Should Home Sellers Leave for Showings?
There is no rule stating a home seller has to leave for showings. After all, it is their home so they can certainly stay, but top Realtors will always instruct them to leave. There is no question leaving for showings can be a big inconvenience to homeowners. Especially if the buyer provided a timeframe of when they’d be arriving and not an exact time. Throw kids and pets into the mix and it can be next to impossible to get everyone out of the house all while leaving it clean.
However, it’s important for sellers to keep their eye on the prize, which is to sell their home. Remember the inconvenience of showings is only temporary. However, there will always be a few sellers who don’t feel being home for showings will negatively impact their home sale. In fact, some see it as a benefit, but here are 3 reasons why a seller should leave for all showings.
3 Reasons Why Sellers Need to Leave for Showings
An Uncomfortable Distraction
Not only can a seller make a home buyer uncomfortable being present for showings, but they can also be a huge distraction. The whole purpose of a showing is for the prospective buyer to view the property and see if it’s “the one” for them.
This means they’ll want to envision themselves in the home. Think about furniture placement, discuss what changes they’d make, point out what they like or don’t like, and get a good look at everything, including what’s behind the closet doors.
Oftentimes when a seller or even the listing agent is present it’s impossible for a home buyer to do any of this. And the last thing a seller wants is for a buyer to rush out of the property.
Now, there is a time and place when the listing agent should be present for showings. If it’s a custom home that has features not visible and needs highlighting is a great example. But not for a non-custom home where everything is standard and visible.
Showing Their Cards
Some home buyers and even agents will take advantage of the seller being home for showings and ask them questions. I’m not talking about questions pertaining to the home, like how old the roof or AC is. I’m talking about questions that can negatively impact their home sale, like why are they moving, where are they going and when are they leaving.
While a few sellers will dodge these types of questions others will spill the beans because they don’t want to seem rude by not answering. When a seller starts disclosing their circumstances and shows the buyer their cards the information may be used against them.
If the seller is getting a divorce or going through a job transfer it could produce a lower offer. If the seller lets the buyer know they don’t have to move it may produce no offer at all because the buyer doesn’t feel the seller is motivated. Losing leverage during negotiations can be avoided if the seller leaves during showings.
Selling a home can be an emotional roller coaster for a lot of sellers. But when they are home for showings the roller coaster can be derailed. Now, most buyers are not going to tell a seller their home smells, their style is tasteless or the backsplash they are so proud of is hideous.
So instead the buyer and even the Realtor may say something general like “nice house.” However, what some sellers hear is “they love my home and will be making an offer” all while the buyer is marking a big X on the MLS sheet as they leave the property. So instead of a seller getting their hopes up or feelings hurt based on what the buyer said they can avoid the emotional stress altogether by leaving during showings.
There is no upside to a seller being home during showings. A lot of times it’s not necessary for the listing agent to be there either. A lot of sellers want every feature of their home to be showcased during the showing. But it usually doesn’t require the listing agent to be there and definitely doesn’t require the seller to be there.
The MLS sheet and in-home feature sheet are great ways to highlight what the home has to offer. This can be done through photographs and descriptions, which gives the buyer an opportunity to freely look at the home and openly talk about it. I’ve shown homes with sticky notes posted everywhere pointing out the “upgrades,” which was laughable to most of the buyers because those “upgrades” were standard and expected. My advice to home sellers is to leave for all showings because staying home during house showing can cost them.
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Popular Questions About Home Showings
When is the only time you can refuse to show a property to a potential home buyer? Both real estate agents and sellers alike can refuse to show a property at any time. Home sellers aren’t required to accommodate every showing request. With that being said if they are serious about selling their home they should try to accommodate and allow every showing request from a prospective buyer.
Like sellers, real estate agents aren’t obligated to show homes either especially to an unqualified home buyer. Real estate agents are independent contractors and can work with whomever they choose to. So just because an agent can show a property for sale doesn’t mean they have to.
What’s the busiest day of the week for house showings? The busiest day of the week for showings tends to be on Saturdays and Sundays. A lot of people have more time on the weekend to spend viewing homes for sale. However, there are plenty of buyers who have availability throughout the weekdays during the day or at night after work.
It ultimately depends on the real estate market conditions and how fast a buyer has to act. If it’s a strong sellers market they should probably try viewing the home within the first 24-48 hours. However, if it’s a buyers market they can probably hold off until there is a time convenient for them to view the property.
Can a landlord make you leave to show the house? Whether or not a tenant needs to leave for showings depends on the lease and the jurisdiction where the property is located. In most cases, tenants are not required to leave their property during a showing when the rental property is listed for sale or rent. Tenants have the right to enjoy their rented space and maintain privacy, even during the sale process.
Landlords or real estate agents should typically coordinate with tenants to schedule showings at mutually agreeable times. This allows tenants to be present during the showing or make arrangements to be away from the premises if they prefer. However, it’s important to review local laws and the terms of the lease agreement, as there may be specific provisions or circumstances that could require tenants to temporarily vacate the premises during showings.
Should I leave lights on for house showing? Leaving lights on for a house showing can create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere, especially if the property has limited natural light or if the showing is scheduled during darker hours. Turning on lights can help highlight the features and make the space feel more appealing.
However, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid overdoing it. Leaving all lights on in every room can appear artificial and give the impression of trying too hard. Instead, focus on strategic lighting, such as accentuating key areas like the entryway, living room, and kitchen. Additionally, consider utilizing natural light by opening curtains or blinds to create a bright and airy ambiance.
How many showings do most houses get? The number of showings a house receives can vary widely depending on factors such as location, price range, market conditions, and the attractiveness of the property. There is no specific or fixed number that applies to all houses. In a typical scenario, a well-priced and appealing property in a desirable location can expect to receive several showings within the first few weeks of listing.
However, it’s important to note that the showing activity may fluctuate throughout the selling process. Some houses may receive more showings if they generate significant interest, while others may have fewer showings if they face specific challenges or are in a slower market.
About the Author
Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “Should Home Sellers Leave for Showings?”
Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.