Be a `no-show’ at showings of your home
December 16, 2003
It’s 6:30 p.m. on a lazy Sunday evening. You’ve finished dinner, washed the dishes and settled in front of the television, when the telephone rings. Your real estate agent has an opportunity to show your home to an out-of-town buyer who’s stopping by a few more properties before catching a late flight out of town.
Should you hang around while the buyers go through your home? Or should you head out for a frozen yogurt or take the dog for an extra walk? Making yourself scarce and letting your agent show your home is probably in your best interest.
Here are a few reasons why: Buyers are uncomfortable when the seller is present. Remember how you felt when you were walking through other people’s homes shopping for the one you decided to buy? You probably felt a bit intimidated or reluctant to spend much time in a home when the seller was at home. If you clear out, prospective buyers will be more inclined to give your home their full attention and consideration.
Sellers usually say something they shouldn’t. Are you moving because your home is too small for you? Or too large? Is your beautiful front lawn or refreshing swimming pool expensive to maintain? Did your neighbors balk at sharing the cost of repairing your boundary fence last year? Revealing this type of innocent-sounding information to prospective buyers may give them pause.
Similarly, simply disclosing your motivation for moving can give buyers an edge at the negotiating table. n Leaving is less stressful than staying. Selling a personal residence is an emotional experience for most people, regardless of their reasons for moving. There really aren’t any compelling reasons to put yourself through the trauma of watching strangers wander through your home and listening to their criticisms or redecorating plans.
You’ll be helping your agent. Most agents feel they are better able to show a for-sale home when the seller is off the premises. If your agent asks you to leave and is cooperative about scheduling showings only with qualified buyers at times that are reasonably convenient for you, you should go along with your agent’s request. After all, that’s why you hired a professional to market your home and negotiate the deal for you, right? By the way, these considerations apply to weekend open houses and broker-only events as well as private one-on-one showings to individual buyers.