The 7 Most Common Showing Mistakes Sellers Make
Showings are what make or break a real estate transaction. Check out the seven most common showing mistakes that sellers make:
- Demanding shoe-free showings
- Failing the flexibility test
- Forgetting to declutter
- Leaving up personalized decor
- Sticking around
- Taking minimalism too seriously
- Using too much scent
Scroll down for a closer look at each.
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Showing Mistake #1: Demanding Shoe-Free Showings
Sometimes sellers require prospective buyers to take their shoes off at the door, but buyers aren’t really big fans of that tactic – even if they normally take their shoes off in their own homes. If you’re really concerned about mud or wet shoes, you can leave a basket of disposable booties near the door. Otherwise, accept the fact that people will wear their shoes inside your home while they tour; put out a good welcome mat and cross your fingers.
Related: Is underpricing a good strategy for getting higher offers?
Showing Mistake #2: Failing the Flexibility Test
Your real estate agent will most likely talk to you about being as flexible as possible with showings. That means your home needs to be available most of the time. Naturally, you’re allowed to set whatever hours you’d like for showings – but remember, the more limited your hours are, the fewer buyers will be able to take tours.
Showing Mistake #3: Forgetting to Declutter
Buyers want to see that there’s plenty of space in a home for all of their belongings, but if they come to tour your home and see any amount of clutter, they’ll wonder whether the space is right for them. A good rule of thumb is to remove anything you haven’t used in six months or more. Additionally, you should also remove furnishings that make your rooms look smaller. You don’t have to get rid of these things; it may be a good idea to rent a storage unit until your home sells.
Related: How to get higher offers on your home
Showing Mistake #4: Leaving Up Personalized Decor
Take down personalized decor so buyers have a clean slate to imagine themselves living in your space. It’s tough for buyers to use their imaginations if you have kitschy sayings plastered all over the walls between family photos. Besides, for safety reasons, you should take down photos of your family (especially if they have names or birthdates on them).
Showing Mistake #5: Sticking Around
Never, ever stay in your home during a showing. You should leave before the prospective buyers arrive and come back after they’ve left. If you remain in your home during a showing, buyers will feel uncomfortable saying what they really think or asking their own real estate agent questions. It’s awkward for everyone involved, even if you think you should just stick around to answer questions. (If buyers have questions about the home, they’ll have their agent ask your agent.)
Related: How to stage kids’ bedrooms
Showing Mistake #6: Taking Minimalism Too Seriously
You don’t want your home to look like nobody lives there, so don’t take the minimalism too seriously by removing all of your belongings. Around 50 percent of recent buyers say that having a home staged is important in their purchasing decision, and it can help people gauge how their furniture will fit if they purchase your home.
Showing Mistake #7: Using Too Much Scent
Your home should be clean and relatively scent-free for showings. Sure, it’s normal for a bathroom to smell freshly cleaned – but it’s not normal for heavy air fresheners to dominate your home. Candles, sprays and other scents can signal to buyers that you’re trying to cover something up. More subtle scents, such as freshly brewed coffee or baked cookies (or even flowers) are much better.
Related: Should you use plants when you stage your home for sale?
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