How much notice should a seller request when a buyer wants to see the house? That depends on the sellers and their household situations. Sometimes sellers need to gather children or remove pets from the house. It is always better for sellers not to be home when a house is being shown to prospective buyers. It is very uncomfortable for buyers to walk around a house and share their thoughts if a seller is in the same room. When sellers put their home on the market, they need to have a plan for showing requests.
#1 Please Provide Agent Feedback For The Seller
Yesterday an agent in my office asked me for feedback on her listing as the house had been on the market for some time. The sellers had a recent price reduction and were anxious to move. They did not have many showings and received little feedback from those visits. The listing agent and her sellers wanted someone else to take a look at the house and give honest feedback on the house. Feedback includes the condition, staging, and pricing to make sure they weren’t missing anything.
I did visit the home and provided feedback. There were some areas needing touch-up paint and suggested some furniture be removed to give the house a roomier feel. However, all in all, a nice home, good curb appeal, great potential for a buyer. Additionally, the pricing was a bit high given area comparable homes. The listing provided many pictures which showcase all rooms accurately and professionally. Also, there were great backyard pictures of the yard and pool.
#2 Realtor Showing Instructions
So what could be the problem? The Realtor showing instructions ask Realtors to contact the listing agent AND give 24 hours notice for showing the property. Now there are two very small children in the home. And I understand that it is difficult to keep a house in showing condition 24 X 7. However, as a mother who has sold several homes while working full time and having small children waiting to drop toys around the house at will, I understand the challenge. But the question is, do you want to sell your house? At a minimum when listing a house the listing agent needs to explain to the seller the impact of requiring a lengthy showing notice. Also, any showing restriction has the potential to reduce showings, regardless of how valid the restriction.
#3 Sellers Need To Make A Home Available For Buyers
Sellers need to have their home available to show with reasonable notice. I do understand small children in a home, elderly parents, pets, etc. My recommendation is for sellers to try to accommodate reasonable showings. Also, we are often calling to confirm property availability the day or evening before we go out with buyers. Who hasn’t had that call asking if we could just add “this” property to the list for the day? I think 24 hours is too much notice and keeps many showings from happening. In addition, when you are showing several properties in an area, the buyer may not want to go back to a property later. This is a missing seller opportunity. It only takes ONE buyer! Here in Phoenix we typically do not see a 24-hour requirement for showing a home.
I certainly think a 24-hour notice request for most sellers means fewer showings (the occasional family dinner or birthday celebration). Certainly are reasons to ask for an alternate time-frame, but the buyer may not be available. Sellers need to think about how much time they really need to prepare for buyers. Additionally, sellers understand the need to always keep a house in showing condition. A couple of hours notice or showing the house later that same day seem to be reasonable requests.
When working with buyers during my Buyer Consultation I do let buyers know that I always need to check for Realtor Instructions before showing a house. Some may be occupied and have specific showing instructions (ie pets in the home). Some have alarms and I may need to call for an alarm code if it is not in my MLS information. If the house is vacant, often showing instructions say it is vacant and show any time. Buyers always find it odd that someone has their house for sale and always needs 24 hours notice. Often buyers will laugh and say “Why don’t they want to sell the house?”
#4 List Your Home Or Sell Your Home?
Sellers who wish to SELL their home, not just LIST it need to let potential buyer see the home. So, what will you become, a LISTER or a SELLER?
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