Don’t Restrict Access if Possible
One of the best showing tips for selling a home is being exceptionally flexible! When selling a home if buyers can’t get in when they want to, you’ll make things awfully hard on yourself and your agent.
Quite often sellers will put up barriers to access such as making advanced showing notice a necessity.
What some sellers fail to understand is that buyers quite often don’t look at one home. They will schedule multiple homes to view on a given day. If your home is the only one with showing restrictions, the buyer may skip seeing your home.
A missing showing is a missed opportunity to sell your house. It is as simple as that. One of the other homes may catch the buyers fancy, and they never come back to view your home.
If you don’t want to leave money on the table, it should be a priority to get as many people through your door as possible. Making showings complicated is not going achieve those goals.
Don’t Make Your Real Estate Agent Attend The Showing
One of the more significant misconceptions in real estate sales is that agents somehow influence a buyers decision to purchase a home. Sorry, folks, it doesn’t work that way. Real Estate agents don’t have magical powers of influence. Your agent will never talk someone into buying a home.
Buyers typically know within a few minutes of walking through a home whether they are interested or not. Having your real estate agent present pointing out that you just painted the bedrooms, installed granite counters in your bathroom and added a Nest thermostat isn’t going make them buy your home.
Buying a home is a HUGE emotional decision. It is not like buying a pair of shoes that a salesman might be able to talk you into purchasing. So what difference does it make if the listing agent is there?
It matters plenty! Why? For a couple of reasons – most buyers and their agents don’t want the listing agent hovering over them. Buyers and their agents want to be able to speak freely about the house. Frankly, they can’t do that when your agent is there.
More importantly, when you require your agent to be there, you’re adding another level of difficulty in showing the home. Your agent will now have to match their schedule with the buyers and their agent.
Let me be frank – if your real estate agent can do this all the time you have picked the wrong agent! A real estate agent with all the time in the world on their hands is not who you want. What this means is nobody else is hiring them. Top producing real estate agents do not accompany showings!
Bonus showing tip: when having an open house don’t leave these things out. So many people do not realize how much theft takes place at open houses.
Defer Your Showings
One of the most powerful sales strategies, especially when in a seller’s market is to start your showings after it has been listed for sale for a period of time. This is what’s referred to as deferred showings.
Essentially you list your home in the multiple listing service at the beginning of the week but don’t start the showings until the weekend. What this does is give all the buyers in the marketplace ample time to know your home is for sale. It provides all of them the opportunity to potentially buy the house. As a seller, you don’t have to worry about leaving money on the table.
You’ll be exposing your home to the broadest audience possible. When you list your home the traditional way it’s possible you could receive an offer on the first day, it hits the market. It might be an offer you would accept.
What you’ll never know, however, if other buyers also would have made an offer! Guess what happens when you receive multiple offers on your home? If you’re thinking bidding war, you’re 100 percent correct.
With a bidding war, you get the terms you want. It’s entirely possible and in fact likely, you’ll sell your home higher than the asking price.
Deferred showings are something to ask your real estate agent about. It is important to note that a deferred showing is NOT the same as a coming soon listing. Coming soon marketing may or may not be right for your circumstances. Take a look at the article to see why.
When you have deferred showings, you also eliminate any need to host an open house. Instead of having a bunch of deadbeats going through your home, increasing the risk of theft you’ll have only qualified buyers.
Tips for Showing Your Home
Now that we have covered the sales strategy of showings let’s talk about presentation. The best showing tips for sellers start with curb appeal. First impressions are everything, especially when you are selling a home. You often only get one chance to put your best foot forward. Potential buyers will either be drawn to the home, be ambivalent, or be pushed away.
Ideally, your staging will excite buyers so much that they can start to see themselves living in the home. But to accomplish this, you are going to need to pull out all the stops when it comes to your showing.
1. Make sure your exterior is presentable.
Going the extra mile with your homes exterior appearance is important. Here are some tips for getting it in shape:
Make sure the grass is cut and raked with no extraneous debris.
Keep the driveway clean and passable. A beautiful seal coat always does wonders for those driveways that are showing their age.
Make sure the walkway is presentable – you might want to give it a good power wash.
The shrubs and plantings should not be overpowering – make sure there is a clear path around the home.
If you have got mold of mildew on the siding or deck have it washed.
Plant some seasonal flowers to add some color near your entry.
Your door and entryway need to sparkle. Buyers will really notice this area.
These are all small improvements that will increase the value of your home. Read the article for more ways to increase your house value.
2. Offer a warm welcome.
You have been to homes where you feel welcome. You have also been to homes where you don’t. When showing, you want buyers to feel like they belong—better yet, you want them to feel like they are right on the edge of living there themselves. There are some things you can do to encourage a welcome feeling, including:
Let them keep their shoes on. Making buyers take their shoes off to enter the home isn’t always a great idea. Forcing them to take their shoes off risks making them feel like children visiting a stern relative, the opposite of what you are going for. Of course, if the weather conditions don’t allow for this, that’s a different story. If your carpets have never seen a shoe print then, by all means, do so. The buyer will probably appreciate your pride of ownership.
Give them as much time as they need. Waiting for someone to explore your home is not always easy, but do your best to avoid hurrying buyers. Remember, they are deliberating on one of the most significant financial decisions of their lives.
Stay away. Buyers need the opportunity to talk about the home, but they are not going to feel free to speak their minds if you are hovering around. Do not ever attend the showing. Let the real estate agent do their job.
3. Don’t skimp on heating or cooling.
Homes are designed to provide shelter, a safe and welcoming space out of the elements. A desirable home is one that allows us to stay comfortable no matter what the weather is outside. Unfortunately, some sellers get so caught up in their frugal ways—keeping the thermostat at a certain level to save money—that they create an unpleasant environment for potential buyers.
You should keep your home as comfortable as possible while you are showing it. In cooler weather, turn the heat up so that the house is warm and inviting, a soft cocoon where buyers can picture themselves with their families while winter storms rage.
In warmer months, turn the air conditioner on and keep the house cool and pleasant. Buyers want to know that when the summer sun is beating down, they can depend on their new home to keep the sweat away.
Besides making your home comfortable, generous heating or cooling can make buyers stick around for longer than they usually would on days where the weather is harsh. The longer they shelter from what is going on outside, the more likely they are to see the home as a great place to live.
4. Cultivate an inviting atmosphere.
One of the keys to effective home staging is creating atmosphere, a mood that can be felt and enjoyed by everyone who walks through the door. There are several things you can do to enhance the mood in the home, including:
Light a fire in the fireplace. Summer or winter, spring or fall, a fire in the fireplace can really add to the homey atmosphere in a room and throughout the home. Most fireplaces are not particularly good at heating a room, so even in summer you probably do not have to worry about the fire being too warm. Keep it small, of course, and adjust the thermostat accordingly.
Turn on your fountains. Water fountains are great for white noise and relaxation. Whether you have a large fountain in the yard, a tiny desk fountain, or something in between, turn it on so buyers can associate relaxation with your home.
Play pleasant music at low volume. The music you pick should be something that sets the desired mood without distracting. Keep the volume low enough that people can speak without shouting, but high enough that the music is audible.
Make sure the home sparkles. While someone may not have the money to make expensive improvements, there is no excuse for not making sure the house is spotless.
5. Pay attention to scents.
Some risks come with relying too heavily on scents when showing a home. What smells good to one person may be unpleasant, or even harmful, to another. It is usually best to avoid any scents that are too strong or too pervasive—like having every room smell like pine or vanilla. If the weather is beautiful opening up the windows and letting fresh air in can be much better than artificial scents.
Of course, if there are bad odors outside or too much noise, it may be better to keep them closed.
Another important thing to remember with scents is that you should never promise what you cannot deliver. Filling the kitchen with baking smells, but having no baked goods to snack on, is only going to frustrate buyers.
Bad odors can easily kill your home sale!
6. Brighten things up.
Buyers are there to see the home, which means they need light. It is a good general rule to go through the house and turn on every light you can have.
With all the lights on, buyers are not going to be stumbling around in search of light switches, and they are not going to be suspicious when they cannot view specific areas of the home.
Even better than indoor lights is opening up the blinds and letting the sunshine in. However, if you have certain things you want to avoid showcasing, like an ugly fence out back, you can keep some curtains drawn.
One of the things I always counsel my clients on is making sure lights are turned on before showings. This is one of the best showing tips for selling a home, and it costs you next to nothing.
7. Offer snacks and refreshments.
You want potential buyers to stay and look around. You also want them to feel at home like they could live there. Providing snacks and refreshments helps you accomplish both of these goals.
Leaving some refreshments is a nice gesture that could influence in a positive way how the buyer thinks about you even though you’ve never met. No one will have to leave because they are hungry or thirsty either.
8. Make sure your real estate agent has a feedback system.
If you’ve followed through with these showing tips then undoubtedly people are going to a lovely property. From your perspective, you’ll probably want to know what their thinking. Do they like my home? Did they hate it? Is there something I can do to improve the showing experience?
As a seller, you should expect your agent to provide feedback. A top agent will have a showing feedback system in place to let you know what buyers are thinking. Insist on it!
Showing feedback should be part of a carefully crafted marketing plan to sell your home. When interviewing real estate agents pay particular attention to this.