More often than not, buyers looking at your home will have hired a buyers agent to help them. You can boost your odds of selling by helping the buyer's agent. Here is how:
1. Make your house easy to access and to show.
2. Keep it clean and fresh - the buyer's agent has scheduled your home to show and feels some degree of responsibility for its condition. A clean home not only impresses the buyer but it also encourages the buyer's agent to return for additional showings with other clients.
3. Make a nice gesture by leaving some cold bottled water and a snack or two available for them to offer to their clients. By the time your home is shown, it's possible that the buyer's agent and client have been on the road for several hours viewing multiple properties. Especially on a hot day be sure cold drinks are available.
4. Get out – do not be in your home or loitering nearby during showings. You may feel your presence could add to the possibility of a sale but that's unlikely. What is more likely is that your presence will make the buyer and buyer's agent feel uncomfortable and less likely to stay around and give serious consideration to your home. Agents and their buyers want to be able to speak freely in your home. In addition, it's more difficult for potential buyers to envision themselves as homeowners of that home when the current owners are present. In addition, sellers, when having conversations with buyers, often say things inadvertently that lower their chances of a sale. Do not be home if at all possible.
5. Put up the dog. Remove the cat and the litter box. Even if the buyer is an animal lover, the presence of pets is a distraction.
6. If you have old, sticky door locks or keys that do not work well, fix them. Buyers agents do not want to be embarrassed having trouble opening a door.
NOTE: If your agent installs a lockbox, verify that it is in a convenient location for the agent. There's nothing more unpleasant than retrieving a key from a lockbox connected to an outdoor water spigot on a rainy day with rain pouring down your back from the roof above.
7. Turn off the alarm (if you feel comfortable from a security standpoint doing this) - leaving instructions for the agent to manage the alarm is not a good idea. Agents who show your home are not in the business of managing your home security. Turn the alarm off before the showing. Do not ask the agent to reset the alarm.
8. Do not put up a sign asking them to “remove shoes” for showings or “turn off lights when finished”. Buyers agents know that the proper courtesy is to protect the condition of the home and to leave the home as they found. Signs with instructions may irritant buyers agents and their clients. It is acceptable for you to put down additional carpet protection or to leave out a box of surgical booties for visitors to slip on.
9. Open interior room doors - buyers agents feel uncomfortable about opening closed bedroom doors. You never know what you might find on the other side. From experience, I can tell you surprises happen.
10. Agents may leave business cards for your record. These are not intended to encourage direct contact. Do not call buyers’ agents. If you need information from someone who visited your listing, go through your listing agent
11. Be ready and willing to handle short notice requests to show. These are most common when a buyer has already seen your home and wants a second peek (a strong buying sign) or when a buyer who is already looking in your neighborhood sees your for sale sign and wants to see the inside of your home.
NOTE: listing agents always want feedback from showings and do ask for it. A good agent will keep you informed about that feedback.
Call me when you are ready to sell your home.