Silver bullets are hard to come by in any industry. And real estate is no exception. There’s no one tactic that will always lead to a sale.
Sellers can be, let’s say, unreceptive, to this fact, however. They may have been told by a friend, co-worker, relative or neighbor that, “If your agent would just do X, you’ll have your home sold in an instant…worked for me.”
And, maybe it did work for them. But their house is not the same as your house. Their neighborhood is not the same as your neighborhood. Their pricing strategy & motivation is not the same as your pricing strategy/motivation. The market then, is not the market now. And so on and so on…
That’s not to say that some of these tactics aren’t worthwhile. But, on their own, they’re unlikely to make or break a sale. And if your agent suggests not using one of these tactics, and they have sound reasoning/data to back it up, it might be worthwhile to take their expertise into account.
So, let’s take a look at some of the things home sellers often ask for, and the pros and cons of each.
Before the internet, open houses made all the sense in the world. Buyers could see the house first-hand, and decide if it was a good fit for them. With the internet (photos, virtual tours, video), home buyers can often make that decision without ever leaving their homes. There’s no great reason to spend a day driving around town looking for open house signs when you can accomplish the same thing with the click of a mouse.
Safety is also an issue. And not just for agents sitting alone in a vacant house. Keep in mind, as diligent as your agent may be, an open house is still an opportunity for complete strangers to come walking through your house. It’s rare, but not unheard of, to find that prescription drugs, checkbooks and other valuables have gone missing during an open house. Not to mention the opportunity for criminals to walk through the home and determine the best point of entry for a break in.
Does an open house still sound like a good idea?
Show with Agent
This request is more common with higher priced homes. Perhaps it’s meant to convey a sense of luxury or exclusivity…a sense that buyers couldn’t possibly appreciate all the fantastic features of the home without a guided tour by a confidant selected by the seller.
In reality, all it does is make showings more difficult to schedule, as you need to account for the potential buyers’ schedule, the buyers’ agent’s schedule and and the seller’s agent’s schedule. Furthermore, buyers won’t feel as if they can speak freely during the tour, assuming that every word they say may be communicated back to the seller. In short, potential buyers tend to feel uncomfortable and pressured, which doesn’t make for a great first impression.
Not Leaving for Showings
Similar to requiring that the home be shown with an agent, having the seller remain in the home during showings is generally not a good idea (the exceptions being requirements due to working from home, elderly residents, etc.). While sellers feel they can best communicate the features and value of the home, answer any questions and refute any objections, the reality is, buyers will feel pressured and uncomfortable…two things you never want a potential buyer to feel.
Again, none of this is to say that these tactics never, ever work. But, in many cases, they can be more of a hinderance than a help.