I have been showing houses for years, and have shown hundreds of people thousands of house. And in that time, I have learned and observed many things.
There are a number of things a seller can do to make their house show better, and just as many they can do to make it show worse.
In my opinion, the worst thing a seller can do is be home during a showing. I have seen over and over sellers getting in their own way with all the best of intentions. I get it too. Who knows more about the house than the seller. Who better can point out the little details that make this home special. It is a huge investment for the seller, and they are definitely invested in the process. It is just important to know when the best thing they can do is to step out for a walk at just the right moment.
Here’s the biggest reason why. Buyer’s are uncomfortable when the seller’s are there. They already feel a little weird about walking through someone else’s house, opening their cupboards, flushing their toilets, etc…. So when the seller is lurking, 95 times out of 100, they will try to get out of the house as fast as possible without being rude. And the other 5 times, they feel overly trapped by politeness listening to the seller regale stories of how the grandkids used to play in the creek, etc… But even when they make the connection with the seller, the house gets blurred in the background. And that isn’t what a seller truly wants. Unless they have listed the house as a ploy to make new friends. lol
I understand that some houses are complicated. Unique features that might be missed by a prospective buyer. Or complicated rural property with questions about property boundaries, well production, etc… Instances like those, I have seen how having the seller’s around is beneficial. ON THE 2ND SHOWING. Buyer’s need to be able to feel themselves in a place, and that is a personal space equation most of the time. And if they don’t have a chance to do that during their 1st impression, they won’t be back for a 2nd one.
A good buyer’s agent knows how to give the buyer’s the appropriate amount of space, while pointing out things that might be less than obvious. (And of course keeping track of the seller’s personal property). I personally know a buyer is serious about a house when they sit down on the couch and view the home from there. This will NEVER happen when the seller is home.
Worse yet, I’ve actually heard stories of sellers being at open houses, or showings, pretending to be other buyers of the home. They walk through talking the place up…what a great value it is…and how they are going to try to go put an offer in on it right away. Thank goodness I don’t think this has ever happened to me. And I know my sellers would never do this.
I believe this is part of the reason I have been so successful over the years. I try to never rush anyone. These are huge decisions, and everybody has their own pace at going through them. I’ve seen people make the decision in 5 minutes, and others that take months.
So please…if you are selling your home..give the buyer and their broker the courtesy of being able to take their time, and progress at their pace. Even if you are the kind of person who wishes the seller was their to hear their stories, and answer their questions, most buyers aren’t. Go with the odds.