You have decided to list your home for sale and one of the decisions you will have to make is what are the showing instructions going to be? There will be certain scenarios when the showing instructions must be scheduled including if the home is occupied.
Ideally, when the home is listed and hits the MLS, the largest number of showings are generally within the first three weeks of the listing. If a home is overpriced, there are signs that it is overpriced. You may not receive very many showings (for example less than two per week), and that will be an indicator that you need to adjust your price to be in alignment with the market to sell the home.
An important strategy that agents use to get a higher sales price is to expose the home to as many buyers as possible during the initial listing period. Agents will look in the MLS at the availability to view the home! If it is easy to see, then the buyer’s agent will be adding that one to their list to show their clients!
MAKE SURE that you are making your home as accessible as possible!! The more showings the better, that means the home is priced RIGHT. And the more buyers that see your home, you are increasing the likelihood that you will receive an offer on your home!
Don’t Make it Difficult for an Agent to View your Home!
Keep in mind you are trying to sell your home, so if you have restricted showing instructions, require accompanied showings and do not use a lockbox, you will be losing potential buyers!! The fastest way to sell your home is to allow access. Yes, it can be challenging as you do not want people traipsing through your home, but if you want to sell it, then it is best to be prepared!
It can be tricky to create a showing schedule and every agent will have their own system. A buyer’s agent will have to allow for travel time, traffic, getting through a gated community, not finding the lockbox in a convenient location and more. All of these things take time and it is very easy to disrupt a showing schedule.
In general, agents strive to be timely and professional with their showing schedule by notifying the agents of their schedule and if they are running late to be respectful of all parties.
Utilizing a Lockbox
It is ideal to utilize an electronic lockbox such as a Supra to create availability for your home. There are pros and cons of using a lockbox, however, in general, it is ideal to utilize one so another agent can access the home to show it to their potential buyers. The benefits of using a lockbox include accessibility and ease of showings. It may not be possible for an agent to attend each and every showing on a property. Although, it may beneficial to have an agent attend the showings because they can explain the details of the property.
A benefit of utilizing a Supra lockbox is that it records whoever is opening it and will email the listing agent, so they know who has accessed the property. This is safer overall for a homeowner and provides valuable information to the listing agent. Combo lock style lockboxes are not as safe as the combination can get out. The combination should never be published in the MLS. Additionally, the listing agent will follow up with the agent who showed the property.
There are many MLS who are now using services to schedule a showing online. The benefits of this include that an agent can easily schedule a showing when they are setting up a buyer tour. This is the easiest way to schedule an appointment!
If your home is occupied, the listing agent may want to approve the showings. Scheduling online works if most of the agents in the MLS utilize the system to schedule showings.
Call or Text to Set Appointment
Most agents are not calling anymore to set up appointments. I know personally, I prefer text as it is then in writing that I have confirmation to view the home. A buyer agent will text the listing agent to set an appointment to view the home. Then the listing agent must contact the seller to determine if that will fit into their schedule to allow the showing. Then the listing agent confirms the appointment with the buyer’s agent. Often times, when an appointment is required, the listing agent must also be present and it will then be an accompanied showing.
Call or Text with Lockbox
The buyer’s agent will contact the listing agent to confirm that they will be showing the home on a particular date and time. Once again, the listing agent confirms that a buyer’s agent may show at the requested time.
This is generally used when a home is vacant. There are instructions in the MLS where the location of the lockbox is, and the instructions state to “go direct”. As a courtesy, I generally text the agent anyways to let them know I am showing the house. This notifies the agent that someone will be in the home. As a courtesy, with ALL showings, the buyer’s agent should always leave a business card.
Appointment With Tenant
Selling a home with a tenant in place can be a complex process. When there are tenants in place, the scheduling of appointments must go through the tenants, and ideally, you have the tenants’ cooperation. Remember it is their home too and their daily life will be impacted by daily showings, texts, cleaning, and preparing for showings. If a home is listed as coming soon on a website, the tenant may see it and wonder why they were not notified. Cooperation with the tenant is paramount if you want to sell your home for top dollar!
Appointment With Owner
This can be challenging especially if the owner decides to stick around and tell them everything about the house and neighborhood which may or may not be beneficial. Instruct the owner to open the house and then leave. Appointments with the owner are scheduled just like every other appointment. Ideally, you will have the home to yourself without additional dialogue.
Often times there are showing instructions which do have restricted schedules. There are obvious times which may include holidays or after 7:00 pm, however, that doesn’t mean that buyer’s agents won’t ask.
Restricted showing may include limiting the showings to one or two days a week for a couple of hours. This can be detrimental in the home selling process if no one can see the home. However, it happens, especially when there are tenants in place, and they can control who is coming into their home.
Inconveniences of Not Using a Lockbox
When an agent is scheduling a buyer tour, they cannot always control the time between the time of the scheduled showing between homes. Sometimes a buyer or their agent might be running late and this can disrupt the entire showing process.
There are agents who don’t want to bother with making an appointment as they want to show the property that is the most convenient to show.
A buyer might identify a home that is listed for sale and has a lockbox when out looking for homes, and they may want to view it. If there is no lockbox, the possibility of impromptu showings will probably not happen.
Buyers prefer to view homes without the seller or their agent so they can walk around and discuss what they like, and perhaps what they do not like. Buyers want to able to express opinions with their agent when they are viewing a property.
There are some buyer’s agents who believe that listing agents will not install a lockbox to make the showings more difficult and increase the probability that they can double end the deal. That is definitely NOT in the seller’s best interest. When a seller hires a listing agent, they are hiring them to “sell” the property.
You want to make it easy on the agents when they are scheduling a time to view your home! When selling your home, you want to make it as accessible as possible. Although there are inconveniences a seller may experience with the selling process, it will be worth tolerating those inconveniences as it will produce a sale! It is important to buyer’s agents to adhere to the home showing instructions, however, the instructions should be “easy” so the agent can show your home to the potential buyer and get the home sold!
Find Other Valuable Resources for “What are Showing Instructions for Your Home?” from Real Estate Professionals Across the Country. Please check out the articles below, and please share across Social Media if you enjoyed the articles.
Michelle Gibson has written an excellent article about the showing instructions in your home and the most common showing instructions!
Should the listing agent be at showings was written by Bill Gassett. Showings which are accompanied by the listing agent can prevent a buyer from feeling comfortable or discussing the property with their own agent.
Find Step by step selling guide to selling your home quickly which includes information about showing instructions written by Lynn Pineda.
Having a home which is presentable in all areas is recommended when selling. Paul Sian provides tips for showing your home including ensuring it is clean, making sure there are no offensive odors, and be sure to clean up after pets. The home should be “show ready”.
About the Author
The above real estate article “What are Showing Instructions for Your Home?” was written by Sharon Paxson at Newport Beach Real Estate. We have experience since 2005 representing buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords with their real estate transactions.
We work in Coastal Orange County CA areas including Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, and more! If you are considering selling your home or buying a home, it will be a pleasure to work with you and list your home with a top Newport Beach CA Realtor.