Active Rain November 19, 2010


Buyer's can't buy what they can't enter.OK, perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic, but this is a plea to all you anxious home sellers out there: Stop declining showings. I have been on both sides of this today, and in both cases the cost of the declined showing outweighed any benefit the seller might have perceived in passing on the appointment.  

On the buying side: I drove all the way out to Stamford, CT to work with buyers I have been with since the spring. Two deals have died, although one of them was on the seller’s side. We had three homes to show, and gained entry to only one. The evening ended with us in a darkened front yard, in a light rain, in the cold, wondering why I got a text message cancelling the appointment. My buyers were frustrated, and wondered aloud if the sellers wanted to sell. I have eager, pre-approved buyers standing in the rain outside a darkened house in this shit economy with sellers not allowing us access. 

On the selling side: Several of my seller clients are understandably anxious. We often speak of open houses, pricing, nearby sales activity, competing listings, strategy, and all the other nuances of adding honey to our marketing to attract the buzz of a buyer. And no fewer than two of my sellers declined showings today. There wasn’t enough notice. The place is a mess. It’s a bad time. My dog ate it. I didn’t inhale. I don’t dispute that selling your home is WAY DIFFERENT than living there, and showings are inconvenient, uncomfortable and troublesome at times, but honestly, unless there is a steaming pile of dragon dung in your living room you really need to assume the sale the way a good salesperson does and open that door. 

I have said before that outside of a wedding or a funeral in your living room, you need to allow showings to proceed. I have sold houses when we walked past guests from out of town, college students crashed all over the floor on semester break, and barking, foaming at the mouth dogs. I still sold them. Because if it feels like home, they buy. And if people are putting on warm coats and galoshes in November a week before Thanksgiving to look at your home, they are probably serious. 

Let them in. Buyers are too rare to squander over convenience or discomfort about the housekeeping. 

PS We can talk about no-show buyers next week.