The Showing

If you build it, they will come

So, you have spent countless hours preparing your property for the open market.  Every last repair was made, your home is spotless, and the cashiers at Homesense know you by name.  You’ve done all the paperwork with the Realtor, the marketing has all come together, and now you wait for the phone call announcing a buyer wishes to see all your hard work.

Now what!

A seller should be willing to give almost unlimited access to potential purchases if they are looking to sell.  Any restrictions to show the home will result in fewer buyers which could result in a lower price, a longer time on market or both.

Keep the house in showing condition

First impressions are lasting impressions.  You will want to make sure that buyers comparing your home to others are left with the best possible impression.

Spend a little extra time each day keeping up with the up-keep of your home.  Yes, you will be making the beds in the morning, washing the dishes after each use, and tending to the floors more often.

Try to keep the house in the same condition that it was in when it was photographed.  Buyers are stalking the pictures on the web, and what ever caught their eye there, is what is driving them out to see your house.

Leave for the showing

It is best to leave your home during showings.  Children, pets and adults can keep prospective buyers from feeling at ease while they look through a home.  Keep pets well out of the way, preferably out of your house during the showing.  Barking dogs can create a negative emotion and those potential purchasers who are afraid or allergic to pets will not wish to view your home.  If you’re out during the showing, it allows the Buyer to comfortably view your home and to speak openly about it.  This gives their Realtor an opportunity to overcome objections.

Have a lock box

Most modern lock boxes are read electronically via a gizmo / gadget.  We use SUPRA lock boxes, and real estate agents use a display key code to connect, or they might have an app on their cellphone that will unlock the box.  The code is exclusive to each agent.  Once the lock box is opened, SUPRA lock boxes, for example, store all of the information on a website.  After the lock box has been accessed, a report is uploaded to the website, which a listing agent can view.

My report shows:

  • The date and time the key was removed from the lock box
  • The name of the agent who removed the key
  • The phone number and email of the agent who removed the key
  • The agent’s employing broker’s name and office phone number

Armed with this information, I can then contact the buyer’s agent who showed the home and ask for feedback.  This is the best home showing tip that agents tend to forget.  An agent can question the showing agent and find out:

  • What did the buyer think of the home?
  • How this particular home compares with other homes the buyer was shown
  • Which features did the buyer like?
  • Is there anything wrong with the home?
  • What is the buyer’s opinion of sale price?

Check it out

In a rush?  Here’s a quick checklist to do before leaving for a showing.

  • Swiffer the floor, and check the carpet for bits of debris.
  • Relocate anything that’s in the sink to the dishwasher.  Wipe sink, faucet, stove top and counters.
  • Wipe bath counters, sinks and faucets.
  • Bring out the good towels.
  • Add scented cleaner to toilets and put lids down.
  • Walk through house and toss any stray items into laundry basket that goes into the car.
  • Double-check desk top and tables to be sure all personal papers, credit card invoices, calendars, mail and valuables are out of sight.
  • Collect prescription medications into a bag to take with you.
  • Empty all wastebaskets and kitchen garbage into a garbage bag, and remove to outside garbage container.
  • Cover laundry in hampers.
  • Put toiletries out of sight.
  • Check shower and tub area for toys, soap, stray hairs and facecloths.
  • Stash small throw rugs under beds or somewhere out of sight.
  • Close all closet doors.
  • Open all draperies, curtains and window blinds.
  • Make sure the temperature is comfortable by adjusting the heat or air conditioning, or opening windows.
  • Fluff pillows and smooth bedspreads and slipcovers.
  • Turn on all lights and ceiling fans.

Upon returning

Realtors generally leave their business card somewhere showing that they had entered your home.

You should do a once over and make sure all doors, including the garage, are locked after the showing.  Sometimes someone will open one and forget to lock it.  Just double check.

Buyers sometimes will hurry and write an offer, sometimes they take a day or request a second showing to make the decision to offer on your property.  The hard part after a showing is patience to see if all your hard work will pay off with an offer!!

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