Okay, so you’ve decided to show your home. Will you be there or will you be away?
Staying at Home
Have a buddy. Make sure someone has the buyer/agent information. Arrange to call them or text as soon as the showing is over and let them know you’re safe. There are several apps that you can use on your phone that have a dead man’s switch. If you let go of the button, it calls emergency contact. Stay outside your home if possible. Outside people can see you and hear you and you can getaway. Inside, you are not in control. If you do go inside, let them lead you, not the other way around. Keep yourself between them and a route to the exit. Yes, your stuff is in there with strangers. Let it go. You are more important than your stuff. Read Blog “Prepping your home for sale”
Be as gracious as possible and thank them for touring your home and considering it for purchase. “I’ll be on the front porch if you have any questions, please take your time”.
Homes show better if the seller is not there. Even waiting on the porch can be intimidating to buyers. So you want to make them as comfortable as possible. They will arrive already focused on getting out of there as fast as possible which is the last thing you want them to think about. You want them to stay and imagine where their furniture will go. Who’s bedroom will be whose? Will the couch fit? Etc. You don’t want them saying “we need to go, the owner is waiting and has to get back to work, or needs to make dinner, etc.
A good agent may try to get some information from you about your motivations, home repair skills, etc. Try to keep that level of conversation to a minimum. Remember, they are representing the buyers and have their best interest at heart, so keep that in mind for future negotiations.
Ask the agent/buyer to text you when they arrive and leave. (Also a good test if you are thinking about listing and want to filter agents). Ask the agent to leave their card and ask the buyer to fill out the survey you left behind.
Fast-moving markets make for fast-moving agents/buyers, and it’s likely that the buyer will want to see your home quickly without much notice, so you consider leaving a combo box somewhere out of sight. You can buy a variety of combo locks to keep your key safe. They are easily hackable, so I don’t suggest leaving it in plain sight. Let them know where it is, and what the combo is. Change it after every showing. Really.
Technology is great these days, you can get door systems that allow you to remotely unlock the door, and see and hear the people in your home. That set up is ideal but can be costly. If you do that, I’d suggest making a sign somewhere very visible that says “This home is being visually and audibly monitored”.
Whether you were at the showing or not, getting feedback is key. Agents rarely give feedback. It’s not in their client’s best interest. Buyers will not give you honest feedback to your face. An agent may give feedback if their buyer has decided against it, and they are trying to court your listing. Otherwise, you’ll need feedback from the buyers.
1. Old school - Consider having a clipboard with a feedback form on it. Top questions include their opinion of the price, appearance, state of repair, etc. Leave a place for suggestions or comments. You can ask for the phone number and email as well.
2. Tech savvy - use Google Forms to create a web page with a Q&A section. Print the QR code on the webpage on a postcard and ask the client to fill it out the same day. Offer an incentive like - giftcard drawing for people who answer within 48 hrs. Makes sure there are photos of your property, and your "house name" on the Google Form. They will have seen a lot of homes and be tired and confused.
When they leave, confirm that nothing is missing and that all the windows and doors are locked. If you usually leave the interior garage door unlocked, make sure it’s still unlocked. Confirm pets are still accounted for and stove hasn’t been turned on or any water left running. Yes… it happens. Really.