Sometimes one little thing can be the difference between achieving a home sale and missing out on a qualified buyer. These seven etiquette rules can help you make sure your home leaves a positive lasting impression on buyers.
Leave for Showings
The very first unwritten rule of home seller etiquette is to leave during showings! Simply put, buyers just don’t feel as comfortable touring a home when the current owner or occupant is around. In fact, meeting a seller may make it difficult to picture themselves in the home which makes them less likely to fall in love and make an offer. Be sure to leave the home for showings and allow plenty of time for the buyer and their agent to tour and chat at their leisure.
Move your Car
This one may not seem like a big deal, but having your car out of the way can help your home make a great first impression. If buyers feel like parking may be an issue, that’s just one more hurdle to overcome in getting them to fall in love. Whenever possible park your car in a place where it’s easy for you to get out if the buyer shows up before you have left for the showing.
Take Your Pets with You
Whenever possible, take your pets with you when you leave for a showing. Even the friendliest of pets can get stressed during a showing and could possibly cause a ruckus or lash out at the buyer touring your home – some home buyers may even be allergic. Plus, “barking dog” might not be the best soundtrack for a showing of your home. If you are unable to take your pets with you during showings, make sure to let your Listing Agent know whether or not it’s okay for them to go outside, and plan to secure them possibly in a kennel or the garage so they are not following buyers around during showings.
Provide Important Documents and Put Away Sensitive Documents
Have an active home warranty for the home? Or have the receipt from the installation of a new furnace? Buyers love to see this kind of documentation. Feel free to leave copies out on the kitchen counter where they are easy for buyer to peruse. Don’t put out originals though, as someone might accidentally walk away with them! You may also want to provide copies of documents like this to your agent so they can share them with prospective buyers and their agents outside of showings. Likewise, if you have any sensitive personal documents such as financial records, health records, etc, be sure to put those away so they are not out for everyone to see.
Be Patient About Showing Feedback
It can be exciting to hear how a showing went, but it’s important to try to be patient. Frequently buyers are out looking at multiple properties when they come see yours, and their agent may not have time to provide feedback until later that evening, or even the next day. Your agent should always be the one procuring feedback for you – never call the buyer’s agent yourself! Calling the buyer’s agent may make you seem desperate, and your conversation with them, however brief, may give them a bargaining chip that they can use as leverage during negotiations if their buyer decides to make an offer. Trust that your agent is following up with the agents who show your home, and remember – though most agents do provide feedback, it is a courtesy and not a requirement. Some agents just won’t respond even after multiple attempts – so don’t dwell, just think positive and look to the next showing.
Don’t be Greedy
Every seller of course has a bottom line. For some it’s the amount owed on their current mortgage, for others it’s an amount that will procure enough to make a down payment on their next home. While everyone certainly wants to net the most they can in the sale of their home, sellers should avoid getting greedy. Remember that some is better than none; if you receive an offer and your negotiations are down to a few thousand dollars, just try to think about the big picture: Is it worth losing the sale and moving on over one or two thousand dollars?
Listen to the Professionals
Hire a real estate agent you trust, and be sure to listen to their advice. Remember that they do this professionally every day and have the expertise and experience to get your home sold. When your agent and others provide feedback or tips on things you can possibly improve to sell your home, remember to take them to heart but don’t take it personally. Though there are many emotions involved in selling a home, it can help to remember that at the end of the day it’s a business transaction and the professionals providing advice are only trying to help you reach your goal of selling your property.
Want to know more? Call us at 360-930-8150 to chat or to request a free Home Seller Guide.