When selling your home, are you SURE it makes sense for us to be present for EVERY showing?
Why expect to have your listing agent at all showings?
There are certain agencies and even sellers who insist that the listing agent should be at every showing. The typical reasons behind this opinion are based around the agent directing the showing bring things to the attention of the prospective buyers that they might miss on their own. Some also point out this the listing agent will know the history of the property the best and be able to answer any questions asked. The last major reason is for security reasons as the listing agent can ensure no items are taken from the home during the appointment.
With today’s standard for realtors, theft is extremely rare as agents are licensed and insured. While there are those who have no regard for ethical standards, most agents value their reputation and career over a small payday for a stolen TV. For the other points, it’s true prospective buyers or their agent may miss little nuances and subtle details of a home, but those little things rarely influence their buying decision. In all reality, the radiant heating in the master bathroom flooring is nice, but it’s not going to convince the prospective buyer to place an offer.
So why do agents often insist they be present? Because they can’t find other ways to demonstrate their value to their sellers. They may not know how to market the property and want it to seem like they are doing something to sell the house.
Why NOT have the listing agent present at all showings?
If you take a closer look at the impact of expecting your listing agent to be at every showing, you will quickly realize it can hurt the sale of your home. First of all, adding one more person to the scheduling turns the entire process into a nightmare. Since most homes sold are not vacant, when a prospective buyer wants to see it they will not only have to coordinate their schedule with you and their agent, but now they have to coordinate with your agents as well. Adding a fourth party’s schedule into the mix makes the entire process slower and nearly impossible.
So what’s the result? Often it ends up being a disappointment for the prospective buyer as they can not see the property at a time convenient for them and may skip it altogether. Out of town buyers feel the greatest frustration. Typically a prospective buyer from out of town needs to see as many properties as possible in one day so they can make a decision on which one to purchase. As the seller, do you want the of declining a qualified prospective buyer’s showing request because you agent is not able to be present?
Another major negative to having the listing agent at the showing is the affect on the prospective buyer’s behavior. Typically, when the listing agent is present, the buyers will spend less time in the home and feel less comfortable speaking freely with their agent or other family members with them. Why does this happen? Buyers often perceive the listing agent’s presence as “spying” or “snooping for the seller especially if they open closets or speak critically about the property. Lastly, listing agents tend to try to give a tour of the home, but most buyers prefer to wander in the home at their own speed without distractions or guidance.
Should the listing agent be there for your house?
There are properties, in our opinion, that will benefit from having the listing agent present. If the house is total “green” or has cutting-edge technology built into it, a buyer may need the guidance of the listing agent to explain. However, if the listing agent is doing their job properly, the marketing materials created for the listing will properly highlight and explain the unique technology for prospective buyers. So, while there are some houses that we would agree should have the listing agent present, most homes for sale do not need the listing agent’s presence. When you are listing your home for sale, try to put yourself in the mind of a prospective buyer and think objectively about the house. Consider the pros and cons you see and discuss the situation with your agent. Once you and your listing agent are aligned, then make a decision with your agent about what serves the sale of your home best.