by Nicholas Humphries on August 30, 2018

Even if you have sold relatively recently, one of the questions every seller has for us is, “how are showing handled?” Technology has certainly helped with this and today we will go through the ins and outs of potential buyers coming in (and out!) of your home while it is for sale. Here is an overview of how house showings work and what you can expect while your home is for sale.

When can people see the house?

When preparing to list your home for sale, we will discuss a plan for showings which maximizes as best as possible the effectiveness of the showings while minimizing the disruption to your life.

Showings typically happen between 9am-9pm daily. While on the surface that appears wildly disruptive it doesn’t have to be! Ways to combat showings being booked willy-nilly are:

    • Set blocks of time for showings or no showings. Be as open as you can muster, but no one will scoff if you simply cannot accommodate showings after 8:30pm or between 2-4pm on Thursdays.
    • Ask for notice to be given. It’s very common for sellers to ask for at least 2 hours notice before a showing.

Who shows your home?

Potential buyers are always accompanied by their real estate agent; showings are booked through their agent and are coordinated by our office. Buyers without an agent can contact us directly to arrange a showing of your home. Rest assured that buyers won’t be coming on their own.

How will I be notified of a showing?

We are lucky to have the support of an outstanding reception team that handles the booking of showings in an efficient, professional manner. When an agent would like to book a showing, they will call our office reception or use an online booking tool. When the request comes in reception will verify that the time requested is within the timing parameters set for the property and that the person booking the showing is a registered agent.

Some sellers want to confirm showings with our reception while others want our office to simply inform them of when showings will be taking place. Whatever your preference, you will receive notification in the manner you prefer so you can keep track of when showings will be taking place.

Should I be home during showings?

Ideally, you will not be home during showings. Potential buyers often express that they are uncomfortable when the seller is home, even if you are keeping to yourself in the front room. They want to imagine themselves in the house and you simply do not come with it. Same goes for pets. Some people choose to book a holiday or stay with a friend or relative during the time their home is for sale. Choosing this route means you won’t have to worry about tidying up before a showing and showings can be booked without scheduling conflicts. If you cannot step out for a showing we will collaboratively come up with a suitable solution.

How long does a showing last?

Showings are typically booked in 1-hour timeslots. The agent representing the potential buyers will be given directions from our office reception on how to access the lockbox for the keys to the house as well instructions such as leaving lights on, removing their shoes, ensuring the back door is locked and so on.

The agent and their clients will arrive at any time during their timeslot and are expected to complete their showing by the end of their allotted time. Agents are to accompany their clients throughout the showing and will typically note questions they have for us, your representative, about the house. We provide hardcopy materials for potential buyers to peruse and take with them to help guide them through the frequently asked questions as they pertain to your home. A beautiful, professionally designed feature sheet is a great way for potential buyers to remember your home after an outing of several showings.

What happens after a showing?

We follow up with all agents personally who show any of our listings for feedback. Sometimes it’s not the right house for their clients but they let us know that a light bulb had just burnt out, or the gate latch was sticking. Others will let us know what they think about the pricing and the comparable activity in the market. Even if they don’t have an interested client, by reaching out to all agents we gain valuable information pertaining to the sale of your home.

If an agent indicates their client had some interest in your home we can take the opportunity to answer any questions they might have and ease any concerns. We can also discuss with the agent what our expectations are around offers and start setting the framework for a productive negotiation.

One of our more popular posts is “6 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since You Bought Your Home”. If you haven’t sold in a number of years, this is a great primer on how the real estate market has evolved over the past decade or so.

If you have a question about the process of selling your home, reach out and let us know. We never treat the business of selling as a mysterious, closely guarded secret and are happy to share the answers to questions be they be procedural, strategical or even hypothetical.