Once upon a time, before my time in real estate, a potential buyer had almost no idea what a house was going to look like before they got out of the car in the driveway. Real estate was ruled by an MLS book that closely resembled a phone book. There were no pictures, floor plans, Google Street Views or videos available. We don’t have many clients say, “keep driving,” anymore. When we pull up to a house now, the buyer is often verifying what they already know because they’ve already “seen” the house online. The richer the listing, the fewer showings that should be required to sell it.
I took this picture a couple of weeks ago while stuck in traffic. I cropped the “For Sale” sign out from the right hand side. The photograph will self select a large portion of the potential buyer pool out. No need to visit if you’re looking for a move-in ready home. But it is “pending” in RMLS now so there is a buyer for every property (at the right price).
Another component to the number of showings relates to the notice needed to view it. Sometimes the answer to, “why isn’t my home getting shown?” is, “Because buyers can’t get into to see it.” The less restrictive the showing instructions the more likely the property will be shown.
- “Vacant- RMLS lockbox” No need to call unless I’m is looking for more detailed information. We won’t discuss how a house that is colder inside than it is outside shows poorly here.
- “Call first” “Hi, this is Charles Turner with Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate.” I’d like to show your home between noon and 1PM. If that’s going to be a problem please call me…” This is the best scenario for an agent when setting up appointments for occupied homes.
- “Appointment Required” Actual contact needs to be made to show. If you’re not good at returning calls this is a terrible option to get your home sold. I’ve left messages and gotten calls back days after our showing request.
- “Agent Accompany” I need to coordinate with the listing agent to show your home because they need to be there. Scheduling conflicts may eliminate the showing. Agent accompany showings requires all four parties to the transaction coordinate.
- “Tenant Occupied” Some sellers and their tenants come to some sort of an agreement where “call first” is sufficient notice but this is the exception, not the rule. Most require 24 hours notice. This eliminates potential showings when a pre-planning is not an option.
There are some situations that can’t be avoided. A day sleeper has to sleep when the majority of us are working. We try to respect kid’s nap times. Pets and security systems can also make showings difficult. Our advice is to make the showing instructions as simple as possible while covering the needs. Adding restrictions because it is inconvenient will reduce showings. Selling a home is inconvenient but remaining on the market is even worse. We use “Call listing agent” as necessary. It works well when English isn’t the seller’s native language but is more often than not totally useless with a vacant home just so the agent can “monitor showings.” That’s what the electronic RMLS lockbox is for. It notifies the agent when the box is opened and if the agent is using a home feedback system the seller is also notified. To reiterate, most of these situations can be worked out and the house will get shown but in some instances showings don’t happen to qualified buyers because of them.