When going on a listing appointment, one of the things I discuss with my Sellers are showing instructions. Showing instructions are entered into the listing database, so that agents understand what they need to do to gain access to a house. Instructions can include anything from the need to make an appointment with the listing agent, to simply showing up.
Most Sellers think that Buyers plan ahead to see homes, so they always think they are going to have time to prepare for a showing. More often then not, that is simply not true. Buyers do plan ahead to buy a home. They talk to me about where they want to live and what they are looking for in a home. Buyers often make an appointment with me in advance to view homes, but often don’t know what they want to see until the last minute. Everyone always wants to see what new inventory might come up, so some homes are scheduled ahead of time, but others are often chosen at the last minute, which may alter the overall itinerary and change appointment times.
Convenience is Key
Understand, Buyers’ schedules are often not as flexible as you might think. I often have clients that will have a babysitter watch the children, so they can view some homes with me for a few hours. Other times, buyers are only in town for a day or two and need to see as many homes as possible in a small window of time.
Sellers can’t sell what Buyers can’t see, so flexibility is key to getting a house sold. The easier it is to show, the more Buyers will have the opportunity to see the home. When I am on a listing appointment, we talk about how to we are going to manage the dogs, and how the morning routine might change. Beds need to be made, sinks need to be cleaned and laundry needs to be put away. This way, if a call comes in as the day progresses, no one panics. With Buyers you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
The happy medium that seems to work best with my clients is Call First, then Go as a showing instruction. It gives my clients a head up that someone is coming, but offers the flexibility agents often need to show it.
That is so true; so many times when I am out showing homes to a buyer something will come up and they will want a last minute show of a home (perhaps it didn’t show in our criteria, but driving by the home while we are looking at others, it peaks their interest). Sellers who are prepared for these last-minute showings are opening themselves up to more buyers in the long run.
Agreed! There are many times when I can’t get in last minute with a buyer that we don’t go back. Anecdotally, I just had a client remind me that I strong-armed my way into showing the East Austin condo she ended up buying. She said she wouldn’t have returned to the building if we hadn’t made it in that day.
I’ve had several occasions when my buyer was only in town for the day and some of the sellers would not let us see their home that day. I can’t sell a house that the buyer has not seen.