Blue Jeans and Showings by Amy Curtis

Picture this: You’re shopping for blue jeans.  You peruse the racks and find six pairs that you think might work and you proceed to the dressing room to try them on. When you open the door, seated on one of those little benches you find in most dressing rooms, is a sales clerk. “Don’t mind me,” she says. “I’ll just be over here in case you have any questions.”

Can you imagine!!?

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be comfortable trying on the jeans with the clerk right there.  I don’t know that I could even seriously consider any of the jeans under such circumstances.  I mean, come on, I just want to try them on, see if they fit, see how they feel.  If I kinda like them but they’re the wrong size or I wonder if they come in a different color I can find the sales clerk; but to have her right there…NO WAY!

It’s a ridiculous scenario.

It’s a ridiculous scenario and it’s not the perfect analogy, but it is what comes to mind when sellers say they want to be home for showings.

“I know the house better than anyone” “I’ll stay out of the way,” they say.

Of course a seller knows their house better than anyone. But what a seller often doesn’t realize, house knowledge is irrelevant until someone likes and wants the house. There is no question that needs to be answered on the spot.  There is no feature that needs to be pointed out immediately. There are no questions, and features don’t matter, until the buyer is interested.  If there is interest, it may make sense and be helpful on a later showing for the seller to be home, but until then…be gone.

The truth is both figuratively and literally, it’s counterproductive to a successful showing for the seller to be home. That’s what the decluttering and depersonalizing is all about. Taking down the family photos, putting all the Bon Appetite magazines away, painting over a favorite aqua wall…it’s not just about removing the stuff, it’s about removing the seller. Having done all the right things to get a home ready, it’s just foolishness for a seller to blow it by being there.

The goal is to have prospective buyers imagine that the house is their new home. A great showing is one in which the buyer looks through rooms and plans where they would put their furniture, it’s a showing in which the buyer lingers in the house, sits in the family room, admires the view from the window,  talks for just a bit. Just like trying on jeans the prospective buyer needs the space and privacy to try the house on to see if it fits, the space and the privacy to see if they like it and want it. And that just isn’t going to happen with the seller there, it just isn’t.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the bottom line…

“I’m so glad the seller will be home for the showing, I might have a question.” Said, no homebuyer EVER.

Image courtesy of Graeme Weatherson


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