Provide Easy Access For Showings

Opening up beyond the open house

When you're selling your home, foot traffic is everything -- each person that walks through the door is a potential offer. These tips will help you show your home on short notice:

Declutter before you put it on the market. The houses that look the best are the ones that get serious attention from buyers, but keeping your home in tip-top shape can be a challenge, particularly for sellers with small children and pets. Decluttering before you sell means you'll have less to clean up before each showing.

Some sellers find it helpful to keep everyday essentials like toothbrushes and children's favorite toys in plastic tubs. These can be hidden in a closet, under a sink or under a bed and brought out when the public is not around. Before showings, the tubs can be quickly filled and stashed away.

Don't forget about the little things. When a buyer is looking at your house, make sure every aspect of the showing is as easy on the buyer as possible. Where will the buyer and agent park? Where will your pet stay during the showing? If a buyer is looking at several similar homes, the little details can make the difference.

Think about home showings from an agent's perspective. If your home is by appointment only or doesn't have a lockbox, a real estate agent will likely pick a similar house that's more accessible to show their clients.

Extend your showing hours. Most people can't look at homes until after they get off work, so make your home available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Install a lockbox on the outside of the your home so agents can access the key to your home when you're out.

Don't be too restrictive with showings. It's difficult to sell a house that can't be shown. Most people can't look at homes until after they get off work, so make your home available until at least 8 p.m. If a buyer wants to come on short notice, at a time that's inconvenient, ask if it's possible to reschedule. But keep in mind that some of the best buyers are relocating from elsewhere and may not have much flexibility in their schedule.

Strike a balance. Accommodate buyers, but don't sacrifice your sanity. If you prefer that agents not show up unannounced, you can say so in the listing instructions in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If agents show up anyway, you can ask your agent to remove the lock box and leave it with you to put it out when an agent makes an appointment.


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