Showings can be scary.
And a little… overly personal.
Some things are better left unseen, you know?
Want to sell your house? Start hiding stuff. Well, unless you want to frighten away potential buyers. Then by all means, leave out the diapers and sour milk.
Things Buyers (And Agents) Don’t Want To See:
An old-style gun rack is a scary sign to a buyer. If it’s full of guns, you look armed and dangerous. If it’s empty, they’re wondering where you hid your artillery. Either way, the thought of negotiating with you may well scare off buyers.
The handcuffs hanging from your bedroom closet door are way too much information. Be who you are in the bedroom and enjoy it, but announcing your fetishes to the buyers walking through your house may not help your sale.
It’s wonderful if you are blessed enough to have a pair of shoes for every day of the year. But every pair doesn’t need to be in the entrance, does it? Tripping on shoes and being unable to see the floor kind of puts a damper on a showing. (We won’t even talk about the smell.)
From the moment we enter, the buyer is annoyed and distracted.
… that’s not what you were going for, was it?
What You Eat
I’m constantly baffled by how common it is for sellers to host a showing while the dishes and food have not been cleared from the table.
Look, buyers don’t care what you had for breakfast. They do, however, connect the dots between a person who does not take care of food and a person who then probably does not take good care of a property.
Tip: It is generally a good practice to put the milk back in the fridge before you all leave for the day.
Little Tommy is getting potty trained, is he? We can tell. We’re glad it is going well and celebrate your success. … but please don’t leave the evidence of his failures lying about, stenching up the place.
Soiled underthings tend to impact the ambiance and detract from the buyer experience, you know?
Basically, try to avoid anything personal, messy, stinky, or inappropriate being visible during a showing.
When it’s for sale, it’s not your home anymore. It’s a product. And your product needs to be presented attractively in order to sell.
People in a hurry can cause a lot of damage.
Especially when their motives are questionable.
Too many agents rush clients into a decision, or pressure or manipulate just to get the thing done.
It’s bullying and it’s abusive, and it’s completely absolutely unnecessary.
People looking for houses are in different head spaces. Some are not even ready – they’re looking at every neighborhood and price range, trying to figure out what they even want.
Others are desperate and overwhelmed because their life circumstance changed – maybe they suddenly became wheelchair bound or changed careers or their house burned down – and they need a new place quickly.
Some are excitedly searching for their first family home, others are struggling with the painful process of downsizing and are selling their last home for the last time.
What’s deeply meaningful to me is joining them in the journey. I’m a counselor at heart, and care very much about what people are going through.
It’s vital to give them the space and time to go through it at their pace, whatever stage they’re at.
It’s not a popular approach. It’s slow, takes lots of time and patience, and requires sincerely caring about others. Agents interested in a quick close don’t have time for that.
It’s never been about the money to me though. (Good thing – otherwise I’d have long quit by now!) It’s always been about connecting with people.
So it’s deeply satisfying then when they’re not only happy with what they buy, and benefit from owning the property, but they come back. They enjoyed knowing me and working with me, and we connected. Years later, they remember and I get another chance to connect.
That’s when I glimpse their life story as it unfolds. And it’s beautiful.
I get to see the single woman who’s become married.
I get to watch the young couple have babies.
I get to help a senior couple downsize and move to their final home.
I get to glimpse precious moments behind closed doors, and it’s awesome.
It’s deeply encouraging too.
In the beginning, I wondered where my next client would come from. It’s not like hairdressing where I’d see clients every couple of months. They’re regulars. People don’t buy houses every year. They return and can become regulars, but it takes a long time.
Now, three, four, and five years later, people are calling me back. I feel so honored by that, and not because they give me work. (Though I do appreciate that!)
The thrill for me is making those relationships, which are far more important than any address.
She was single when she bought her first home.
I was so excited to be able to help her with that. Things have sure had changed since I’d been on my own, wanting to buy a house. Back then, it was nearly impossible. It’s thrilling to see that women have the ability to purchase a home for themselves. It’s more freedom than we had even a few decades ago. Amazing.
Then, years later, the phone rang. It was her.
Time had passed, things had changed, and she was ready to sell the house now.
I was honored that she thought of me after all that time.
Life was completely different for her than when we’d first met.
She now lived in that same house, but with her partner. She ran her hands across her swollen belly. They were expecting a child. They loved the property and had even considered staying there and building on to accommodate their growing family, but had decided to move to a larger place instead.
As I mounted the SOLD sign a few weeks later, I felt tremendously blessed.
I was honored to be remembered after five years. I was thankful for the opportunity to serve her again. And I was especially delighted to meet the man who put a ring on her finger.
To watch families grow and change through all of life’s stages is one of the beautiful joys of my work. It’s personal, heartwarming, even heart-wrenching at times, and completely meaningful and satisfying.
What’s the satisfying part of your work?