Most buyers have to see your house in person to decide if they want to buy it. You can have great photos, a great virtual tour and a great Realtor….but being prepared for the buyers visit can make or break the sale.
Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you are ready:
- Make your house easy to show. A buyer might be driving by your house to visit another house and decide they want to see your home before they make an offer on the house down the street…..if they have to wait until tomorrow or wait an hour or so to see your house….they might just decide it’s not worth waiting for. Have your home set up for immediate access if possible…if you have dogs or kids and need a few minutes…make sure you are ready to jump in the car within minutes and wave bye at them as you drive off. The easier it is to show your house…the more likely it will sell.
- Keep it clean and ready for a quick exit at all times….so you can jump in the car and leave.
- Try to never reschedule the appointment. Some buyers fly into town to see houses for a day or two….which means they are looking at houses in one neighborhood and heading in another direction half an hour later. Trying to reschedule the appointment means they have to reschedule all the other appointments that have been made…..which sometimes means they decide you might not be very motivated to sell and never return to view your house. If they can’t get inside….they probably won’t buy your house.
- Make sure it smells clean. If you have pets, hide all evidence that you have a pet if possible. We have had buyers decide against a house because they realized a cat lived there. Crazy…but true.
- If it isn’t possible for you to leave (you just sat down for dinner) and you realize that the agent is sitting outside the house…don’t be upset. Be glad they decided at the last minute to show your home. Remember….if the buyer doesn’t visit your house….they probably wont buy it. Explain you are sitting down to dinner but you will happily allow them to show your house….open the door with a smile and explain you’re eating and that you’ll stay out of their way. And stay out of their way.
- If you’re house bound….in a wheelchair…..leaving is probably not an option. Do yourself a favor….say “hi” with a big smile and also add “I’ll be out of your way….if you have any questions, my agent asked me to tell you to give her/him a call since I’m paying them the big bucks to help me”. That will usually avoid the buyer’s agent (remember….they represent the buyer) to question you if the refrigerator can remain with the sale, or if the washer and dryer can remain with the sale….and other questions about items you might not be willing to sell with the house and then feel obligated to sell because you want to sell your house and they asked you while visiting. If they ask you questions like “Why are you moving” or “Where are you moving to”….very nicely respond with “My agent told me to make sure I asked you to call them (him/her) if you had any questions”. It’s easy for you to give away furniture, appliances, curtains….lots of things you really didn’t want to leave….because you talked to the buyers agent or buyers. That’s why your Realtor really doesn’t want you home if possible. All negotiations should be done by the Realtors…that’s why you are paying them!
Today’s market makes some sellers feel they don’t have to clean their house….can only show it with a days notice….or even worse, don’t have to make any repairs to very obvious things that need repairing. These sellers are the houses you drive by and wonder why they haven’t sold. Don’t be one of those houses.