Important things you can do at showings to help get your house sold
If you plan to sell your home without an agent, it is important to think about how you will show your home to potential buyers. As I am sure you know, it is highly unlikely that potential buyers would make an offer without stepping foot on the premises. With that said, we have laid out some tips and best practices on how to show your home without an agent.
What is a real estate showing?
As touched upon previously, a real estate showing is the opportunity for potential buyers and agents to view your property. It is not only important for potential buyers to attend the showings but also for agents as agents often have multiple clients who are looking for a new home. Additionally, offering showings is a good indicator of how well received your property is in the market. For example, if you are getting a lot of showings that means your property is likely in high demand.
What are the different ways to show your home without an agent?
An open house is a public event where you as a seller provide a day or multiple days where any buyers or agents can view the property. This is a fantastic opportunity to increase your exposure and generate buzz around your listing.
Lock Box House Showing
A lock box house showing is when you attach a lock box with a key to your property and provide the access code to agents. Lock boxes are often attached to the front door handle and can be Bluetooth access or have a physical code. The use of lock boxes for home showings has become one of the most popular methods but we encourage you to vet any agents before providing the access code, especially when using a static code. If you are going to use this option, we recommend using this lock box which can provide individual use codes and what we use at Everhome.
Private house showing
A private house showing typically occurs when a buyer does not have an agent and contacts you directly. In this scenario, you as the seller will typically greet the buyer and show them the home yourself. We advise against this method as it is hard to vet buyers and can often feel overwhelming for both the buyer and seller.
Tips for Open House Showings
Print Marketing Material
Marketing material is extremely important when conducting an open house without an agent. This is because the potential buyers and agents often attend multiple open houses and can easily forget which house was yours. Below is a list of important information to include in your marketing material:
- Best Contact Information
- Total Square Footage
- Interior Square Footage
- Bedroom Count
- Bathroom Count
- Pictures of main features
- List Price
- Optional: School District
- Optional: Local Amenities
Get Contact Information
Getting contact information is vital to a successful open house. When you decided to conduct an open house without an agent you, therefore, designated yourself for follow-up duty. However, if you do not have any contact information you will not be able to follow up. Many sellers and agents include a sign-in sheet at the entrance of the open house. Questions to have on a sign-up sheet are:
- Agent (Y/N)
Side Note: It is always good to know if you will be dealing with an agent or buyer directly. If you are dealing with an agent, you must be prepared to offer a buyer agent commission. It is important to note here that just because you are paying the buyer’s agent it does not mean they are representing you or protecting your interests. Additionally, when you are dealing with an agent the negotiations will be more difficult. Having expert seller representation is always important but when negotiating with an agent it is highly recommended. At Everhome we offer a flat fee seller representation of $4,950 for most homes.
Asking questions and listening to feedback is often the most forgotten practice. Those who show up to your open house are your potential customers and could even be the buyer. What they say and think about your property is important. Find out what they love most and what they are hesitant about. During the next open house, you can make changes. More importantly, if you end up in a negotiation you know what details you can leverage. However, it is also important to note that many buyers will exaggerate how they feel so try to find common opinions and focus on those.
Tips for Lock Box Showings
Leave when your house is being shown
Homeowners often have strong connections to their home and can feel like an overbearing salesperson when showing their house. As homeowners move through the home they talk about small details and paint a picture of how they see it. However, buyers have a different view of the house and when being sold a different idea can turn them off. If you must stay, then we recommend greeting them warmly and then giving them space. Provided answers only when asked and be sure to avoid discussions about price. If the price is brought up encourage them to submit an offer for review. Again, try to leave if possible. We have learned that not only is it better, but buyers prefer to look at homes when they can move around freely.
Make your house as available as possible
As we mentioned at the top, it is extremely rare for a buyer who has not seen a property to put in an offer. If you do not make the property available for showing during their schedule, then they will likely move on. Very often buyers try to schedule their showings in groups of three or four homes. So, if you miss the day, they may or may not reschedule with you. While it may be inconvenient to show your home at dinnertime or on weekends, buyers who cannot see a property when they are eager may cross it off their list.
Send a request for feedback
Just like with open houses, understanding buyer and agent sentiment are too often forgotten. Since you will not be at the house to ask for feedback directly, make a point of getting the contact information for the agent before providing the lock box access code. In this instance, you can send them an email or create a free survey like survey monkey after the showing asking for insights into the price, and impression, as well as questions and concerns about the showing and the listing.