Should Homeowners be Present During Showings?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

Should Homeowners be Present During Showings?

If you are a homeowner thinking about selling your home, my advice is to first find a local REALTOR® you feel comfortable with. Someone who knows the area as well as the real estate market and honest with you.

As a seller, your goal is to get your home sold for the most money in the shortest time. To achieve this, it’s important to make sure;

-your home is priced right
-shows well
-marketed well
-available to show

For the purpose of this post, let’s elaborate on “Available to show”.

There should not be any showing instructions. Selling a home while it’s occupied is not an easy task but it will be for only a while until your home is under contract, until then, you have to do everything possible to make your home available to potential buyers. Remember, if your home can not be shown, it won’t sell.
What does that mean?

-Don’t have any day or time restrictions
-Have your home show ready at all times
-Allow your agent to put a lock box on the door
-Do not demand your listing agent to be present during showings
-Leave your home for every showing

Buyers want to freely walk around your home to see if it will be a right fit for them. If you’re following them around, they will be out the door faster than you can squeeze in a few comments.
Leaving your home during showings means just that. Walking out the door and going somewhere away from it, it's not just sitting in the living room and watching TV, not sitting by the pool.
Buyers want the freedom to be able to talk freely with their agent, if you’re hovering around, they can not possibly do that. I understand the fact sellers get excited and feel that buyers may miss a few things without the homeowner present. Fear not! They have a competent agent who can address those concerns with your agent.

Some agents demand to be present for every showing which can backfire. As a seller, you should truly question this practice. What benefit would that have? Is it a practice they have or are they doing it for your benefit?

When representing buyers, they often ask if the homeowners would be home prior to entering, if the answer is yes, they show very little enthusiasm and ready to go for a quick tour and be out the door and on their way to the next home, hopefully, the one without the homeowner present.

If you are a homeowner thinking about selling your home, my advice to you is to remove all emotions out of the way and look at it as a business transaction. Your home is the product and you must do your best to attract potential buyers, the faster you can do this, sooner you will be packing up and on your way to the closing table.

Should Homeowners be Present During Showings?



Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Frank Rubi 01/16/2017 05:12 PM
  2. Nathan Gesner 01/18/2017 05:45 AM
  3. Roy Kelley 02/07/2017 01:00 AM
  4. Dorie Dillard 01/20/2017 05:00 PM
  5. Ginger Harper 01/21/2017 05:50 PM
  6. Kathryn Acciari 01/24/2017 10:54 AM
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Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Morning Beth. From experience, the seller should never be there during a showing (except for specialty properties like a horse ranch for example). For two main reasons. One, it intimidates the buyer, and two, it's a huge disclosure issue by the seller - sellers tend to talk to much.

Same for the listing agent - do not hover over a buyer-agent and his/her client during a showing.

Beware listing agents - when a homeowner stays during a showing and "answers" questions, it's dangerous when I'm the one showing the property with a buyer.... I could negotiate the deal right on the spot and get many concessions.

Jan 20, 2017 06:24 AM #49
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Not an agent, but have been on selling an buying ends.  Neither the seller nor their agent provide any benefit to the transaction, and potentially can cause harm.

Jan 20, 2017 06:51 AM #50
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

This is one of those topicswhere there may be disagreement and of course there are always those times when the rule is broken for some reason. A sick child, a napping baby, an older relative with alzheimers who lives at the property or a frail senior selling her home and it is 30 degrees outside or less. Generally yes, sellers should vacate, but buyers are also understanding when there are times the seller is present because of circumstances.

Jan 20, 2017 06:56 AM #51
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

The last part of the blog is the  best:  look at selling your home as a business transaction!  Sellers should not be home for showings!

Jan 20, 2017 11:11 AM #52
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

I put this in my listing contract with sellers so there is a clear understanding that they vacate prior to any showings. I do allow some limits on showing times if they are reasonable, like "No showings before 9 am or after 7 pm." Great post!

Jan 20, 2017 12:35 PM #53
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Beth, you have given us a great post. It is clear, to the point and makes super good points that ALL SELLERS should listen to. 

If you want the house to sell, follow this list.

Jan 20, 2017 01:37 PM #54
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Another perspective that you may be interested in Beth.

As a buyer, I have had more occasions than I can count when a question came up that I wished the owners was available to answer.  Instead we played the silly game of telephone where I ask my agent, and then they left a message with the other agent, and then....     Generally the question never got answered or it was so confused by then that it did not matter or help.

Jan 20, 2017 11:01 PM #55
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Great information that should be stressed to all Sellers.  Buyers need to be comfortable with their choice.  

Jan 21, 2017 06:26 AM #56
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I also had two kinds of sellers who insist of staying there intervening. One was somewhat disagreeing with his agent and make corrections. Ater closing sellers had to threaten to evict him as he was not leaving.  The other couple wanted to be there. I gave husband a job to open front door as it requires a card to get in the building. The wife was blah blah telling people what she added.... At the end, the couple said you really do a lot we are exhausted. They never came back to intervene as they knew selling homes are not so easy.

Jan 21, 2017 09:26 AM #57
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Beth, I do have mixed emotions on this one. Yesterday, I have a homeowner who was home and he was delightful and extremely helpful. Unfortunately for his agent, he divulged way too much information, giving my clients a huge advantage. Last week, I had a homeowner stay home during a showing, and my clients couldn't get out of the door fast enough. 

Jan 21, 2017 02:16 PM #58
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

  Best way to kill a sale, or get lower offers, is for the Seller to be there, and start talking.  I remember a young wife saying to my buyers, "My husband has already transferred across the country; we must sell the house!"  They offered her way, way low (70 or 75 percent of the list price), and their offer was accepted. 

  "LA must be present".   Fine, but open the door, then stay outside please.

Jan 21, 2017 05:56 PM #59
Matt Brady
Skyline Home Loans - Del Mar, CA
Lending With Competence And Character

Great post, and great advice for nearly every transaction. Of course, I love the exceptions to the rule. My wife and I have bought and sold over 30 properties and I know for sure some of them were sold because we were there. We have also benefited from speaking directly to sellers that probably should have let their Realtors do the work.

Jan 21, 2017 09:52 PM #60
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Beth Atalay - I wonder at times why the sellers feel that they want to meet the potential buyers - and stay at home at showings.

Though in some cases, I have allowed exceptions - like weather conditions, elderly person at home, to name a few.

Jan 21, 2017 10:41 PM #61
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Never believed in it and don't practice it either!!!

Some agents demand to be present for every showing which can backfire. As a seller, you should truly question this practice. What benefit would that have? Is it a practice they have or are they doing it for your benefit?

Jan 22, 2017 05:22 AM #62
Caroline Gerardo
Eagle Home Mortgage, LENNAR HOMES Home Loans - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady

In high end markets and luxury homes they often have artwork worth  hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm a believer in removing art, silver, jewelry, pharmacueticals etc because of possible theft and staging neutral but this is not always accomplished. In this situation selling agent may agree to open up for showings and not have a lock box. It might make for a few less showings but eases seller's worry

Jan 22, 2017 03:51 PM #63
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Generally I agree with everything you have said. However, early on in my career I actually had buyers decide to purchase a house BECAUSE the sellers were home. They met and got on so well it gave the buyers a good feeling about the house and they decided to buy it! That isn't how it usually turns out though.

Jan 25, 2017 05:41 PM #64
Peter Mohylsky
Your Bucket List Broker along 30a

Good post and great conversation here.  Thanks all for sharing.

Feb 07, 2017 03:10 AM #65
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Beth Atalay 

For me, the simple answer is NO! However, there may be cases when they are there. 

Feb 07, 2017 05:23 AM #66
Diana White-Pettis
Bennett Realty Solutions - Upper Marlboro, MD
GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale

Hi Beth,

Another great blog.  My suggestion is that sellers adhere to this list if they don't want to kill potential deals.  Thanks for sharing!

Feb 07, 2017 08:36 PM #67
Joshua Frederick
Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC - Defiance, OH
Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio

No!  Quit making lame excuses. Besides, it's a perfect day to fly a kite.  While you're at it, get out while I'm inspecting too :)

Feb 15, 2017 09:55 AM #68
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Beth Atalay

Cam Realty of Clermont FL
Sell or Buy Homes in Clermont FL
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