Dont be Home When Your House is Shown

By: Jerry Clifford

Again and again, I hear stories from fellow real estate agents that affirm what I also see as true: it is not a good idea for the seller to be present when their home is being viewed by buyers. While it may be inconvenient for the seller to stay away, it is important that they not be there. Let me explain.

It can often seem to the seller that their presence is an asset. After all, they know the home best. They know all its best features, and will be able to point them out. However, consider it this way: the seller knows all the features they like best. These may be completely different than what the buyer is going to like about the home, and ultimately, it's what the buyer thinks that makes or breaks a sale. And who knows what the buyer wants? Well, they do, but also, the agent they've communicated their needs to. It is the agent that is best equipped to sell the home. Not only do they have specific real estate sales experience, they have been specifically entrusted with the information about what the buyer needs and wants in a home.

Numerous Realtor® bloggers have shared stories about well-meaning sellers blowing a likely deal. Here's some hypothetical examples. Let's say the seller loves cooking, and goes on and on to the buyer about the high-end appliances. The buyer hates cooking and will barely use them, and thinks maybe the price of the home is inflated because of chef quality kitchen that is moot to them. Or say the home is out of town, and the buyer is hesitant to move so far, but loves the home. The seller says they love the home too, but have to move to be closer to town. Or perhaps the seller goes on about the gardens to a buyer who just finds them a hassle. In all of these cases, the seller may well have blown a deal.

But the seller saying the wrong thing isn't the only reason they should not be around. The buyer wants to feel free to explore the home-closets and cupboards included, yet they will feel inhibited if the seller is hovering over them. Same goes if there is a decorating aspect that they hate. They will probably not feel free to express to their agent that they love the kitchen but hate the wallpaper if the current owner is within ear shot. Just like how home stagers recommend you de-personalize the home a little before selling, it is imperative that the energy of the seller not permeate the showing. If it does, the buyer will not be able to imagine what they would do with the home, and if they can't imagine the home as their's, they won't buy it.

So if you are selling and want everything to go smoothly, first, tell your listing agent everything you possibly can about the house. This will make sure showing agents have a lot of details to work with. Then, plan to be away during showings. If prospective buyers have a question only you can answer, you will come home to a message to contact their agent. But not matter what, let the real estate agents do their job. It truly will help you sell faster.

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