When it comes time to sell a home, just about everyone wants to sell quickly AND for the highest sales price possible. At the same time, people selling their homes also need to keep living their lives – something a real estate transaction can definitely interfere with. Showings, legal paperwork, phone calls/texts, property inspections, etc. can come fast and furiously when trying to sell real estate. One often overlooked ingredient to a successful real estate transaction is how accessible the home is to other agents and their potential buyers. Join me for an insider’s perspective on how to optimize your home sale by carefully minimizing the barriers to your property being seen.
Some Factors That Influence Access to Homes for Sale
The number one thing that impacts accessibility to most homes for sale is whether or not someone is living there during the time the home is on the market. A best case scenario is you have secured a new home, have staged your prior home, and buyer’s agents can show your home anytime that’s convenient for them and their clients. In other words, the home is vacant. If you’re planning on living there during the sale, have a conversation with your agent about what you can do to make it as easy as possible for other agents to show the home. Sellers that require 48 hours notice for appointments will probably see fewer showings than sellers that ask for an hour notice.
If you have tenants, sometimes you luck out with tidy tenants willing to step out for showings on a moment’s notice, and other times you might have an uncooperative tenant that can make your home virtually impossible to show and sell. Although working with tenants to create a helpful showing environment is a bit of a art form, the preferred scenario is to show the home without tenants at all. I previewed a home several months ago that had about a half dozen college-aged tenants and it looked like a bomb had gone off in the home. If I had to guess, I would say that home likely spent extra months on the market and probably cost the seller $50,000+ just due to the tenant situation (vs a vacant and/or nicely staged home).
Lastly, as much as you might love Fido, pets, and particularly pets that need to be secured during showings can also needlessly complicate and deter showings. Whether you’re in the home or not, try to find a way to temporarily relocate your pet(s) possibly with a nearby family friend.
Creating Maximum Access
In many real estate markets around the United States, agents (with their clients’ permission) can setup a lockbox on the property to provide access to the keys. Here in San Diego, this lockbox not only gives agents the ability to get keys and show properties, it also reports back to the listing agent when the property was shown and by which agent. If your home will be vacant during the time on market, having the listing agent install a lockbox for showings can be ideal. In these situations, you and/or your agent should keep a close eye on the property to make sure it is properly secured between showings. Even if the property is completely empty, you don’t want burglars targeting it.
Setting minimal or no showing requirements can also help with boosting access to the home for showings. Sometimes agents will specify that buyer’s agents still schedule an appointment, even when the home is vacant and on lockbox. Keep in mind, even flexible, short-notice showing requirements can create hurdles for other agents wanting to show the property, sometimes on a very last-minute basis. Real estate can move quickly, and as a seller you don’t want to be the obstacle in the way.
While access is something that’s generally preferred, there are times when you DO want to restrict access, and sometimes doing so is unavoidable. For more details on how to maximize the chances of a successful real estate sale, while still protecting your home and sanity, please visit this more detailed article on optimizing your home sale via the blue link below.