If you want to sell your home, you probably know that your house and yard need to be spotless, that anything scary (like a safety hazard – let’s say, something like rats in your attic) is taken care of, and that your property feels inviting and uncluttered.
What you may not know is how very important it is for you to be GONE. Home buyers want to see your property with their agent. When you’re not there, they can talk about how they’d like to live in it, changes they want to make, or even things they really dislike about your home. They won’t feel free to do any of that if you are there – and especially if you are crowding them by insisting on showing them through.
Home buyers usually hate it when home sellers are present for showings, lead the buyers through the house and tell them all the details that they might not notice.
There are some exceptions. If it’s a 2nd or 3rd time back, maybe it would be helpful to have the sellers fill the buyers in on the area and the home. But certainly not the first time through – then, it can feel territorial. Home buyers feel like they are intruding, even if home sellers feel like they are trying to be welcoming.
So home sellers: just don’t do it. If there’s an appointment to sell your Los Gatos or San Jose area home, please be gone. The buyer’s agent can use the lockbox to get in at the time of the appointment.
This actually happened to me in 1999. My family and I were wanting to move up from Cambrian to Los Gatos. We had outgrown our 1249 SF Cambrian Gardens house and wanted to get more elbow room closer to the hills. We were especially looking at the areas around Alta Vista School and the Belwood and Belgatos area.
One day all four of us went to view a home. Not only was the home owner there, but he insisted on showing us through the house. When we went outside, we wanted to try to figure out if we could move the garage and enlarge the smallish family room. He followed us, pulled out a lawn chair, aimed it at us and sat down. My kids noted in their best “quiet voice” that it was creepy. They were right.
We left, and I let the listing agent know what had happened – not the showing feedback he’d wanted to hear! We didn’t want to go back – it was a complete turnoff. That year, thee was plenty of inventory, and we bought a nice house from nice sellers about 1 block away.
Home sellers – don’t be a creep. Be gone during showings, especially the first showing. “Giving buyers a tour” usually will hurt your odds of selling, it will hurt your sale price, and may even keep you from selling your home at all.