What is a home showing?
During a home showing, buyers can tour each room of the home, and they may even peek into closets or check that light switches and other appliances work. It can feel invasive, but it’s important to remember that each person who enters your home is considering a major investment. By allowing them access to each room and space, you may help them get closer to bidding on your home.
Who is present during a home showing?
The buyer and their agent will typically attend a pre-scheduled home showing. In some cases, the seller’s agent (also called the listing agent) may be there to let them in.
More commonly, your listing agent may provide access to buyers and their agents using a secure lockbox. This allows your listing agent to accommodate more showings than if they needed to be physically present for each one.
How long do showings last?
If a buyer is looking for a certain feature that your home doesn’t have — like a split-level floor plan or a master suite with a walk-in closet — they may simply walk in and out in a matter of minutes.
However, today’s buyers are tech-savvy and the vast majority are looking at homes online before viewing them in person — and ruling out homes before they ever enter them. As a result, many buyers who attend a showing at your house will be quite familiar with the property’s layout and features from the listing photos. They may be there to explore specific areas they liked, or to verify the house is as great as it looked online.
If a buyer is seriously interested in your home, they may spend up to an hour in your home as they:
- Tour each room, nook and cranny
- Explore the attic or basement
- Measure rooms to see if their furniture would fit
- Discuss options for renovations or small upgrades
- Begin to determine how each room would be used
It’s also common for early-stage buyers to schedule several back-to-back showings, knowing they will schedule a second showing for the homes they like best. So as a seller, don’t be too discouraged if a potential buyer is in and out in 20 minutes. They may just be getting a feel for the market — and they may be back if they find your home stands out among other contenders.
How do I prepare for a home showing?
You’ll already have prepared your home’s interior and exterior before listing so it’s mostly a matter of tidying up the house so it looks as good as your listing photos.
Consider writing out a quick checklist for each room, including:
- Bedrooms: Make the beds, empty the hampers, clear surfaces, leave nothing on the floor
- Bathrooms: Tidy countertops, empty the trash, hang fresh hand towels, clean the toilet
- Living room: Remove clutter, rearrange pillows and throw blankets
- Kitchen: Tidy countertops, empty the trash, no dishes in sink or dishwasher
- Entryway: Have a designated place for visitors to place their boots and jackets, if you’re selling in the fall or winter
- Exterior: Clear driveway and sidewalks from snow and ice, turn on exterior lights
- Daytime lighting: For daytime showings, open up your curtains to let in natural light
- Nighttime lighting: If they’ll arrive after dark, turn on interior and exterior lights
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