Presenting your home, either through a showing or an open house, is an integral part of the selling process. While marketing efforts expose your home and encourage buyers to visit, showings help close the deal.
A showing is a scheduled appointment that gives a potential buyer the opportunity to tour your home. You should not be present during any scheduled showings as the presence of an owner makes some buyers uncomfortable, inhibiting their actions as well as their conversations. They won’t feel free to open closets and cabinets, test out the plumbing and discuss their observations objectively as they walk through the house. It’s best to let your agent (or the buyer’s agent) host the home showing.
We will request that any showings be scheduled 24 hours in advance however, this is not always possible. Never the less, you’ll want to find something to do away from your home during the time of the showing (depending on the size of the home showings typically take 30 minutes to an hour). It’s best to leave 15 minutes before the appointed time as traffic congestion and other factors can throw off the appointment time by several minutes. You should also allow some extra time before returning home.
If you must remain, be courteous and inconspicuous, and don’t feel the need to make conversation. The buyer’s agent knows what the buyer is looking for, so let him/her discuss your home’s features and answer any questions.
An open house is exactly that. It’s opening your home for any number of buyers to walk through and view its features. An open house is scheduled for a designated period of time, usually for a couple of hours on a Sunday. We will work with you on the specifics of the open house and will handle all the details, including hosting duties.
While we will give you as much advance notice as possible when a prospective buyer wants to view your home. It’s best to ensure that your home is ready to show at all times. You don’t want to turn away a potential buyer simply because you’re under prepared!
Before each showing, you’ll want to:
- Vacuum carpets
- Open all curtains and blinds
- Turn on all lights, even during the daytime, including outside entrance, closet, basement and attic lights.
- Clear all clutter.
- Wash and put away any dirty dishes. (do not leave the dishwasher running)
- Set the dining room and kitchen table if you have a particularly nice linen and china.
- Put fresh towels in bathrooms.
- Build a fire in the fireplace on cold days, otherwise clean the fireplace.
- If at all possible take pets with you, or ask friends to keep them. If neither of these options is possible place them in a fenced yard or the garage.
- Display an arrangement of fresh flowers
- Clean windows and mirrors.
- Clean the kitchen and bathrooms.
- DO NOT use scented sprays or plugins to prepare for visitors or whole your home is on the market. It is too obvious and many find the smells of these sprays offensive. Instead, boil some vanilla extract or purchase scented candles or reed diffusers.
In the event a potential buyer drops by unannounced and unaccompanied by an agent, for your safety it is best not to show your home. Simply ask the potential buyer for his/her name and phone number and inform them that you will give their information to your listing agent for follow up. Buyers should not show up at your home unannounced and while this does occasionally happen, it’s best that you not allow them into your home until we’ve had the opportunity to screen them.
Finally, open houses are responsible for approximately 3% of all home sales and while they are a proven tactic for selling a home, they are not the most effect method; if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of holding your home open, talk with your agent about alternatives. Open house can be significantly more effective if used properly, and marketed effectively.