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Please Let Us In!

You want to sell your house? Great! But in order to get the job done, can you please let us in to see it?

Do you want to for the highest possible price as quickly as possible? The only way to do that is to get as many buyers as possible to come into your home to view it–lots and lots of them. This means many strangers will be walking through the home, and that thought can be very disconcerting.

Most people don’t like the idea of having lots of people they’ve never met come through their house looking in every nook and cranny. But, while it might be trying on anyone’s sanity, it’s the only way to ensure that a seller will get the most money for their home.

Although the market is finally beginning to signs of improvements, housing is still not where it was a few years ago. Buyers are taking much longer to make decisions on which homes they are interested in, and they enjoy visiting the same home several times to help them finally pull that trigger. Sellers must be willing to allow as many showings as possible because of this.

It's difficult to sell a house that can't be shown. Sellers need to strike a balance between accommodating buyers and preserving parts of their lifestyle, which can understandably be difficult. If a buyer wants to come on short notice at a time that's inconvenient, sellers should ask if it's possible to reschedule. However, keep in mind that some of the best buyers are relocating from elsewhere and may not have much flexibility in their schedule.

Recently, I came across a listing where all appointments needed to be accompanied by the listing agent. For those of you who are not familiar with what this means, this is when the buyer’s agent is required to meet the listing agent every time there is a showing on a house. If the buyer’s agent is showing several homes that day, which is highly likely, it will take a lot of juggling to get that appointment just right.

A typical showing appointment for homes tends to be a one-hour window. If an agent feels they can be at the house anytime between 10am-11am, that is the scheduled time. However, no listing agent wants to wait one hour at a house for another agent and their client’s to get there, especially if they have their own clients waiting to see homes. To get around this, a buyer’s agent will often call the listing agent about 15 minutes prior to arriving. However, trouble can still arise.

Sometimes, the buyer’s agent is running late. When scheduling a list of home tours, we all pretty much guess how long buyers will take to view each house. But if suddenly a buyer takes 30 minutes instead of 20 to see each house, the schedule is severely thrown off track. And, instead of meeting the agent at 10:30am, we must now re-schedule and meet them at 11am, in turn throwing the other agent off their schedule as well.

Unfortunately, there are some agents who hate the thought of accompanied showings so much, they may decide their schedule does not allow for it and skip the house completely. Statistics show that homes that require accompanied showings take longer to sell than those which do not rely on agent accompaniments.

Other seller requirements can also make showings extremely difficult. Do you need 24-hours notice before my buyers can enter your home? We might have to leave your home off our tour if my buyers popped up at the last minute with a request to see some houses.

It’s completely understandable to request a certain amount of notice before someone wants to pop in to show your house. A seller needs to make sure it is clean (check my last article for tips), and they probably want to make sure they are out of the house. With notice, things can be organized and quickly put away. However, requiring 24 hours worth of notice actually turns many buyers off because a majority of them make the decision to see in a home in less time than that.

Trying to sell a house while juggling the schedule of children can also be extremely difficult. Some parents have made the decision to not upset their children who are unhappy about the move by preventing any showings after school hours and weekends- I kid you not. Statistically, the most popular showing days are the weekends, and for good reason. Most people don’t work on a Saturday or Sunday, and it is the only free time they have available to view homes. Eliminating two of the most popular days of the week to tour your home severely limits the number of buyers who will be able to view it, and ultimately, buy it.

Some homes are better with allowing showings all seven days of the week, but still limit the hours. For instance, one home had allowable showing times only between 10am-2pm, seven days per week. Those are extremely difficult hours for people who work.

Selling a home while you're living in it can be trying during any market. Today's sellers are generally looking at a longer marketing time than was the case a few years ago. In addition to appropriate pricing, being flexible on showing times will help them gain the best rewards.

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