You try to price your home just right, you took the time and did everything you could to get your home show ready. Now its time for your first showing! Showings are at the crux of every home sale. Without agents showing your home there will be no offers. But with every showing comes the opportunity to sell your home. So it is important to make the most of every showing whenever possible. Make your home inviting to each and every home buyer who schedules a showing for your home.
It is important to remember you are inviting people into your home so they can potentially take ownership of it. You want your home buyers to feel welcome and you want them to mentally and emotionally take possession of it.
The key take away is to make them feel welcome and not as an intrusion.
Make Your Home Inviting
When a buyer is interested enough to schedule a showing strike while the iron is hot. Some of these items may be silly, but I can’t tell you how many times I have opened a bedroom door to find a sleeping occupant,trudged thru snow to shovel the staircase to open the door, told a dog was friendly and then was to scared to enter a home, etc… It happens and it happens more than you think.
#1 Try to Accommodate Every Showing Request
Try to be as flexible as possible and allow every showing to occur. A missed showing is a missed opportunity to sell your home. Realize buyers may have very different schedules than yourself.
There are legitimate reasons to limit showings if there is a pet that needs to be removed or a young baby in the houses. If this is the case, discuss your showing availability with your agent. If you have limited times to show your home, let your agent know. They can notify agents in the MLS. It allows the agents to work around your limited availability without blindly hoping they can show your home.
There is nothing worse than denied showing after denied showing on the same house with no reason why or alternatives given. A buyer is not going to wait to get in your house. They will move on.
#2 Be Ready to Show at a Moment Notice
Not all buyers give you overnight to get your home ready for a showing the following day. If at all possible you want to be ready to show your house at a moments notice. A call can come in at 9 o’clock in the morning for a showing request at noon, but your at work.
Try to put a plan in place so everyone leaves the house in show ready condition even when no showings are scheduled. Beds made, personal belongings stored properly, laundry put away, dishes cleaned up, personal hygiene products stowed away, etc… You just never know when that showing will come.
#3 Don’t Insist Your Listing Agent is Present for Showings
While it may seem like a good idea to have your listing agent accompany showings to “sell” your home it can backfire in several ways.
First it can create scheduling conflicts if your agent cannot accommodate a showing. Secondly it makes home buyers feel uncomfortable when a third party is hovering and asking questions. The key is to make the home inviting and your home buyers to view the home unhindered.
#4 Put Out Flyers and Documents
If your agent has prepared marketing materials for the home make sure they are in plain sight for the buyers and their agent to see. Sometimes sellers put them aside or stow them away as they are going about their daily business. .
#5 Stow Away Valuables and Personal Information
Even though it is not an open house flooded with people it is still a good idea to stow away your valuables, medication and anything with personal information on it. Also small electronic devices like phones and iPads are valuable and easy for someone to scoop up an hide.
#6 Open all the Blinds and Curtains
If you are one who likes the privacy of blinds and curtains make sure they are opened up and your letting as much available light into the home as possible. Hopefully while you were preparing your home for sale you eliminated any heavy drapes and highly personal curtain choices.
Natural light is always inviting.
#7 Light up the Home
Go thru and turn on every light you can. Even the light to your range hood on the kitchen. And don’t forget the outdoor lights in for evening and night showings. A bright home will be far more inviting than a dark, dim home. If need be add additional lighting to rooms that can be dark.
#8 Open Doors to All The Rooms
Make sure all the doors are open to the rooms in your home. I can’t tell you how unnerving it is opening a door to a bedroom. Over the years i cant tell you how many times I have walked in on people sleeping even after knocking. It just makes your home feel more welcoming.
The other benefit is opening doors can create depth and make your home feel more spacious.
#9 Don’t Ask Them to Take Their Shoes Off
Don’t ask your home buyers to take their shoes off unless it is absolutely necessary, like hardwood floors that haven’t dried fully from refinishing, walking into white carpets, religious reasons, etc… To ask them to take their shoes off can make some buyers feel uncomfortable.
#10 Skip Scented Candles and Fragrant Deodorizers
When a home buyer walks into a home that has blasted with a fragrance the first question is what are they trying to hide. The best way to go is no odor at all!
#11 Make Sure Your Home Is Temperature Appropriate
Set you thermometer for a good temperature for the season. You want your buyers to be comfortable as well as show off your home is properly heated and cooled. Nothing worse than walking into a home in the dead of summer that has the windows closed and the ac off. If you have central A/C show it off, now is not the time to save a few dollars on heating and cooling costs.
#12 Remove The Dog
If at all remove your dog from the home. You don’t know for sure how it will react. Often a seller will crate the dog in the home and the dog will bark the whole showing…. how distracting!
#13 Vacate the Premises
You may have the urge to see who is buying your home, or try to sell your home yourself or worse, don’t want to be inconvenienced. But don’t do it.
Do not be at home when your showing arrives. A good rule of thumb is vacate the property 15 minutes before the showing and come back an hour later. Remember often the buyer has multiple showings and they can run early or late. It is part of selling your home.
It is uncomfortable and unwelcoming to have a seller lingering while a buyer is trying to view a home.
#14 Don’t Be A Creeper
Vacating the home does not mean sit in your neighbors driveway watching your house. As a matter of fact vacate the neighborhood. Believe it or not it happens and it is just plain creepy. Talk about not feeling welcome.
#15 Don’t Get Mad if They Linger
If you happen to arrive home and your buyers are still there, go run another errand. Don’t call your agent pissed off.
It is a good thing if the buyer is lingering. In most cases if a home buyer lingers, that means they are seriously considering your home.
#16 Don’t Engage With The Buyers
Please, please, please don’t engage with the buyers or the buyer’s agent. First of all don’t put yourself in the position where you may have to engage with the buyers. But if you do, direct them that all questions should go through your agent.
There is a reason for this. Sellers will say or promise things without thinking. Trust me it happens all the time. A listing agents job is to communicate information accurately and in a manner that does not create a liability for you.
#17 Don’t Immediately Insist on Feedback
Don’t call your agent immediately after a showing insisting on feedback. Give it a day or two for the home buyers to think about your home and talk with their agent.
#18 Shovel Your Walkways
With winter comes snow. Make sure your driveway, walkways and decks are clear of all snow. Don’t make your home buyers trudge thru knee deep snow to get to your door.
Summary of Showing Day- Make Your Home Inviting
From ease of scheduling a showing to letting your house present itself in its best light, little things can make your home feel more inviting and welcoming.
Yes, selling your home can be inconvenient. But don’t give the impression your home buyers they are a nuisance and hurry them thru your home with a huge sigh! Buyers spend so little time reviewing a home in the first place to make such a large purchase. Let the home buyers view your home unhindered and mentally take possession.
Other Home Selling Resources:
- Bill Gassett Top Showing Tips and Advice
- ImmoAfrica Think Safety During Home Showings
- Debbie Drummond Tips for Better Home Showings
- Paul Sian How to Show a Home with Kids
- Kyle Hiscock Selling a Home with Pets
Showing Day- Make Your Home Inviting is written by Kevin Vitali of EXIT Group One Real Estate. If you would like to sell your home or buy a new home give me a call at 978-360-0422 and let’s get the process started.
Real Estate Services in the following areas: Northeast Massachusetts, Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Metrowest. Including the following communities and the surrounding area- Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groveland, Haverhill, Lowell, Melrose, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Wilmington, Westford