When selling a home the mantra a seller should be concerned with is 'Exposure, exposure, exposure'. Exposure is an extremely important factor in selling your home. The more exposure and excitement your home creates, the more likely it is to sell for the highest price. If buyers know there are other buyers interested in the home it creates a spirit of competition. If a buyer truly wants a home, and emotion becomes a component in the decision, they will be willing to pay more than his or her competitors. However, it's incredibly important that buyers have a good understanding and knowledge of what they are getting for their money. Open houses, while wonderful for generating initial exposure and interest, are difficult places for buyers to really view a home. The best way to remedy this is through a private showing.
Private showings are an incredibly useful tool when selling your home. They allow potential buyers to get comfortable in the home without strangers milling about as well during an open house. Moving throughout the home at their own pace, buyers are free to explore and imagine what life would be like living there themselves. The key to a successful private showing is comfort. Buyers buy when they are comfortable. Buyers want to envision their futures when visiting a home. Accompanied showings prevent this projection from happening. Buyers often rush through a tour when the listing agent is present. The longer the buyer is able to spend in the home, the more time they will have to fall in love with it.
An accompanied showing is when the listing agent meets the buyers and their agent at the home for the private showing. The norm for most homes that come on the market, in most towns, is for unaccompanied showings, where the listing agent is not present.
As a seller, you, like the buyer, are comfortable with your own agent. You trust them in (and with the selling of) your home. The idea of buyers you don't know wandering around your home might be a bit unnerving. However, it is important to keep in mind that the buyers are accompanied. Buyer's agents are required to attend private showings with their clients - the only way buyers can access a home is via the buyer's agent obtaining a key and showing the home to their buyers. They will tour the home with their buyers, answering questions and pointing things out to the buyers throughout the time in your home.
As previously mentioned, one of the key criteria required for a buyer to want to purchase is comfort. Buyers already have a relationship with their own buyer's agent. They are comfortable expressing and discussing both their aspirations for a home and their concerns with it. By adding a third party to the mix, buyers tend to clam up and not speak as freely and feel uncomfortable asking their buyer's agent questions about the home while they are in it. The buyers and buyer's agent may feel awkward pointing out potentiallynegative aspects of the home, and then discussing it, in front of the listing agent.
Not only do buyers not want to offend the listing agent by asking questions, but it often means that the buyers are unaware of certain aspects of the home until they get to the inspection and hear about concerns with the property for the first time. This is not advantageous to the seller to have the buyers surprised by something during an inspection. It is much better for the buyer's agent to have pointed it out, or the buyers question their agent during the showing, than to have it "appear" during the inspection. When a listing agent is present, these discussions just do not occur.
Buyers also enjoy wandering through the home in their own manner. Buyers don't want to feel obligated to view rooms in a particular order, or spend a specific amount of time in each. Often times listing agents will be busy pointing out the features of the home while the buyers are more interested in how the home "feels." While it may be wonderful that the home has crown molding and a new roof, most buyers aren't interested in those aspects during their first showing - they just want to know if the home fits all of their basic criteria first and how it 'feels'. Most buyers know within five minutes of walking into a home whether this home could potentially work for them or not. The details that the listing agent can add can be great information if a buyer is already interested in a home, but will not be the deciding factor in whether they will buy it or not - but the listing agent being in the home is more likely to dissuade a buyer from falling in love with the home. In today's age of informed and educated buyers, a listing agent will not be able to sell a home on details alone if the home doesn't feel right to the buyer to begin with.
When buyers do a private showing, your house is probably not the only one they are out seeing on that day of touring homes. Usually buyer's agents plan housing tours with many homes that the buyers are potentially interested in. This means they are on a tight schedule with seeing other homes before they come to your home, or seeing others after your home. Or, the buyers have a short time frame in which to see your home. So, often the buyer's agent/buyers have little flexibility with the times they are able to see your home. If your listing agent's schedule is such that they cannot make the time requested, then your home does not get shown to that buyer. This means that you're missing out on a potential buyer. Foot traffic, also known as exposure, is extremely important in the selling of your home. Its all about ratios - let's say that only one out of ten people will fall in love with your home. If you only have ten people view the home, only one person will be interested where as if you have fifty people seeing your home you already have five times as many interested parties.
Sellers would be very surprised, and a little disappointed, if they knew how many showing requests are declined by their listing agents (when the listing agent accompanies showings) just because the listing agent can't make the time requested by the buyers. Time and time again this occurs, and when the key to selling your home for the highest price possible is exposure, then every time your listing agent cannot make that appointment because of their schedule and declines the showing, it costs the seller money.
If you would like an estimate of what your home would sell for in today's market I would be more than happy to come by, have a look at your home, and then provide a CMA (comparative market analysis) which will provide you with an estimate of what your home should sell for, along with a marketing plan to get maximum exposure for your home.
If you'd like to chat more about the topic presented here, or the Real Estate market in general, then please call me on (617) 997 9145, or email me at Dani.Fleming@MAPropertiesOnline.com.