One key component of selling your house is making it easy to show. It goes without saying that to sell your house buyers will need to see your house. It’s our job to make it as easy as possible to be shown with a little interruption to your day to day life as possible. With that being said you will have to leave your house from time to time to allow for showings. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready to sell your house.
Most real estate agents will you some type of lockbox to allow agents to access your home for showings. In Northern Virginia most agents you a Sentrilock lockbox. Only licensed Realtors® can only access Sentrilock lockboxes by using either their local board card or app. This allows us to keep track of each time the box is used. We’ll know who was at the property and when.
Some agents use combination lock boxes also known as contractor lockboxes. These boxes have a combination (think high school locker) and don’t record use. I prefer Sentrilock because of the added security of only being accessed by licensed agents. With a combo lockbox, anyone can pass the code on to someone else or gain access without authorization. I don’t expect agents to share the code with their clients if they do we have no way of knowing.
- Sufficient Notice
I typically recommend a 2 hour suggested lead time before appointments and require 1 hour lead time for all occupied properties. This allows time to contact all occupants to ensure they can be out of the house for the requested time frame. I use an app called Showing Time which sends you a text message each time we receive a showing request. You can confirm or deny all showing request right from your cell phone. If you cannot accommodate a showing request, we’ll recommend another more convenient time.
Making your home available between the house of 10-7 or even 8 if possible is ideal. Plan to be out of the house or able to leave with an hours notice during these times. While your house is on the market, you may want to plan to be out most of the day on weekends. In a hot market, you may have a 3 or 4-hour block of back to back showings.
- Don’t Limit Access
Even when selling your house, you still want to live your life and go about each day as usual. We want you to keep as much of a sense of normalcy as possible. However, you’ve got to make your house easy to show. Limiting access can lead to fewer showings and longer days on the market.
Many times buyers will contact their agent hours before touring properties to add homes to their tour list or request a same day showing. If you require 24 hours notice to show your property, you may miss out on quite a few showings. We recommend a 2 hour lead time which should give you enough time vacate the house if you’re at home.
Parking is limited in many Northern Virginia subdivisions.Finding parking mainly on the weekends can be tough and sometimes even a turnoff to buyers. If you have multiple cars, consider leaving the driveway clear for showings. Share your parking spot number with us if you have assigned parking so we can pass that information on to the buyer’s agent.
If there’s nowhere to park or it’s difficult to get into, some buyers may choose to skip the tour.
- Leave the house
When it’s time to show your home its time to get out of sight. As much as you’d like to give the buyers a personal tour where you can point out everything you love about the property now is not the time. The buyers want the chance to see the house and express their honest opinion about it.
During the listing consultation, you shared what makes the home unique to you, and we’ve relayed that information in our marketing. You can also write a personal letter to sellers about what has brought you the most pleasure owning the home.
- Listing Agent Presence Required
Sometimes sellers want the listing agent present at all showings. That isn’t always practical because now we’re trying to get three parties’ schedules to align for showings, the buyers, their agent, and the listing agent. Most successful agents have multiple listings on the market at any given time. Requiring the listing agent’s presence at every confirmed showing will reduce the number of buyers that can view the property. Successfully marketing your house isn’t just about getting buyers in the door it’s also about educating them about the property. Any information shared with us about updates and condition of the house will be shared with the buyer’s agent either through online marketing or materials left for buyers at your home.
7. Make Pet Arrangements
Just as you plan to vacate the home for showings do your best to make arrangements for your pets as well. Removing pets during showings is critical. Whether it’s merely buyer preference or allergies, the presence of animals is a turnoff for many.
If they positively must be present, please crate them. Instead of putting your pets in a room we recommend crating them so buyers can still tour all rooms of the house. If you put them in a spare bedroom with a baby/pet gate, buyers won’t be able to go into that room.
Bottom line: Make your house easily accessible to potential buyers. Buyers want to be able to see your home at the time that works best for them. It’s your job to make the house available with as few impediments as possible.
Give Abraham a call at 703-539-2053 or email info@AskAWalker.com to discuss how we can devise a plan to get your home sold.
Pros and Cons of Using A Lockbox When Selling Your Home by Sharon Paxton
Seven Tips for Successful Home Showings by Debbie Paxton
Rules of Engagement When Selling Your Home by Xavier De Buck
How Can I Sell My Home Fast by Lynn Pineda