Three Things Your Real Estate Agent Won’t Tell you about Showings

Note:   This is a chapter in my new ebook called The Ultimate Guide to Buying (and then Selling) Your First Home.  I will post a chapter a week.  If you like what you read, you can pick up a copy here for the price of a candy bar!   Buy a candy bar or be a real estate guru!   The next chapter we examine how sellers can prepare for showings.  The last chapter to be shared on this blog you can find here.

I connected with Steve later that evening on the phone.  He said Sally was taking a break from all the cleaning with a nice glass of wine.  I laughed and said it was well deserved since the house looked great and we already had several showings for the next day.   I told Steve. “You have worked diligently with your Realtor to get your home on the market, taking the necessary steps to make your home presentable.   It goes live tomorrow.  Do you know what to expect from people entering your home to view it?   

Some Realtors will downplay this step of the process with little communication to you on how it works.   At its base level, there is nothing much to showing your home.”   Here are the basics that I told Steve on phone.  Your agent will work with other real estate agents to get your home in front of clients.   Scheduling is handled either by the agent or through a showing service such as Centralized Showing Service (CSS), which is the one used most widely in North Texas.   Your agent will most likely not be present for all the showings. Instead, he or she will rely on the agents bringing their buyers to watch over the strangers in your home.   Access to the property will be through a lockbox that only agents with the code can unlock.”  Steve said he remembered when they looked at homes and was ready for it.  I did tell him about three things to know about showings that you might not hear from other agents.

1.Stow all your valuables (including any personal information)– Although it would be nice to not worry about your things during a showing, things will disappear from you home if you don’t take the necessary precautions.   Some buyers will not hesitate to help themselves to some valuable items like jewelry, silver, money and other miniature knick-knacks.  Prescription drugs also will be taken as will personal information such as social security numbers, account numbers and even credit cards.  It is important that you look over your home very carefully and safely secure all items worth any value.   Best thing to do is just stow it away from the property while your home is on the market.

2.Don’t let your agent bully you on the showing schedule – The point of showings is to get your home in front of potential buyers as often as you can.   Despite this, I told Steve not to let me bully him to have showings 12 hours a day, seven days a week.   You will need to continue to live your life as you attempt to sell your home.    A good rule of thumb is to set the weekday showings when you are at work into the early evening.  If 8 pm is when you call it a day, this would be the time to cut off showings.  For weekends, you might let yourself sleep in and then give your buyers an additional hour in the evening to see the home.  Weekends will be when you get most of your showing requests.    We had established that Steve would get a thirty-minute warning for showings.  If your home will be on the market during a holiday, do you close off that day from showings?   What about pets?   You must be careful not to structure the showing schedule in such a way where you begin to resent the process.  Selling your home has so many stress points already, if you begin to resent people dominating your life via the showing schedule, you will not be in the right frame of mind when you begin to receive offers.

3.Its ok to say no to a showing request. –  This last tip might seem obvious, but many clients feel very strongly about that turning down a showing request is too risky.  The buyer might be the one that turns in the offer, the one you have been counting on receiving.    Most likely, there will be a time when a conflict cannot be avoided.  Although there is a risk in turning down a showing request, you should not be afraid to say no.  If you do turn down the showing request, reach out to me to explain why.  I will then contact the buyers’ agent on getting the showing rescheduled.  If a buyer is seriously interested in your home, they will find a way to reschedule the showing. 

I heard Steve yawn on the other end.  He said he was already happy with the current set-up we had for the showings, but appreciated my follow up.  He said he would talk to Sally to see if she wanted any changes after the weekend in the showing schedule.   We said our goodbyes with our fingers crossed that we would see an offer before Monday.