With all the prep work that goes into listing your home, it can feel like there’s a lull in the process once your home is on the market.
However, while the next set of events may be sporadic, there’s still a lot going on and required of you.
In this step we’ll discuss the buyer showing process, tips for showing day and how to evaluate your buyer feedback.
The showing instructions for your property should have been discussed in detail with your agent when you hired him/her.
Showing instructions tell buyer agents whom to call to make an appointment, how many hours advanced notice you require before a showing, and how to access your property.
Any special instructions, such as the presence of a security alarm or the need for buyers to be pre-approved, should also be communicated clearly on your MLS listing.
It is appropriate to require all buyers to make an appointment to view your home.
When a buyer wishes to tour your home their real estate agent will look up your listing on the MLS to access your showing instructions before making a showing appointment.
Should a potential buyer knock on your door, kindly request them to make a showing appointment through their agent.
Once a request has been made for a showing, your agent (or a hired showing service operator) will contact you to see if the desired date and time is convenient for you. If so, the appointment is confirmed and the buyers and their agent will tour your home on the scheduled date and time.
Although the typical buyer will spend only 10-20 minutes in your home for an initial showing, appointments are made in one hour increments. The hour-long appointment slot allows for buyers to see multiple homes in a day while accounting for traffic and any unforeseen delays.
In NWA, most agents will access the keys to your property from a Supra Box. This is an electronic box, often placed on your front door by your listing agent. The buyer’s agent is approved to unlock this box with a code and blue tooth technology. Supra Boxes work from 8am-8pm and you can expect most showings to be scheduled between 9am-7pm.
10 SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPRESS BUYERS & IMPROVE THE BUYER EXPERIENCE ON SHOWING DAY
CLEAN. Make your home sparkle and shine! We assume you did a deep clean prior to listing your home, but a quick pick-up to clear counters, sweep and wipe fingerprints off windows and appliances is in order before your “guests” arrive.
Remember to maintain the outside of your house too. Buyers often congregate in front of your home while waiting for their agent to arrive or open the front door. So, spruce up the yard and sweep the porch and walkways to give buyers a positive first impression.
DEODORIZE. Buyers find strong or unsavory odors, especially smoking, unappealing. Perform a sniff test to ensure your home not only looks fresh and clean but smells fresh and clean too.
Plus, it never hurts to heighten the buyer experience with the comforting scent of baked goods.
DO A SAFETY CHECK. Make your home safe for buyers and agents (as well as yourself). Remove and/or lock up prescription drugs, guns, weapons, money, valuables and jewelry.
CREATE AMBIANCE. Make your home welcoming. You want buyers to spend their time visualizing themselves living in your home, not fumbling around for light switches. Therefore, leave the lights and lamps on in all rooms, leave doors to interior rooms and closets open, and set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature.
LEAVE THE HOUSE. You want to let buyers visualize themselves as the owners of the home and not you. Plus, your presence WILL make buyers uncomfortable. Therefore, leave your home before potential buyers arrive and stay gone until they have left.
If you are are uncomfortable with strangers in your home, plan to use surveillance cameras and/or have your trusted listing agent attend the showing instead of you.
BE FLEXIBLE. Your time is valuable, but try to be as flexible as possible on showing day. Buyers may be running a bit early or late for your appointment due to visiting multiple homes or unexpected traffic.
REMOVE PETS. Give buyers the most comfortable and stress free experience possible. Although you may see your pet as a member of the family, buyers may be allergic, afraid, distracted or completely deterred by the presence of an animal.
Take your pets on a drive or to a neighbor’s house while your home is being shown. If that’s not possible, crate or confine them to a single room and inform the buyer’s agent of their location.
REMOVE CARS. Buyers and agents today often drive separately to showings. Make sure there is room for at least two cars to park comfortably. Removing your cars will enhance curb appeal, improve first impressions and help buyers see the size and condition of your garage more easily.
PROVIDE A LISTING BINDER. Provide buyers with copies of important documents to review, such as your property disclosure, average utility bills, a survey, before and after pictures of renovations, and relevant community/POA information.
LEAVE NOTES. You can communicate with potential buyers by leaving notes in the house to:
BUYER SHOWING ETIQUETTE
You’ve worked hard to put your best foot forward for the showing. And, you can expect potential buyers to be respectful while they are guests in your home.
If buyers are interested in your property they may schedule a second showing. This is generally a good sign that they are seriously considering an offer.
The purpose of the second showing is to give buyers an opportunity to spend a longer period of time in the house and look more closely at it’s layout, features, and condition. It is common for buyers to bring a measuring tape, additional family members or even a contractor to a second showing.
After each showing, your agent will request feedback from the buyer’s agent. Your agent will work hard to answer any follow up questions the buyers have and get a feel for how likely the buyers are to make an offer.
It is common for buyer agents to leave a business card in your home, but don’t call the buyers or the buyer’s agent yourself. Give this card to your agent and let them follow up for you.
Be patient. Buyers may need time to process their day, especially if they visited multiple homes. Therefore, your agent may not receive feedback the same day as the showing.
You and your agent can use showing feedback and constructive criticism to improve the buyer experience at future showings. For example, based on feedback, you may wish to update your online listing with answers to commonly asked questions you’ve received, or consider a price adjustment.