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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.
A few days ago we told you the secret etiquette rules that every home buyer needs to know in order to nail the deal. Today we’re focusing on the selling side of the equation. Here are 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,” agents explain. “Get out of their way so that they can start to picture themselves living there instead of being spied on.” So take a powder. Or at least hide.
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,” shared one broker. “To say nothing of the stress it puts on your beloved pet. Take your mutt for a car ride, to the dog park, or for a long walk. It will do you both good.”
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?
If questions arise while buyers are on the premises, it may help them decide to put in an offer that much faster if they can find answers quickly and in writing.
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 inspection report, appraisal, home warranty, monthly bill information—gas, oil, electric—and proof of any major repairs 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 Broker after the showing, but understand it may take a day or two for the buyer’s agent to respond. The Cascade Team's automated home feedback system goes a long way towards making it easy for showing agents to provide feedback, but even then. Agent showing homes have multiple clients, families, kids, and simply life. So sometimes it takes a few days.... We promise to let you know the moment there is an offer!
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 greed can lead to disaster. Remember a little of something is better than a lot of nothing. Generosity will lead you to your promise land. You can run a valuation of your home here and get a three (3) step approach to pricing which is a huge help in narrowing down a price.
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.
“Don’t shoot the messenger,” say Brokers. “Keep emotions out and listen to what a licensed, trained, professional has to say about the house, be it a Real Estate Broker or an inspector. It’s immature and unmannerly not to be able to take criticism and be able to move on.”