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Sellers: Please LEAVE So That I Can Sell Your House!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Chico Homes Real Estate 01460929

Despite the fact that most sellers have undoubtedly been counseled by their Realtors to leave during showings, a large number of sellers choose to remain.

After a recent, painful, house-viewing excursion with some home buyers, I feel the need to approach the situation head-on.

You seem, Mr. and Mrs. Home Seller, to not comprehend how detrimental your very presence is to the sale of your property. If you fully understood the repercussions, I am certain that you would work with the Realtors, not against them.

For most home buyers, your being in the house makes for an uncomfortable showing. It's hard for a buyer to freely explore a property and excitedly converse with family members when you are hanging on their every word and following their every move. Buyers may not feel that they can discuss the negatives of the house, for fear of insulting you. Similarly, they may not want to display too much enthusiasm, because a poker face is an important aspect when negotiating, and they don't want you to think they LOVE your house. Lastly, they don't feel they can roam at will to discover all the house has to offer. Many buyers are so conscientious about your overhearing them, they refuse to discuss their thoughts until we have made it safely into the car!

Continue reading on...... The Pink Couch

Judy Peterson
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox&Roach Realtors - Tredyffrin, PA
"Superb Service, Superb Results"

Are you encountering more Sellers wanting to be present during showings?

I couldn't agree with you more! I recently wrote a post about this very same topic! 

Jul 06, 2008 10:19 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

If only the FSBO's would read this and "get it" hmmm ? OR put themselves in the same position...they wouldn't want the sellers there while they are looking at a house...but somehow when they believe it is in the name of "saving money" that makes it OK....

Jul 07, 2008 12:45 AM
Phyllis Pafumi
ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey - Old Bridge, NJ
ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ

What a GREAT POST! I hope each of your clients get to read this and truly take it to heart. As a professional Home Stager I have one more thing to add...LEAVE WHEN THE STAGER IS STAGING AS WELL!! There is nothing more frustrating than having the homeowner telling you they don't like that picture or they don't like the paint color or the couch in that spot...AHH I tell them at that point it's time to leave...BYE, BYE come back for the reveal like they do on TV...HA, HA


Phyllis Pafumi

Jul 07, 2008 01:54 AM
Jim Crawford
Long & Foster - Fredericksburg, VA
Jim Crawford Broker Associate Fredericksburg VA

And that is what is really prolongs the selling process.  Get out of the home and neighborhood!

Jul 07, 2008 01:56 AM
Sharon Parisi (Keller-Williams Dallas, Texas)

Well said and well written! As Realtors, we often hear information from the Seller that the Listing Agent would not want us to hear.  In addition, the house is remembered for the personality of the Seller, not the merits of the house. That is why we tell our Sellers that the house should be neutral in every way possible! That means no Sellers present!

Jul 07, 2008 03:23 AM
Judi Downing

So true!!! My seller would not leave and it almost cost us the deal!!!  Luckly the buyers overlooked him and loved the home enought to close on the deal.

Jul 07, 2008 03:43 AM
Alan Brown
Coldwell Banker Realty - Davenport, FL
34 Years of Real Estate Experience .

One of my pet peeves, it definitely can hinder the sale of a home if the seller stays around, it happened to me just this morning, the seller did step outside while we were in the house, but couldn't refrain from asking my buyers what they thought when we came outside, what do think the buyers are going to say?

Jul 07, 2008 06:25 AM
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

How true. Some buyer's i've taken thru won't even go thru the property.

Jul 07, 2008 11:24 AM
Thomas Hargreaves
TriStar Financial Services - Eugene, OR

Sandi,  great post.  I am a mortgage agent, and sometimes feel the same way about realtors. I sometimes wish they would quit calling me asking me when the loan is going to close and let me do my job.  Now not all realtors are that way, and more of them do allow me to close loans without pestering me day to day.  So I can relate with your dilema.  The other thing that I can see is that some homeowners have too much of an ego to make small changes to their homes in order to better sell the home.  For Instance the bright RED bathroom that they think is just out of this world. Well I tell you, it is out of this world.  I was recently in a home where one of the owners passed away, and the remaining widow wanted to sell it.   When a realtor started making suggestions on small changes in colors and such in order to be appealing to a larger audience she went ballistic.   Correct me if I am wrong Sandi,  but do you also have those clients who just will not see the forest thru the trees?


Jul 07, 2008 02:13 PM
Jean Powers
Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002 - Alameda, CA
CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California

Sandi, you have input another great post! Thanks for commenting on a very frustrating situation that we all have encountered! Have a great week!


Jul 07, 2008 04:18 PM
Roland Woodworth
Blue Cord Realty - Clarksville, TN
Blue Cord Realty

One thing I have noticed over the years when a seller stays home, it cost them money on the deal as they seem to talk to much

Jul 07, 2008 04:21 PM
Pam Winterbauer
Pam Winterbauer Real Estate - San Ramon, CA
"Providing Blue Ribbon Service"

The sellers don't understand what a detriment they are to selling the property.

Jul 07, 2008 04:32 PM
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Jul 07, 2008 07:01 PM
Elizabeth Ward Small
REALTOR & CEO The 3B Method Seminars - Burlington, NC

Preach it sister! Haven't had many like this lately, but I understand what can happen.

Jul 08, 2008 02:17 AM
Kimberly Dotseth

I have a married couple who I am showing houses to routinely and we have been out there for a while.

It's gotten so bad with owners hanging around, that the couple won't see the home if the owner is anywhere on the premises. They want them OUT, as in...already gone and miles away. They wait in the car until I can assure them no one is home.  This is because too many owners have tried too many stunts like talking, tours, offering secret tips about the home, loitering. And weird smiling.

This is why I LOVE the vacant house, all day long. 

Owners! Get out!


The agent trying to bring you an offer.

Jul 09, 2008 06:44 AM
Brian Copeland
Nashville, Tennessee Residential Specialist - Nashville, TN

I've had buyers refuse to go in when the seller has been present.  This hasn't been a one-time instance either.  Good points, Sandi!

Brian Copeland

Jul 12, 2008 02:41 PM
Michael Bergin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES - Alexandria, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate


What I never quite understand is WHY the owners want to be there??!?!?  Do they really think THEY are going to make the difference in whether or not an offer comes in?  Ummmmmmm, wonder if we could make absence a mandatory part of the lisitng agreement?

Michael Bergin, GWSleptHere.com in Alexandria, VA

Aug 01, 2008 05:18 AM

Since you asked why sellers want to say; i will offer a few answers. Sellers don't trust that the agent will keep an eye on the buyer, and is protective of their belongings. Sellers want to hear what is being said, not just what the agent 'says' is being said. As a seller i did want to sell my home, but if there are going to be multiple parties tramping thru my home as in an open house, how can one agent be sure that my property is secure. it might be a good idea to ask the seller why he wants to stay, then you would know for sure the reasons.

May 25, 2010 12:43 PM
Michael Creel
InActive Agent - Bellevue, WA

Nancy, if the Seller doesn't trust their agent, then they need to find another agent. If the Seller doesn't trust agents in general, then they should sell the home themselves. Any business relationship involving such a lack of trust, is doomed to fail.

Following a potential Buyer through a home (even if its only with your eyes) makes them very uncomfortable. A majority of people are aware of when they are being watched, and they are quite aware of why. Would you like it if someone you just met, someone that wants you to buy what their selling, starts off by letting you know that you look like a thief?

It all boils down to "do you want to sell your house"? Your not doing a potential Buyer a favor by allowing them to view your home, there is no shortage of homes on the market; there is in fact a flood.

I once had a client view a ten million dollar home; when I went to show my client the home, the Sellers agent was present on behalf of the Seller. She followed my client everywhere, even into the bathroom. The agent was caucasion (as was the Seller), my Buyer was African American.

After the showing, my client let me know he was aware of why he was being followed like a thief. Despite the fact he was a wealthy man, he was being profiled. He didn't like it, I didn't like it, and we never returned to that home.

So bear in mind, when you don't trust people, when you follow people, you insult them. Would you do business with someone that just insulted you?

May 27, 2010 06:08 PM
Sandi Bauman
Chico Homes Real Estate - Chico, CA
Chico CA Realtor

Hi Nancy.  It's certainly understandable that a seller would be protective of their belongings.  Typically, a home is a treasure trove full of a lifetime of collectibles.  Ideally, a Realtor will suggest that you do some early packing in anticipation of selling your house soon.  The idea is that you pack up any items that are of special concern for you, while getting a jump on the moving process.  As a result, the property will be more market ready in most cases, and less of a temptation for any visitors with sticky fingers.

If you're concerned about maintaining the cleanliness of the home during open houses or showings, you might want to provide disposable booties at the front door to encourage removal of wet/soiled shoes, and ask your Realtor to avoid providing refreshments.

I think that Michael made several good points.  If the seller doesn't trust the agent to give thorough feedback, then the seller needs to find another agent.

Truly, it DOES boil down to whether or not you want to sell your house.  If you do, then you'll want to work with a trusted professional to present your property in the best light.  Most often, that does not include your presence during showings.


May 27, 2010 06:39 PM