Sellers often ask if they can stay in their home while it is being viewed by a potential buyer.
My answer is almost always a resounding “NO!!”
A simple slip of the tongue can give a buyer a real advantage. I’ll give you an example. I took a Buyer to view a house last week and the Seller was home. I asked the Seller if she was tired of having people traipse through her home. She responded that there had been more than 30 showings and that she closes on her new home at the end of the month. Seems innocent enough, right?
WRONG! That told me that the home had been on the market a long time with many showings – so something was either wrong with the house or it was overpriced. Not only that, I now knew that the Seller was anxious to sell and move and might accept a lower offer with a quick closing. That innocent response to my question gave my Buyers an advantage had they decided to make an offer.
From another perspectifve, Buyers feel uncomfortable viewing a home when the Seller is present. They don’t feel they can ask all of the questions that come to mind, they don’t feel comfortable opening cupboard or closet doors and they feel that the Seller is “protecting” their home from something – and in fact may not even be really keen on selling at all. A Buyer feels that they are “violating” private space if the Seller is in on the viewing and this prevents the Buyer from giving the home a good inspection.
If a Seller really wants to sell, they will present the home in the best possible light……clean, uncluttered and “owner absent”. The same is true for the listing agent – he or she should NOT be there during a showing.
If a Buyer can tour a home with nobody but their own agent in tow, this will allow:
- A thorough examination of the home
- Open communication between the Buyers and their Agent about any issues that arise during the showing
- An atmosphere of sincere interest – the Seller, by his absence, indicates a real intent to sell to the potential Buyer.
So, Mr. and Mrs. Seller, next time there is an appointment to show your home, your absence would be greatly appreciated!