Show Your Home to Sell It!

Seems like the selling season is upon us many good properties are getting snatched up quickly.  Yet some seem to sit on the market for longer then usual.  One thing a seller must pay attention to is how are showings getting scheduled and how quickly is the response time.  You have to show your home to sell it!

Seems like a simple concept…. you have to show your home to sell it.

It certainly does seem like a simple concept.  But as a listing agent, I will occasional get sellers that will prevent half the showing from occurring.  I do have this conversation on how important it is to show your home, yet they deny showing after showing.  You can not well your home if buyers can’t get in.

On the other side of the fence, when working as a buyer’s agent, there is always those listing that you can’t seem to get an appointment.  You call the agent repeatedly with no response or if you do get in touch with the agent the home owner is denying the showings saying its inconvenient can they come at a different time or day.  Once,  yes…. ok, but repeated attempts and denials, no.

What happens when you don’t show your home?

Sellers must remember that as busy as their schedules may be, so are the schedules of a home buyer.   A buyer might request a specific time that may not be convenient for you so you request another time later in the day or another day.

Remember, that sometimes a buyer is traveling hours to come view homes, they aren’t right around the corner.  Also as an agent, I may be scheduling showings at 5, 10 or more houses for that buyer.  Your probably not the only home we are viewing that day. The homes were logically laid out in order to facilitate a timely schedule.  Everyone else has confirmed and agreed to the buyers requested time except you…. guess what we probably aren’t going to view your home that day.

Ok, so we didn’t view your home that day.  That same buyer and I are going out one night during the week and we try to reschedule again your deny the showing.  Guess what, we are probably never going to try again.  The buyer will lose interest, or get the feeling that this is how the whole transaction will go and say forget it.

Or worse yet….  This just happened this past weekend in Malden.  I was working with a buyer and we had 7 houses scheduled to view. 4 were in Malden, 2 in Woburn and 1 in Medford.   One of the agents in Malden never confirmed the showing.  So we saw 6 houses instead of 7.  My buyer wrote an offer that day.   You just lost a potential buyer.  These folks were serious and ready to buy.

Why doesn’t your home get showed?

There are several areas to look at of why your home doesn’t get showed.

  1. The Home Owner-  There are home owners that find every excuse not to show their home.  It is not convenient, the house isn’t ready to show, I don’t want to pack up the kids and leave the house, etc…  And, I am not talking about legitimate conflicts, like say a child that is home sick with a fever of 103, that’s understandable.  That occasionally will happen   I will tell you flat out, showing your home can and will be inconvenient at times.  But if you want to sell it you need to show your home.
  2. Homeowner not allowing lock box on the house-  Some homeowners insist that they are home for showings because they don’t want a lock box on the house.  Now that complicates showings in two ways.  First, it requires you to be home for showings to occur.  No showings can occur while you are at work, running errands or shuttling the kids.  Second, don’t be home when showings are occurring it makes buyers uncomfortable.
  3. Accompanied Showings- Are you requiring or is your agent telling you that is the best way to go?  Let me tell you, and I know most of my counterparts will agree, accompanied showings can hinder a sale.   If you are requiring your agent to accompany showing their schedule now must be accommodated as well as the buyers schedule.  Your agent cannot be in two places at once.  As a buyer’s agent I can tell you that it can be a nightmare trying to schedule a showing at a house with accompanied showings.  Read my article Accompanied Showings Yay or Nay?  The wort part is you probably will not even know showings are getting denied by your agent.  Do you think your agent is going to call you up and say I had two buyers schedule showings this weekend but I couldn’t accommodate them so the showings aren’t happening?  Think again.
  4. Gaining Entry is Impossible-  This doesn’t happen much but I run into it occasionally and its a real hassle.  Many times this scenario can’t even be fit into a showing schedule.  This occurs when I have to pick up the key at the showing office and return it immediately when I am done.  This can add hours onto trying to accomplish one showing.  If I am doing multiple showings, I tell me client we will have to view this house at another time because we don’t have time to run around and get the key at the expense of viewing other homes.
  5. Agent does not respond to showing requests-  This occurs when the agent must be contacted directly to set up showings.  You make multiple phone calls, send multiple emails and you do not hear back from the agent.  So your home goes unshowed, losing a potential sale.  Again, you probably won’t even know this is happening.  Your agent isn’t going to call you and say, yeah we lost another showing because I didn’t respond in a timely manner….

You still want to show your home but have real scheduling conflicts

Their certainly are real scheduling conflicts that can hinder showings.  They can be things like an dog needs to be removed, so you can’t show when you are at work, someone works third shift and needs to sleep during the day, there is a child that needs to keep a nap schedule or a myriad of other conflicts.  There certainly is a way to handle this so that you are not turning away buyers.

Pet scaring home buyerHow I handle this is to put a schedule together of when the house can’t be shown.  I put this right under showing instructions in the Multiple Listing Service for the agents to read.   I let them know what times the house is not available and the agent knows right up front what will and will not work for scheduling.  For example I recently had a client that worked three night shifts.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night.  So we disclosed that there were no showings until after 3pm on the following days.    No showings Thurs, Friday and Saturday until after 3pm.

No matter what your schedule might be try to be as flexible as possible allowing some days some evenings and some weekend times to try to accommodate a wide variety of schedules.  Some mornings, some afternoons, some evenings and some weekends.  If a showing agent knows up front the schedule they have to work with, it is much easier to manage the buyer and the showing schedule.

How I handle showings of your home

A lock box with a key goes on every listing.  This way your house can be accessed by agents to show your home at anytime.  I have a discussion with my sellers about the best way to schedule showings.  Most of my sellers are comfortable with 2 hours notice, schedule and send the agent unless notified by the seller that won’t work. If that plan does not work for you we try to come up with an alternate plan.

I have a third party showing service that handles all showings.  They are open from 8am until 8pm everyday of the week.  All they do is coordinate showings for agents.  They receive a call or an email from an agent, they co-ordinate with the home owner and confirm the appointment with the showing agent.  I am not hindering showings because of my schedule.  More and more agents are using a service like this.  They generally are the easiest to schedule because there is a process in place.

My last piece of advice for home sellers, make sure your agent has a system in place that does not hinder showings of your homeShow your home so you can sell it!