Spending a lot of time with buyers can teach an agent a few things that are useful when listing property...
So, here are the top 5 great ways for a seller to tell a buyer to move on and not consider their house. In no particular order:
- Require 24 hours advance notice for showings.
Many times... the majority of the time, actually, buyers decide on the properties the night before looking at them. Sometimes they have plenty of time to look, but there are always last minute additions to the list. In some cases, they want to look at a house they run across WHILE searching. In that case, the buyer's agent may not have a listing sheet for the property to even see that you have a required time to make an appointment.
- Don't have a lockbox... or just have a combination box and an absent agent.
I have run into this one in the last few days... REO agent that works from 9 - 4 Monday through Friday. We needed access to a house on Saturday. The office number is the only number she has listed, and she says in her message "calls recieved after 3:30pm on Friday will be returned on Monday." On the same day, we had a house on the list with the lockbox inside the home... the seller sets it out for showings. Even though I got in touch with them, they couldn't put the box out until the next day... We moved on.
- Hang out at the house during the showing.
It makes the buyers uncomfortable. Instead of talking about the house, its strengths and weaknesses, they leave. On many occassions, I have had buyers talk through 'challenges' they thought the home had upon first look. After not seeing enough closet space, they have found solutions because they liked another feature of the house... but if they don't hang out in the house for more than a few minutes, they won't reach that point.
- Load your home with personal touches and memorobilia.
Buyers want to feel at home in your home. They don't want to feel like visitors... Having 200 pictures of your family in every possible view of the house does not lend itself to making the buyers feel a 'mental move-in'. Having dead animals (deer trophies, fish trophies, etc.) might help some buyers... not so much with other buyers. Stagers always suggest 'de-personalizing' homes. It is good a solid advice.
- Don't straighten up... keep the smells... and don't touch up paint and minor blemishes.
Buyers feel no joy walking into a house with laundry on the floor, smelling like dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, curry, peppers... you're getting the idea. It is a bonus if there are nicks on the walls, dirty spots, stains on the carpet and decks covered in algae. Remember, they want to feel like they can move in. And even though most of us have some laundry 'in process', imperfect walls and floors and other things that we need to get to, it isn't inviting and homey. And while many of us love spicy foods, we don't want to be inundated with those smells entering a home.
There are plenty of other ways to get a buyer to turn around at the door and scratch your home from their list, but these are common and generally easy to fix. And right now, what it comes down to is that there are a LOT of homes on the market. It doesn't take much for a buyer to say "Next" and move on.