If you’re trying to sell your home, you’ve probably scrutinized it, staged it, and scrubbed it down from floorboards to rooftop as if the folks from Architectural Digest were stopping by for a cover shoot. OK, so it’s in immaculate shape—but your home isn’t the only thing under scrutiny here. You are, too! That’s right: No matter how nice your home is, your behavior can also affect how buyers feel about making an offer.
Today we are focusing on the selling side of the (previously) unwritten etiquette rules sellers should follow to show their home—and themselves—in the best possible light.
Sure, you’re dying to know if prospective buyers will love what you’ve done with the kitchen, but Realtors® agree sellers should not be there lurking in the shadows during an open house or showing.
Buyers don’t feel as comfortable when the owner is at the home watching their every move. Get out of their way so that they can start to picture themselves living there instead of being spied on.
Take your pets with you
You think Humbert is the cutest labradoodle ever, but not everyone is bound to share that opinion. In addition to having allergies, some home shoppers may not be in the market for a run-in with an animal they don’t know.
Imagine, as a buyer, having the background music set to ‘barking dog’ while you are trying to take in the home’s nuances that you, as the seller, have worked so hard to hone. To say nothing of the stress it puts on your beloved pet. Take your pet for a car ride, to the dog park, or for a long walk. It will do you both good.
Buyers are shocked by how many open houses they feel they must run from due to unexpected tweeting and chirping from caged and uncaged feathered friends. Don’t alienate would-be purchasers by forcing your pets on them.
Move your car
Make it easy for visitors to park and view the home. No one likes parking issues. Having them is a sure way to get a viewing off to a bad start. In fact, if potential buyers have to park a block away and walk, they may just skip taking the tour of your home. Or if they’re willing to make the hike, they may be in a lousy mood by the time they enter your home. Why risk it?
Lay out important documents
Leaving necessary documents in an easy-to-find spot isn’t just good for selling, it’s also good selling etiquette. Put out the home warranty, monthly bill information—gas, electric, water or any major repairs such as a new HVAC system, roof, appliances are all good things to let people look through when they are considering buying your home.
Offer some refreshments
House hunters can get parched and peckish. You can help!
Putting out a few small bottled waters in a small bowl of ice is always appreciated, along with some light, easy grab-and-go sort of refreshments like mints or cookies.
Be patient waiting for feedback
Of course, you’re dying to know what buyers thought of your home, but that information may not flow back to you instantaneously. Buyers often want to process what they’ve seen and think it over before making an offer. If one comes through, don’t worry, you’ll hear about it!
It is reasonable to ask for feedback from your Realtor after the showing, but understand it may take a day or two for the buyer’s agent to respond.
Don’t be greedy
Who doesn’t want top dollar for their home? But an unwillingness to negotiate can kill a possible deal and keep your home on the market long after you were hoping to be unpacking at your new place.
Focusing on your bottom line is always important, but over-pricing can lead to disaster. Remember a little of something is better than a lot of nothing.
Listen to the professionals
If your Realtor has some suggestions for improvements that may help sell the home faster, take them to heart but don’t take them personally.
Keep emotions out and listen to what a licensed, trained, professional has to say about the house, be it a Realtor or an inspector. It’s not criticism, but helpful advice to help you be able to move on.
With a few extra "I's" dotted and "T's" crossed your chances of a faster sale for more money is within your grasp!