Why Sellers Should not be Present During Showings

woman waving out car windowLet’s say you are selling your home, your prized possession and your sanctuary for the last several years.  It’s possible you may be curious to see who might purchase your home and you are hoping for some buyer feedback during showings; however, being home while your house is being shown to potential buyers is not the best plan.

It may be best to think about it this way, buyers need to see your home as their potential home, which is nearly impossible when the present owners are standing there watching them or lounging on the sofa. Having sellers present at showings puts buyers in a weird “invading someone’s privacy” frame of mind. They struggle to picture their own family where you are.  Those feelings do not inspire them to place an offer.

Buyers place an offer under a few key conditions:

  1. They love the look of the home and it fits their desired style.
  2. The home fits all of their needs. It is the right size, location and offers the little must-haves that every buyer has created in their mind or listed on paper.
  3. The price is right for their budget. Simply put, they can afford to buy the house.
  4. Any issues or repairs the home obviously needs does not overwhelm them. They have felt comfortable asking questions and are happy with the answers they received.
  5. They feel a personal connection to the home and can see it as “theirs”. They can picture their life happening within it, their kids playing in the backyard, and the placement of their furniture in each room.

The last point is key. The presence of the homeowner interrupts that vision of a buyer’s future ownership and that can cause a bump in the otherwise smooth road to receiving an offer.

Here are a few other reasons not to be home when your house is shown to buyers:

  • Buyers like to discuss what they love, and what they don’t love about a property while they are viewing it. This is awkward to do if the owner is present. For example, they may feel uncomfortable saying that the kitchen cabinets look old and need to be replaced. Ultimately, buyers need to be at ease to discuss openly what they think about the home in order to decide if they want to place an offer.
  • If you hear a buyer criticize your home, it will probably wound your pride, or really annoy you. This sounds silly, but many sellers develop a dislike for a buyer who criticizes their home in any way. It can even make sellers rigid when it comes to negotiations on price, because they feel their cabinets are perfectly acceptable.
  • It is easy for sellers to offer too much information when talking with buyers. If a seller starts criticizing the school system, the commute, or neighbors It might just kill the sale.

If your REALTOR is about to show your home to potential buyers, clean it up and then clear out. That means grab the family and head out for an easy dinner, a movie, or a trip to the park. You need to remove yourself from house so it shows like anyone’s home--even to potential buyers.

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