The Importance of a “Showing Ready” Home

August 25, 2011

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There is an extensive list of things to do and prepare for when one has elected to list a property for sale such as cleaning, touch up work, etc., but one factor worth noting above and beyond all others is accessibility for showings. A good REALTOR® will explain to his/her clients that once the sign goes on the lawn, the home, although often still occupied, is now a commodity that prospective buyers are going to be interested in seeing.

Due to a number of their own circumstances including but not limited to shift work, currently residing “out of town”, etc., it is not uncommon for prospective buyers to want to see a home on relatively short notice. Although it’s not always the most convenient to delay dinner, pack up the kids and head out on short notice, you don’t know who you’d be refusing if you deny the showing. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who has bought and sold 3-5 homes over their lifetime and you’ll quickly discover that most of them have a “they only gave us 20 minutes notice but they bought our house!” or “we saw the house, called the agent and bought the house that Saturday” kind of story.

I can attest first hand to the frustration that goes with refused showings when working with qualified buyer clients who request to see a home at a certain time and date (often with 24 hours notice or more) and are refused with reasons as lofty as “there’s nobody home to let the cat out”, -or- “it’s my mother in laws birthday party so we are at home preparing for the dinner this evening” (you get the idea, but both of those are real reasons that I’ve experienced, and both times my client elected to purchase one of the other 4-6 homes we saw that day!).

In light of the fact that being unprepared can cost you the sale of one of your biggest investments, here are a few pointers to help your home maintain a “showing ready” status to account for extenuating circumstances:

  •  Clean your home on a daily basis, this one is twofold: 1) you won’t have to emergency clean in the event of a showing 2) routine maintenance is much easier in the long run than an extensive clean up job. This includes vacuuming, dusting, putting dishes in the dishwasher (or washed and put away), taking out the trash, etc.
  •  If you have pets that are not friendly, or don’t like strangers, make sure they are contained well you are out of the home, or have a contingency plan with a friend/neighbour who can remove them from the home in the event of a short notice showing.
  • Provide the real estate brokerage representing you with every method of personal contact you have including home number, work number, cell number, e-mail so that you can be reached at all times. Most agents are courteous enough to give as much notice as possible but 8 hours can go by for most people while at work if they are unable to be reached, a showing with ample notice might seem “rushed” by the time you get home from work.
  • Understand that most agents will try and arrive at your home during the scheduled showing but leave some flexibility as they are often viewing other homes in addition to yours and as a result, may arrive earlier or later than expected. A good rule of thumb is to allow an extra half an hour before the scheduled showing, and an extra half an hour after the scheduled showing. (Ex – if they requested 3-4pm, count on 2:30pm-4:30pm just to be safe.
  •  Inform your agent of any times that the home cannot be shown due to individual circumstances, i.e. – “I’m a shift worker so no showings before 11am please” or “We have company here during the weekend of July 15th”

Although the process of vacating your home for showings (often at inconvenient times) is not enjoyable, just remember: the sooner the home can be shown, and the more convenient it is for prospective buyers to view the home, the faster it is likely to sell!

 

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About Brendan

Brendan Clemmens of Royal LePage First Contact Realty is a residential real estate agent in Barrie that provides value added service to all of his clients. Brendan can help you with all of your real estate needs but has a specific focus on helpin g young families and investors.

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