Showing Instructions for Selling Your Home, What Are They?
If a buyer can’t see your home they can’t buy it! A seller usually decides when and how their home can be shown. However, the listing agent is usually the one who decides how the buyers’ agent needs to schedule an appointment. Sometimes it may be extremely easy and other times it might be next to impossible, even if the seller themselves are very accommodating.
A few decades ago the only way to schedule an appointment was to call the listing office during business hours. But with today’s technology, there are so many easy and convenient ways to schedule an appointment without even picking up the phone. Let’s explore the most common and not-so-common ways to schedule an appointment.
Top 6 Types of Showing Instructions
Below are the most common ways for real estate agents to schedule an appointment to view homes for sale. Some of these options are super easy while others are more difficult and time-consuming for agents, which could cost you, as a seller, a showing.
This is by far the easiest way to schedule an appointment! A lot of MLSs have a feature right in the MLS listing where a buyer’s agent can request a showing. If your home is vacant your agent can set up a “show and go.” This means once an agent requests an appointment their appointment will automatically be confirmed and provided with showing instructions.
Now, if your home is occupied you may want to approve all showings. So, in that case, they can set up “request appointment.” With this option, the buyers’ agent will pick a day and time they’d like to view your home. This request will be sent directly to the listing agent and/or seller via text and/or e-mail. If the appointment request is approved the person approving the appointment can simply respond “Y” on their phone. The appointment confirmation and instructions will then automatically be sent to the buyers’ agent.
Call/ Text the Listing Agent
Some listing agents want all showings to be scheduled directly through them, which sounds easy. However, nobody is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. So it’s inevitable the listing agent won’t be able to respond to showing requests immediately, which in turn could mean losing showings. If you, the seller, have to approve all showings odds are you’re not available 24-7 either, so that means it’ll take even longer to approve a showing request.
Buyer’s agents tend to show multiple properties at a time, which means they need to schedule multiple appointments, and trying to coordinate multiple appointments can be tricky. Therefore, if they don’t receive showing instructions in a timely manner they might move on and skip showing your home. Most agents don’t have time to sit around for hours or days to have their showing appointment approved.
Call the Listing Office
Calling the listing office is an option some listing agents still choose. There are some positives, but there are also some negatives. A positive is the listing office usually has a dedicated person answering the phone and scheduling appointments.
However, a big negative is they’ll only be there during office hours. Some brokerages are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday thru Friday and limited hours on the weekends. This means if an agent wants to schedule an appointment on Thursday evening at 6:00 pm for Friday at 9:30 am odds are that’s not going to be a possibility because the office will be closed at that hour and won’t reopen until the following morning.
If your listing agent decides to have showings scheduled through their office do they have an option to schedule a showing when it’s closed? These are questions sellers need to ask and have answered.Knowing the showing instructions for your home is key because if a buyer can't see it they can't buy it. So it's imperative your agent makes it easy. #realestate #homebuying
Call the Appointment Center
Real estate appointment centers are a centralized service that manages incoming calls and schedules appointments on the listing agent’s behalf. This option is very similar to calling the listing office to schedule an appointment. However, real estate appointment centers tend to have extended hours, like 8:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday thru Sunday.
The appointment center then provides showing instructions or coordinates with the seller directly to schedule an appointment. This option takes scheduling showings off the listing agent’s plate. However, sometimes they have hold times, and not all buyer’s agents are in a position to call to schedule an appointment or sit on hold waiting for an operator.
Call the Owner
While it’s extremely rare for sellers to schedule their own appointments to view their home it does happen. In some instances, it can save time especially if you as the seller have to approve every appointment it cuts out the middle man whether it’s the listing agent, listing brokerage, or appointment center.
However, now you have the buyer’s agent’s contact information and vice versa, which can become problematic for numerous reasons. One, you may take it upon yourself to call the buyer’s agent for feedback or to see if they have any questions. Two, the buyer’s agent may feel it’s ok to reach out to your directly if they have a quick question about the property.
Either way, it’s not advisable to allow buyers’ agents and sellers to have direct communication with one another. Unless the home is being sold for sale by owner (FSBO).
Call the Tenant
If the home you’re selling is tenant occupied they’ll most likely have to approve showings. If that is the case the listing agent, listing brokerage, or appointment center may contact you with the showing request and you will then contact the tenant to coordinate. Another agent is for the listing agent, listing brokerage, or appointment center to contact the tenant directly. The third option is to have the buyer’s agent contact the tenant to set up a showing. The main issue going this route is it’s unlikely the listing agent will ever know if the tenant has approved or denied a showing. In fact, they probably won’t know if a showing even took place.
Listing a tenant-occupied property for sale can present a lot of problems, mainly the tenant probably doesn’t want to be disturbed, so coordinating showings may be very difficult. Often times it’s best to list your home for sale once the tenant moves out. Believe it or not, a tenant can cost you more money than the renting you’ll be collecting while it’s listed.
In addition to making your home easy to show you also need to make sure your listing agent is making it easy for other agents to schedule an appointment to view your home. I can’t count how many times it has taken days to obtain showing instructions for a VACANT home, that should never ever happen with today’s technology.
Don’t be afraid to ask your agent what systems they have in place to schedule showings for your home. Once again if a buyer can’t see your home they can’t buy it!
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Popular Home Selling Questions
Can I require 24-hour notice to show my home? Of course, as the seller you make the rules and can require at least 24 hour notice to schedule an appointment. However, putting “seller requires 24-hour notice” can deter agents from scheduling an appointment to view your home especially if the listing agent has to accompany you. Instead, you might want to have your agent keep your showing instructions simple, like “showings by appointment only” and then see if you can accommodate the appointment request. There is no reason to lose a potential showing that you might be able to accommodate by putting showing restrictions on your home.
What are the biggest home-selling mistakes? There are a lot of home-selling mistakes that sellers make. The biggest is overpricing their home and a close second is making it difficult to schedule an appointment to view the property. Whether the listing agent makes it difficult to schedule an appointment or the seller restrictions appointments to certain days, times or needs advanced notice it’s a mistake every seller needs to avoid.
Is your home not getting any showings? If your home has just been sitting on the market without any showings you need to find out why. Is the real estate market slow? Is your home overpriced? Is the marketing for your home limited or non-existent? Is it easy to show your home or do you have showing restrictions? If you are working with a top Realtor they should be able to tell you exactly why your home is sitting on the market. If they don’t know then answer he may be time to consider hiring a new listing agent.
About the Author
Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “Showing Instructions for Selling Your Home, What Are They?”
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.
Areas of service include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres, and more.
Showing Instructions for Selling Your Home, What Are They?