Sellers know their house better than anyone, so it makes sense why they might think it is a good idea for them to be at the showings, along with potential buyers. In our experience with showing thousands of homes to buyers over the years, we have found the first showing of a home is a more emotional experience and the second showing is more mechanically focused. Understanding these dynamics helps us guide our sellers to create the best environment possible for a buyer to appreciate their home.
Give the Buyer Space
Buyers need privacy to dream and imagine themselves living in the home, and not feel like they are intruding on someone else’s personal space. Buyers need to be able to talk about their likes, dislikes, questions, or concerns. Having the seller present makes the buyer feel uncomfortable and in a hurry to leave. Why give the buyer space?
- The buyer should be able to walk through the home comfortably, talking with their agent without having to be careful with their comments so they don’t offend the seller.
- The buyer will feel awkward opening closets, doors, and cabinets. They need to be able to get a detailed look at the house. They cannot comfortably do that if the seller is nearby.
- If the buyer can tell it’s not the house for them fairly quickly, they can leave without feeling obligated to look so they don’t hurt the seller’s feelings.
- Sometimes a seller will want to sit on a deck or wait in another room, with the goal of being available to answer questions. While this is a nice gesture, a buyer still needs privacy to envision the home as theirs and be able to talk openly with their agent.
- Having your pets in the home can be a distraction if they are barking or following the buyer as they walk about the home. The best practice is to remove yourself and your pets. If you are unable to take your pets with you, be sure to communicate with your listing agent how your pet will be handled during showings. Clear communication between the agents will help ease any concerns for everyone, including your beloved pet.
Time to Stay
While the first visit is known as the emotional visit, the second showing is known as the mechanical visit. At this showing, a buyer typically looks more deeply at major systems like HVAC, construction quality, and whether the maintenance has been kept up to date. Sometimes buyers will measure room sizes, walk the property boundaries, or look in the attic.
Sometimes the buyer’s agent will ask the listing agent if they or the seller can be available in person or on standby for questions. The seller can be helpful If the home has unique features that need to be demonstrated or on acreage where a buyer would like help identifying the property lines. If a buyer’s agent makes this request, we always accommodate them.
Valuables in My Home
We recommend sellers remove or secure items prior to any showings, including anything valuable, fragile, or sentimental. The obvious items like jewelry, guns, and prescriptions should be secured, as well as items at eye level for a child to touch. While we have never had an issue with theft or damage from a showing, we believe preventing any problems prior to showings is smart.
Seller Security Cameras
With today’s smart homes, sellers can remotely watch and listen to buyers viewing their home. Because of the potential backlash from buyers who may feel their privacy is violated, we recommend disclosing the presence of security cameras with remote monitoring to agents prior to showings.
After the Showing
We follow up at a minimum of three times after showings to request feedback and see if the buyer or their agent has any questions. Our experience in navigating follow up questions and managing offer negotiations helps our sellers have the best opportunity for a successful sale and closing.