Seller Advice January 9, 2019


New Year- new blog post. It’s been awhile! I’ve had every intention of writing on one particular topic for several months now and I’m finally getting around to it. It would seem I could benefit from reading some blogs about procrastinating . But enough about me- what I wanted to talk with you (particularly home sellers and would be home sellers) about is making your home accessible.

When I first meet with new sellers, our initial meeting most often includes a walk-through and a discussion about how to get ready to sell. Inevitably, most of our discussion revolves around decluttering. And that’s a topic for another blog post. But suffice it to say, decluttering is HUGE. That being said, I don’t typically go over at length the importance of being flexible and allowing access to your home whenever humanly possible. And I really should. Because what good is all the decluttering if no one is getting in to see it?

I’m not going to lie, allowing strangers open access to your home can be unsettling. Some folks resign themselves to the process, but others have a more difficult time. I can appreciate that it’s not always easy. People have jobs, kids, pets… LIVES. And all of these things and more can make it challenging to accommodate showings at a moment’s notice. I get it. But I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to try if you are truly serious about selling your home.

In 2019, people are looking for immediate gratification. Information is literally at our fingertips. If someone is looking to schedule a showing, chances are they have done a decent amount of homework first. Most things, including (hopefully) a full online album of professional photos, are available with just a few clicks. When showing requests are declined, buyers tend to question the seriousness of the seller. And believe it or not, some really will move on without even making a second attempt at scheduling. Keep in mind, by the time a showing time is requested, the buyer has already gone through the process of finding a time that works for their schedule and their agent’s. Buyers have jobs, kids, pets and lives, too ; )

Naturally there are times when there are extenuating circumstances. Things happen. But here are a few suggestions on how to handle requests and ideally be more accommodating:

  1. Make a conscious effort to always keep the house as show-ready as possible. Make beds, pick up clothes from the floor, keep kitchen and bathroom counters and sinks clear. Every day.
  2. Keep some empty bins handy for tossing every day clutter/toys into when you have to crash-prep for a showing.
  3. Make arrangements for your pets. It’s common to request 24 hour notice for showings due to pets, and that’s completely acceptable. But have a plan. If someone calls today for tomorrow, consider crating or boarding your pet or arranging a dog walker, etc.
  4. Have a contingency plan for your kids. Sometimes this might mean disrupting nap time (shudder). But believe me, one shortened nap is worth making time for the person who will potentially be paying you six figures for your home.
  5. Explain to your employer that you are selling your home and when possible, you may need some flexibility to be able to run back and forth. I recognize that this won’t be possible for everyone, but have the talk anyway. Maybe your boss or someone they know will want to buy your house. You never know!

Above all, remember that once your house goes on the market it is no longer solely your HOME but also MERCHANDISE that you are trying to sell. As the person who is trying to attract interest in their “product”, it is really up to the seller to accommodate the buyer and not the other way around. Think of yourself as a department store manager and would-be buyers as your customers. The more attractive and accessible you make your product, the better off you will be in the long run.