I’ve been out showing homes the past couple of days and once again I observe something that astounds me. Sellers who obstruct the showing of their homes for trivial and dumb reasons.
For those not aware of how showings work in Austin, most MLS listings have the agent showing instructions “Call and Go”, which means if I want to show your home, I’ll call ahead and leave a message, or if you answer, I’ll provide a window of an hour or two of when I’m coming, normally with at least 1 hour notice.
Often sellers call back and want to rearrange the time, or they answer and say that today isn’t a good day. Sometimes it’s not a problem to move their home back or forward a couple of houses on the list. Other times it simply isn’t possible due to routing and timing reasons.
Among the interesting reasons I’ve heard from Sellers the last two days…
* “I’m feeding my daughter and spaghetti is everywhere. Can you come later or tomorrow?”
* “We just got back in town from a long trip and our stuff is everywhere and we’re tired”.
* “My wife will be taking a nap, so you can only see the downstairs”
* “Today (Saturday) just isn’t a good day”.
I’ve found the best way to work through these obstructions is to cut right to the chase and present two options “do you want me to show your home or do you want me to scratch it off the list?” Amazingly, it’s more common than not that a Seller will say “scratch it off the list”.
Out of town buyers do not make offers on homes they cannot see. Buyers also do not reschedule their flight plans to stay an extra day, or make arrangements to fly back into Austin to view homes at a time that better suits a seller’s nap requirements or housekeeping schedule. A serious seller understands the job of selling a home includes inconvenience. Your job is selling your home, and you plan your life and ability to be flexible accordingly. You will in fact be asked to show your home at times that are less than ideal for you, but perfect for your buyer. The buyer should have priority.
Motivated sellers are on board with this reality. Unmotivated sellers don’t realize that every showing may be the one that results in the offer you want, and therefore most showings are more important that the excuse you may have for obstructing it.
That said, if a Seller is sick, or has a sick child home in bed, those are reasons that deserve respect, but nevertheless, the home will still be scratched off the list won’t be shown.