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How to Show Your Home

How to Show Your Home

So you’ve got your home listed for sale. Now, it is time to show off your beautiful home and all that prep work you did. Let’s tell you what you can expect and give you some tips for showing a house.

What is a house showing?
A house showing is when prospective buyers tour your home. Pictures and video tours only do so much. Most serious buyers are going to want to tour your home. Buyers will be accompanied by their real estate agent.

House Showing vs. Open House
A house showing is different from an open house in that it is an appointment set by one particular prospective buyer. The buyer reaches out to their agent and requests a private showing. An open house is when your real estate agent hosts an opportunity for anyone to walk through the home without making an appointment. So, which is better?
Both are great. An open house lets lots of people come to the home at once. It also is a lesser commitment for buyers; it gives buyers a way to just put their toe in the pool. But, due to this, people coming to an open house may not be as serious or may be early in their home purchase process. On the other hand, private showings are much stronger. These buyers have usually been vetted by their agent and are more ready to take action.

Home Showing Process
A prospective buyer will request a private showing with his or her agent. The buyer’s agent will reach out to the seller’s agent to get an approval. Once the approval is received, the appointment is set.

The buyer will meet his or her agent at the property. The buyer will tour the home with the real estate agent. Buyers will look through the home and oftentimes have questions. Buyers will look at things and touch some things, but they should not be too intrusive. Yes, a prospective buyer will open closets to see their size. But a buyer should not be opening every kitchen drawer or the washer and dryer or going through personal property such as dressers.

Once the showing is complete, the buyer’s agent should provide feedback. This feedback is the most valuable information to a home seller. This feedback will give the seller an idea of what to improve to get the home sold.

Things To Do When Showing Your Home for Sale

Things To Put Away
Anything of meaningful financial value or sentimental value, lock it up or get it out of the house. Real estate agents are trained to watch for bad behavior. Also, accidents do happen. Additionally, we understand some people keep firearms or other weapons in their home. Have these locked up or removed from the home.

Cleanliness Goes A Long Way
Put the home’s best foot forward. Pretend the President or the Queen of England is coming over. Clean, clean, clean. Everything. Clean, well-maintained homes sell! From pulling in the driveway to the bathrooms, have everything in order and in its place. Make the beds, no dishes in the sink, no laundry on the floor. The kids’ toys, get them put away.

Lights On & Keep It Comfortable
We encourage home sellers to open the curtains and turn on the lights. You want your home to be bright. Let the light in and turn those lights on. Also, make it comfortable. In the winter keep the heat at a comfortable level. In the summer, make it nice and cool for the guests.

Get them out. If you can’t, put them out or locked up so they do not interact with the prospective buyers. Also, make sure your real estate agent has informed the showing agent there are pets in the home. Put away their toys, treats, and bowls. Also, if you have a litter box, clean it out. Or, even consider removing it from the home during the showing.

Let Them Take Their Time
Showings usually last about 15 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the home. If you drive by and they are still there, just leave. Countless times my buyers have overstayed their showing appointment time. But, you want to know why? Because they loved the house. Many times I have started writing an offer at the kitchen table of the home we are standing in. If the buyers are taking a little long, let them go. Give them a little break because they could be falling in love with your home.

Do you have to leave when you are showing your home? No, it is your home. However, I have shown homes with the owners present. It’s terrible. The buyers are in and out. They quickly forget about the house and just disregard it. They feel like they did not get a fair shot. Also, this is equally true about sitting in your car at the end of the driveway. Don’t do it. This hurries the buyer and puts you in their mind. Don’t do that. You want a buyer to be thinking about buying your house and not why you are at the end of the driveway.

Things Not To Do When Showing Your Home for Sale

Don’t bake cookies. Don’t over do it with candles, air fresheners or anything like that. Do you want to know what a home should smell like? Nothing. It should smell like nothing at all.

Leaving Out Food & Drinks
Don’t leave food or drinks out for your guests. It is a distraction. You want the prospective buyers focused on one thing. Buying your home. Keep them focused.

Stay To Talk The Buyers Into The House
I covered leaving in the Things To Do section, but it is worth repeating. Leave the home. As a real estate agent I can tell you you can’t talk people into buying a particular house. Homeowners rarely improve their situation by trying to talk-up their home. Leave it to the real estate agents to do what we do.

How can I get showings for my house?
You can get showings for your home by putting your home in front of the largest audience possible. Post your home everywhere including in your local MLS.

How long should a house showing take?
Home sellers should expect a house showing to take 15 to 45 minutes. If your home is large or has lots of features it can take longer.

Do I have to leave my house for a showing?
No, you do not have to leave your house for a showing. However, sellers are strongly encouraged to leave. Leaving the home allows the prospective buyer to concentrate on your home and not you.

Do homeowners stay for open houses?
No, generally homeowners leave when there is an open house. Homeowners are encouraged to leave and let their agent work. Your real estate agent is a trained professional you have hired to do a job. 

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