Getting ready to sell your Silicon Valley home?  One of the questions you’ll need to answer is how and when buyers will be allowed to see your house, townhouse or condominium.  Depending on many factors, your home could be very easy or very difficult to see. And that, in turn, will change your odds of selling the home and also the odds of selling it for the best price the market will bear. Once you’ve gone to the trouble of preparing it to sell, you want to make sure that your schedule for showings doesn’t undermine your return on investment.

What are your choices when you set up the “showings schedule“?    There are a bunch of variables to consider: days & hours, of course, but also whether it will be by “appointment only“, whether there will be a lock box or keysafe, and who will be present at the showings.  It’s usually best if you, the seller, is not present.  Home buyers will not feel free to linger if they sense that they are putting you out or that they don’t have the freedom to discuss changes to the house which they’d want or need to make.



To sell your home for top dollar, most often you will need to have a good amount of qualified traffic come through your home. You want to make it fairly easy for the buyer who’s ready, willing and able to purchase your house or condo to see it so that they want to buy it.

Home buyers in Silicon Valley tend to work long hours and they may be interested in seeing properties for sale in the evenings, after work.  This is true year round, despite the darkness in winter, because in those months some locals head to the ski slopes on weekends.  If your home is not available to be seen when they’re free to see it, they likely will purchase something else.  Very few will take time off of work to go house-hunting. And generally speaking, if your home is hard to see, it will take much longer to sell it.

What about open houses? How important is it to have my home “open”?

Open houses can facilitate getting qualified traffic through the home, but the most serious buyers will already be working with an agent and their Realtor can show them the home outside of open houses.  Open houses can be helpful, of course, but it is absolutely not necessary to have an open house every Saturday and Sunday for the duration of the listing.

Special considerations when selling a home: luxury homes, tenants, expensive possessions, elderly or infirm members of the household

It’s trickier to make homes for sale available to buyers to see when there are special circumstances such as expensive art or possessions, tenants, a celebrity owner, or sick or elderly (or non mobile) members of the household. Other things, too, can create issues. (I once had a home seller with a stalker problem, for instance.) Obviously, screening will be more important and access more restricted in all of these cases. These situations will need to be reviewed case-by-case with your Realtor to determine the best approach to maximize good traffic while respecting these special circumstances. It is important to get everyone on the same page, though, in terms of expectations and sacrifices being made during the marketing of the home.





  • Mary Pope-Handy

    Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of sites.

    View all posts