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Preparing Sellers for Home Showings

Introduce sellers to the realities of showing their home

The physical work involved to get a home ready to show is done. It’s now time to talk to the sellers about other events that will take place while marketing the house. Enlightening  sellers about buyers and showings will prepare them for the realities of showing appointments and expectations.

Always be Ready to Show the Home

Sellers should know that same-day and last-minute requests for showings are common, so a seller with a ’24 hour notice to show’ stipulation might be eliminating a part of the buyer market. The only standard large lag time that should be necessary is when you must give ample notice to a tenant.

Once a house gets tagged difficult to show by agents, it won’t receive as many showing calls. If sellers choose to make showings difficult, tell them upfront that it will cut down on showings–fewer showings equals fewer potential buyers.

Be Flexible

Explain to your sellers that most agents try to arrive within the scheduled showing time, but sometimes it isn’t possible. They may get stuck in traffic, or the house they saw prior to your showing took longer than expected. It happens, and sometimes it happens too late to be fixed by a phone call.
Encourage sellers to stay away from home longer than they think is necessary, just to make sure they don’t interrupt a showing.

Sellers Who Want be at Home During Showings

This is nearly always a bad idea. Sellers should be aware that at the very least buyers feel uncomfortable when they are present, and that it can actually hinder or even kill a sale. Buyers feel that eyes are upon them and often won’t devote much time to looking at the house when the seller is home, and when they cannot view a house comfortably, they’ll hurry up and move on to the next one.
You never know when a buyer will be turned off by the mood of the seller, or by a statement the seller makes. Buyers are there to look at the house, not chit chat about hobbies or the weather or worse–politics and other controversial topics.
If sellers must be home during a showing, advise them to go outside or stay put in one location, not wander around with the agent and buyers.

Sellers Who Want YOU To Be Present for All Showings

If you’re selling a large estate or complicated property, it might be the norm to plan on being present for all showings, but it’s not necessary or smart for the typical house.
Other agents generally feel uncomfortable with the selling agent hanging around, listening to and participating in conversations with potential buyers.
If your sellers are worried about theft of small items, they should store them away. Packing up collections and small personal items is part of the process they should have already gone through to prepare the house for showings.

Control Pets

Pets should be out of the house during showings, especially large dogs, since many people are afraid of them.
If there are pet odors, talking with your seller about the subject can be tricky, because most people are not aware of odors in their own home. Odors must be dealt with, your sellers don’t want buyers to remember the home as the house that smells.

Seller Participation and Cooperation

Share showing information in a ‘did you know this about buyers’ tone, rather than simply telling a seller what he must do. Explaining why these steps are important helps sellers realize that it’s in their best interests to comply.

Consider putting showing advice on paper in an easy-to-read format. Give the seller a day or so to digest the information, then ask if he has any questions about the information.
Show that you respect the seller’s opinions by asking what he thinks are the home’s best features, then spotlight those features in a flyer or brochure that can be left on a table for prospective buyers.

Sellers usually just want to help. Giving them a positive active roll in the process will make them feel involved and make for better showings.

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