is something that should make you smile.  Put that annoyance aside.  A long showing will often result in an offer.





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what to do when a showing on your home takes longer than anticipated

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Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale

I believe this is a great sign that buyers' interests in the property is HIGH!

Jan 05, 2017 07:59 PM #5
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

ChrisAnn, it's got to be annoying to have your house on the market when you live there!  Sometimes I think I should spend more time preparing my clients for all of the unexpected inconveniences - and how they often have a silver lining!

Jan 05, 2017 09:27 PM #6
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

It's difficult to try to live your life when selling a home, but that extra 15 minutes could result in an offer.

Jan 06, 2017 05:03 AM #7
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Itis natural for sellers to experience a little stress with things that are a little different than what is scheduled.  However, the good news is a buyer that stays in a property a little longer is more apt to be interested in the home.

Jan 06, 2017 04:28 PM #8
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Chris - I say spend as long as you like.  It is like a job interview that lasts longer.  Usually good news.

Jan 06, 2017 07:35 PM #9
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Chris Ann Cleland - It has always amazed me that someone can go into a home and, after 15 minutes or so, fall in love and put an offer in to buy it. It takes me longer to buy shoes!!

Jan 06, 2017 11:23 PM #10
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

I like to let me sellers know this when they list, yet some will still call like this if a showing runs late and my answer is exactly the same Chris Ann Cleland 

Jan 07, 2017 06:09 AM #11
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

I agree, Chris Ann. When a buyer takes longer when viewing a home it could mean a sell. I had one buyer go to a property and turn right around and said no this just will not do.

Jan 07, 2017 05:53 PM #12
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Chris Ann!   I included this post in today's Last Week's Favorites.  Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Jan 08, 2017 10:28 AM #13
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I cannot imagine the inconvenience of being a seller;  with that said, I've been fortunate in that we have always moved first and then sold.  The idea of someone goa ing through my house when I am not there does not appeal to me at all, so I am totally sympathetic.

With that said, though, the sooner the buyers come through, the sooner the house can go under contract and the showings cease.  Hope you get a workable offer from this long showing!

Jan 08, 2017 01:44 PM #14
Karen Hellier
Freelance Writer - Big Canoe, GA
Freelance Writer for Professionals, North Georgia

You make a very good point here Chris Ann. When we had our house on the market, we would have been thrilled if a showing took longer than expected!

Jan 08, 2017 02:22 PM #15
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Chris Ann- I've been a seller many times and you're right...leave the buyers alone.  Let them drink in the possibilities of your home.  And, Patricia Kennedy makes an excellent point about agents pointing this out to their sellers. 

Jan 08, 2017 03:38 PM #16
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Chris Ann, I've had buyers who could see a dozen houses in two hours and others who would see two houses in a dozen hours. From buyer to buyer, it's hard to say what keeps them in a house, but I've found if they take a long time, they're about to buy. 

Jan 08, 2017 04:31 PM #17
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent reasons why a seller should be patient and understanding with these types of showings.  I've been going through the same thing lately.  When I set up showings for my buyers I allow 15 minutes between each showing, but an hour window of time so sellers don't get so anxious.  Unfortunately, this same method recently didn't work because my buyers took waayyy too much time on the first 2 of 7 and I had to reschedule the last one so the seller wouldn't be upset with us.  We do our best! 

Jan 08, 2017 08:02 PM #18
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I look at it this way, at least your seller had the good sense to ask you first before barging in. Something in his psyche must have warned him against being an idiot.

Jan 08, 2017 11:43 PM #19
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Chris Ann Cleland ,

The longer they buyer stays the more they bond with the house. Glad your seller called you so you could remind him these buyers might be the one to write an offer if they get all their questions answered and fall in love with the house!

Jan 09, 2017 04:53 AM #20
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Sellers have some valid reasons to be angry - when buyers don't show up or finding out that children were rampaging through the house.  But a long showing does not fall into that category!

Jan 09, 2017 06:49 AM #21
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Chris Ann Cleland, never...ever...ever rush a buyer. Let them experience the feeling of living in the home. 
I've had buyers where I knew the home wasn't for them, yet, they would spend time criticizing just about everything. I tell them to just leave, most take my advice.

Jan 09, 2017 08:42 AM #22
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN

Maybe a heads up on possibilities before putting a home on the market.  If the sellers had a clue ahead of time that if a buyer lingers, they could be writing an offer.



Jan 09, 2017 05:43 PM #23
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Chris Ann

I have had this happen a few times and my advice is the same. Also when sellers ask - if we are out for 10 minute, it that enough? Yes, it can be a little annoying but what is more annoying is not getting your home sold because you are not making it appropriately available.


Jan 15, 2017 08:20 AM #24
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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