Categories: For Sellers
1. Buyers Need Space
When a potential buyer comes to look at your property, the last thing they want to see is you there. Now I know you love your home and think it’s helpful to point out to a buyer all its many attributes but guess what? When owners are home, buyers are more often inhibited and uncomfortable. They feel funny opening your kitchen cabinets, refrigerator and closets when you’re peering over their shoulder.
2. Buyers Need to Talk Out Loud
Part of the mental process of making the purchase decision requires the buyer to be able to imagine the property as their own. That is why you need to get rid of all your personal items like family photographs, diplomas, toothbrushes and partially used bars of soap. Imagine walking into a fancy hotel room – the room is beautiful and anonomous. There are (hopefully) no signs of the prior guest so as soon as you unpack that first bag, it becomes your room. The same process must take place at your home, as much as practically possible. When a potential buyer starts talking out loud about where to put the dining table and which wall is best for the flat screen tv they have taken that mental step. They can envision the space as their own. That’s just what you want, no?
3. Realtors Need to do Their Job
A good realtor will be knowedgable about your home, its features and even its defects. It is the job of the agent to be the ‘tour guide’ and lead the buyer into and through the property in a way that highlights its best points. Sometimes that means leaving the best – that just renovated gourmet kitchen, for example – for last. That’s what is most likely to be remembered. Other times it means telling you about a possible negative in an honest but tactful way that doesn’t immediately scare the buyer off. A homeowner who says to a buyer things like “we don’t open that window because it’s so noisy when the buses go by” or “oh, that water stain on the kitchen hardwood floor from the time the dishwasher flooded but we just cover it with a rug” is not doing himself or herself any favors. While there are certain things that must be disclosed by a seller and agent there is a way to do it at an appropriate time. Hopefully the buyer will be so in love with the property after being properly shown around that when a damaged floor is exposed the buyer will be the one to say we can just cover it with a rug.
The Moral of the Story: Seller – Go Take a Walk
So when you, the seller, know that your home is going to be shown, do yourself a favor. Go take a walk and get a coffee. Remember, while you might be the most warm and charming person in the world, there is always the outside chance that the buyer may simply not like you. Ultimately, you two never really have to meet so why take the chance? So for the half hour or so it takes to do showing – get out of the house!