We can’t talk about the home if the owner is following us around. “Why are they following me“. This is what my clients tell me when I’m showing them a house and the owner is home. The consensus among home buyers is that they would prefer to see a home when it’s either vacant or no one is home.
I’m one of those real estate agents that when I show a home to a client I like to either preview the home by myself before I take my buyers or if I have not seen the home already, I let my clients walk around by themselves and I wait in some other part of the house. I preview home first to make sure that, based on what my clients have requested, that the house meets their minimum criteria. I don’t like to follow buyers around simply because I’m pretty sure they already know what a bathroom and a kitchen looks like. They don’t need me to point out the crown molding and hardwood floors, or do they? I also figured that if they have any questions, they’ll feel comfortable enough to ask me. And the end of their preview, I make sure I ask them their opinion of the house. This will help me narrow down their criteria in future previews.
Now, if the owner happens to be home during a showing, I find that buyers get a little uneasy. They’re tip-toeing around and they seem to automatically start whispering. It’s a universal trait in buyers. Buyers don’t like when the sellers are present, let alone when sellers are doing the showing or following them around. Buyers can’t pay attention to the home’s details if someone is hovering over them and talking about everything they’ve done to the house. It’s distracting and a sure way to lose a buyer.
Home buyers like to talk freely, negatively or positively, about the home. They like to discuss what they would do with the home, either with whom ever they brought with them or with their agent. If they like the house, buyers like to see certain areas more than once. The like to look in closets; they like to open doors, they like to turn on lights and they don’t feel comfortable doing that if the home owners are present.
My advice to sellers: don’t be present for showings. At least for the first showing anyway. There’s nothing you’re going to point out or say that will positively influence the buyer. Unless you’re giving the house away for free. In fact, being present for a showing could do more harm than good. Buyers will typically not stay as long in a house when the sellers are present-missing out or disregarding some of the great features your home has to offer. As an agent, I noticed that buyers seem to rush through the preview out of respect for your time. Buyers feel like they’re interrupting your schedule and they leave in a hurry. And on to the next house…”hopefully no the owners are not home“, the buyers exclaimed.