Should sellers leave for showings?By Kimberley Schoeberlein
Preferred real estate agents agree that sellers should be absent for showings when their house is on the market. The number one reason? Buyers get distracted when sellers are home and have a more difficult time visualizing themselves and their belongings in the space. They feel like a guest instead of the prospective buyer.
It’s also important for buyers to visually inspect every part of the house. Opening cabinet and closet doors is typical, but won’t happen if the seller is hanging around.
It’s natural to be curious about potential buyers and want immediate feedback on the house. But keep in mind that most buyers will be polite and not tell you what they really think of your home. Some sellers also feel they are the only ones who can adequately highlight all the features of their home. That’s your real estate agent’s responsibility.
If you can’t leave your home during showings, at least step outside or stay in one location and out of the way. Welcome the buyers and encourage them to open closets, cabinets, and to take their time. Under no circumstances should you follow them around your house or offer a guided tour.
Make yourself scarce
If leaving for showings is too much of an inconvenience, park your car on the street in advance, have all the lights on in the house, and keep your coat and keys at the front door, ready for a quick exit. Tell buyers you’re on your way out the door and they should take all the time they need. Then drive one or two houses down with some reading material. That way you are close enough to see when they leave and can return home.
Be encouraged by the length of time they spend in the house. The longer buyers stay, the greater the chance they will write an offer on your home. Better yet, avoid the inconvenience of having your house on the market by moving first and then selling!