Austin Texas Real Estate Blog

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If You Want to Sell Your Home, Make It Easy For Buyers to See Your Home

Truthfully, the title of this post is good advice by itself, but I wanted to take a minute to explain some common mistakes I've seen sellers make. I strive to keep my own clients from making these errors, of course.

First and foremost, I always advise my clients who are selling to try to allow every single showing if at all possible. Yes, this will be inconvenient at times. Yes, you may get 5 minutes' notice, or there may be an agent sitting in the driveway calling you. I recognize that it's not possible under every circumstance, but try to be as accommodating as you can be. It only takes ONE buyer to sell your home, and you never know which one that will be. Don't scare them away. If nothing else, if they call and it's not a good time, ask if you can have 15 minutes to straighten up the place, or finish dinner, etc. When I'm showing houses, I am more organized than average, and I typically give a call the evening before I am going to show the home, but I don't expect that of every agent, and neither should you, frankly. 

This leads to my next point: when you aren't flexible with showings, particularly if you have too many hoops to jump through ("24 hour notice", "call so that seller can move dogs", "no showings before 1pm"), it comes across as unmotivated and your house will be skipped sometimes, simply because it's too challenging to show. 

If you don't have a lockbox, your chances of getting showings decrease. The exception to this rule applies to high-end luxury homes, at least in Austin. Most agents expect that if they're showing several $3 million homes, they will be meeting with the listing agent at each one. This is not the case for $250,000 homes. If you require an appointment (either with yourself or with your listing agent), you are much less likely to make the list. Don't let your agent convince you otherwise.

For investment properties that are still occupied, be careful not to allow the tenant to have too much leeway about determining showing times. I have seen this blow sales with qualified cash buyers more than once. Here's a good example from last year: Your Tenants Might Have Cost You an Easy Sale.

Overall, the goal is to get as many ready, willing, and able buyers through the home as you can, increasing your chances of finding the right buyer for your home. As I said above, it only takes one. 

Thanks for reading!

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tawheedmanzoor/

 

If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

Comment balloon 16 commentsJason Crouch • January 14 2014 02:35PM

Comments

All the great marketing and photos do nothing if no one can get inside to see the house!  Great post.

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Lepic-Kroeger REALTORS) almost 4 years ago

Jason you must be reading my mind lately as we're dove tailing on topics! I just wrote a doozy post today on this very subject. After 6 or so attempts to show a home we still had no luck.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS,CRB, Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 4 years ago

AMEN, JASON!  I had one seller years ago who declined every single showing... turns out they thought someone would buy the place from the pictures online!  Unfortunately, we know that it doesn't work that way.  Whenever you are trying to sell, you need to get as many eyes on the property as you can - live and in person!

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Your Castle RE Colorado (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) almost 4 years ago

So very true. When I see a listing expired; I always look at the showing instructions.  When I see "Appt Required" I start to understand why it didn't sell.

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) almost 4 years ago

Jason ~ I agree.  The title is great advice all on its own.  But I did love the rest of your post!

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) almost 4 years ago

I'm always interested in how other markets operate.  Up here, all showings are by appointment only and usually with a minimum of 24 hours notice. 

Posted by Susan Emo, Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area (Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage) almost 4 years ago

Jason, That is a great advice filled post!  Making it easier for buyers to get into your home is key in getting it sold!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Keller Williams Legacy) almost 4 years ago

Exellent read, Jason. I have been working on this topic for a post but haven't gotten it out there yet. I probably still will because it is an ongoing issue and the more guidance we can give sellers perhaps the better they will understand the issues.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) almost 4 years ago

Jason, I recently sold a condo that had a very unusual showing schedule. It was tenant occupied with an infant baby. The tenants only allowed showings on Wednesdays from noon to 2 p.m. Can you believe that? No weekends or evenings. I know because I tried with several different buyers. But I finally got it sold. Although, the tenant said upon my last visit there, "It's you again?!!"

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) almost 4 years ago

Grand points, Jason. And you aren't kidding. Even when it's just rentals, tenants who are uncooperative can cost landlords an excellent new tenant to replace them! 

Posted by Kaye Swain, Your Roseville Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Real Estate Roseville CA) almost 4 years ago

Jason,

People selling their home do not understand the importance of customer focus and being easy to do business with.  They do need to see the value proposition of making it easy to see.  This post explains that very well.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 4 years ago

Jason: This is one of those posts that I will rememer in it's simple statement of what the seller needs to do--it will not insult the seller, it will not intimidate the seller into behaving a certain way--It simply states the obvious and lets the seller know that if they really want to sell they will let the house be shown! Great post! :)

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, Sr. LBA,, ...Finding Your Place In The sun! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Exactly...get as many ready, willing and able buyers through the door so you can get SOLD.  Make it easy to see your home :).  I have only seen one seller (and I had the buyer) that refused to have a lockbox and the listing agent had to open the door...what a pain.  

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) almost 4 years ago

I know that as a buyers agent- if a seller makes it to hard to show that is a dirct implication of how a transaction will go with that particular seller... 

Posted by Shanna Hall, I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311 (Real Estate Solutions) almost 4 years ago

Jason,

You had me saying great, Great, GREAT until you got to lock boxes. I don’t disagree with your conclusions about high-end houses, but where do you draw the line? I don’t know anyone who values their low-end contents and less than those at the high-end! Lock boxes belong on all homes when they are un-occupied for long periods of time.

Bill

Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) almost 4 years ago

BILL - I draw the line wherever it makes the house an oddity. If every other home in the area and price range is on a lockbox, and yours isn't, and I have to arrange a specific time to meet someone there, it's simply much less convenient and much less likely to be shown. In Austin, that line seems to start somewhere around $1 million and up. I don't think contents are typically at risk whenever a REALTOR is showing the home. I have only experienced theft from a listing once, and it was my very first listing ever, priced at $70,500. They had a washer and dryer on a screened-in porch that they left after they moved out. They were promptly stolen.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 4 years ago

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