Welcome to the series of posts helping Introverts with buying a home, selling a home or investing in real estate. I tend to be an introvert more than an extrovert so I thought it would be appropriate to give some advice to others like me on how they can succeed in real estate without having to go outside their comfort zones.
When the house is ready to go on the market, the next item of consideration is how to approach showings. As an introvert, showings can often be uncomfortable as you have to have people come into the place you live to figure out if they want to buy it. For most introverts, this feat is lessened once they realize that they do not need to be at the home during showings. In fact, most listing agents highly encourage their sellers to find something else to do outside of the house during showings. Nevertheless, showings can be stressful for anybody.
There are some things you need to do before each showing to ensure you are putting your house in the best light for the prospective buyers. First and foremost, you need to pick up any clutter in each of the rooms and deposit them into their respective locations. If you do not have time to do a neat job, clutter should be packed away in something portable like a laundry basket and put in the garage. You should also give each surface a nice wipe down to make it as presentable as possible. You might not have time to sanitize, but any dirt or marks on items will detract from the showing for the buyer. Floors should also be cleaned. Carpets should be vacuumed while hard floor surfaces should be mopped. If you have any pets, they should be put securely in their crates or someone else to keep them out of the way of the buyers. With pets, you also need to work on getting any odors out of the house. There are plenty of cleaners that will help to eliminate the pet smell. You can also use candles or other air fresheners to help eliminate any other offensive smells.
When it comes to protecting yourself, you need to be sure that all sensitive information is locked away in a drawer or safe. Letter and bills are included in the sensitive information category. Expensive items like guns, jewelry, collectibles, silver, etc should also be safely secure in a safe. Some buyers go see houses with the intent of going through you medicine cabinet. Be sure to keep all medicines locked away with your other valuables.
Don’t let all this prep work for showings scare you away from showing homes. It is just nature of the beast when it comes to selling your home. If you do all the things mentioned above and price your home correctly, you will most likely sell your house sooner versus later so showings will be kept to a minimal. There are some other ways introverts can control the showing process. Here are three.
1. Limit the showing schedule – One of the nice side effects of modern day technology is that we have access to programs and services that make our lives so much easier. With showings, it is no different. There are companies today that provide scheduling services to agents and sellers for their showings. As part of their service package, you have access to some online tools that make it very easy to control how your showings are set up. Your agent can do it for you if you don’t want to mess with it, but you also have the option of DIY with your own showings. You just need to ask your agent to give you control over the showings via a web interface. With this tool, you can set up specific hours that showings can take place. Most sellers like to keep their evenings free after 8 pm and don’t want to be bothered too early in the morning. You want to keep your house available for showings as much as possible so having a good 10 to 12 hour trame frame for showings is a good idea. However, you can set it up any way you like. You can also put restrictions on showings so let’s say that you don’t want to bother with showings one day because a family member is ill. You can, or your agent can, set it up to block all showings for that day. As an introvert, you want to have control on your day’s schedule. These scheduling companies give you that ability through these tools. Be sure to make use of them!
2. Have your agent give very concise showing instructions – With the tool, you can also set it up that buyer’s agents will get very concise specific showing instructions for your home. You need to be sure to work with your agent on these showing instructions so you know your home will be taken care of when you are not there. Here are some examples of what you can put in showing instructions. If you don’t want people to track in mud to the house, be sure to ask them to remove their shoes or provide shoe coverings for them to use. If you plan to have your pets in one room, you want to be sure to have the buyers and their agent respect that pet’s space. Most sellers will set up lightning for the buyers so they house looks its best. Your agent can include in the showing instructions to have them leave on the lights that put your house in the best light. If there is security system, be sure the buyer’s agent has the instructions on how to turn off and then turn back on the security system. Will buyers and buyer’s agents respect your showing instructions? Most of them will do the best they can to respect your wishes while many others wont’ care. However, by giving them showing instructions, you are least alerting the ones who will follow your wishes. If you don’t provide instructions, no one will follow them.
3. Make all showings conditional upon your approval – One more nice feature of scheduling company online tools is the ability to set up showing appointments upon your permission. If you set it up by appointment only, the scheduling company will have to get your permission before approving the showing. They will try via your preferred communication method. If you set up, you can get a showing request via phone call, email or text. You have two other settings when it comes to preapproval of showing requests. One is called courtesy request, where you don’t have to give your permission for a showing, but the scheduling company will alert you of the fact that a showing is being scheduled. You can also have a Go setting where all showing requests are approved without your interaction at all. Most sellers will either do appointment only or courtesy. The Go showing setting is used mostly by sellers that do not live at the properties so anyone can go see the house because the property is vacant. Be aware that there might come a time when you get a showing request outside of your settings. In these cases, the scheduling company will contact you to ask for an exception. For example, you might require a two hour notice for all showings. If an agent calls and says he can be there in ten minutes, you might get a call from the scheduling service asking your permission for the exception. Don’t be afraid to say no. The buyer’s agent can work on getting a more appropriate time to get in to see your house.