Whether you are selling your home or looking to buy, there are important protocols to follow during a showing. Acting inappropriately could lead to tougher negotiations down the road, cause a seller to turn down a buyer or cause a buyer to go running in the opposite direction. For each party involved in a showing, there are some distinct guidelines for the best way to conduct oneself.
How sellers should act
This one is a bit of a trick because in reality, sellers should act completely invisible. It is best for sellers not to be present during a showing because it can make home buyers uneasy. Having the seller breathing down their necks is not a relaxing way to view a home, and it may affect their ability to explore the home objectively. Leave the showing in the hands of your real estate agent. It will be difficult not to get to watch the buyers' reactions, but it will be helpful in getting your home sold.
Make sure all pets and children are also out of the house. Remember that buyers are trying to imagine what it would be like to live in your home. The more the home appears to be someone else's, the harder that is for them to do. In addition, pets and children can be a distraction. Their presence may anger buyers who are trying to focus on the property.
Acting invisible is not only about removing yourself and your loved ones - it is also about removing certain belongings. Patty Da Silva, owner of Florida-based Green Realty Properties, told Bankrate sellers should remove family photos, religious art and anything that denotes certain political beliefs. All of that will distract buyers and make the home feel like someone else's. Give them a blank slate on which they can picture placing their own photos and making their own memories.
Realtor.com suggested having refreshments available and making parking easy by moving your car. Buyers might be grumpy if they have to park far away. In addition, it is helpful to have any important paperwork available for buyers to view. They will appreciate having as much information as possible at their fingertips so any of their questions can be answered on the spot.
Realtor.com said there is one important rule to follow before you ever show the house: Listen to your real estate agent about what changes need to be made. This house is your pride and joy, and hearing about what might not appeal to others can be tough. Nevertheless, your real estate agent is an expert on what sells, and making certain changes he or she requests could help your property sell faster and for a better price.
If you decide to get a pre-listing inspection - which is almost always a good idea - make sure to discuss the inspection report with your real estate agent to determine what defects, if any, should be taken care of before the home is shown.
How buyers should act
When buyers explore a home, they sometimes have trouble remembering that it belongs to a real live person with feelings. Even if that person isn't there, the listing agent is present and might relay anything you say back to the seller. Offending the seller by making nasty comments about certain parts of the house or vocalizing how you would make improvements is a surefire way to have an offer turned down. Even if you know you won't be making an offer, it isn't nice to offend someone's taste.
When viewing a home, no matter whether you like it, the best idea is to keep your face and comments neutral. The seller or agent should not know if this is the house you have been dreaming of or the details of your budget because you could lose a lot of leverage when it comes time to negotiate. Ask questions and be polite, but don't give away too much.
When you are exploring a home, it's okay to look closely at each room. You are, after all, deciding whether you want to live there. Keep in mind, though, that right now someone already does. Inspecting too closely is an invasion of privacy. Don't sift through the current owner's belongings or do anything you wouldn't want someone to do in your own home.
According to Fox Business, being on time for a showing is extremely important. Being late demonstrates a great deal of disrespect for the seller and the listing agent. Chances are the seller had to jump through a lot of hoops to make sure the home was vacant for you at the time of showing, and arriving late is simply impolite.
Buying or selling a home can be a very emotional experience. No matter if you are a buyer or seller, try your best to avoid letting your emotions dictate your actions.