Richards Real Estate


Q. I’m considering listing my home with a Realtor, but I have reservations with all these people unknown to me (Realtors included) going through my home. If I allow a lock box they could come in any time! Should I have my Realtor be there for every showing? J.R. Rio Vista

A. A home may not sell or sell quickly due to condition and/or price, but being available to see is critical. The intrusiveness of showings is temporary; when a buyer is secured you are done with showings.

Your Realtor can calm your worries by assuring you that there are safeguards in your listing agreement, and I’m sure your Realtor will point out a few simple things you can do to insure positive showings.

The lockbox is timed and can be set by your Realtor. You can limit the hours per day when it is functional and allows Realtors to access the key. When your home is shown, a licensed Realtor has to be present at the showing with the client. The lockbox records the time of entry and who accessed the box. Your posting on the Realtor MLS (Multiple Listing Service) can have access limitations for showing as determined by you and your Realtor. But, remember that lack of access will cost you buyers. This community draws many out of town lookers wanting to see homes without having to repeat the trip for one hard to see home.

There are some simple things you can do to avert problems by putting all drugs and prescriptions in a shoe box in your closet. Don’t leave watches or jewelry of any kind sitting around; put those things in a drawer.

Typically, when I show a home, I leave it exactly like I found it; if the pets are inside that’s where they stay; if blinds are open they stay open. I follow people through the house and if they attempt to open a drawer (except for the kitchen) I challenge and admonish the client to respect seller privacy. If the parties separate I tell them we should move through the home together so I can answer any questions (but really to make sure I control access). A Realtor should always leave their business card to announce that they were there.

If you are home when a client comes, ideally you should go walk your dog or run an errand to let the buyer have time to take in what they are seeing. Having the home owner present during a showing will make a potential buyer nervous and usually they (if they like the home) will want to see it when the owner is not there.

Typically a seller is anxious to sell since they put their home for sale to satisfy alternate plans. So, you walk the dog and on return the buyer is still there, so you go in and engage in a dialogue potentially making statements or offers you don’t want to live with later when the offer comes in. Don’t engage, let the Realtor finish the showing, and if the buyer asks you some questions you should reply only if it is to do with house system function, not your plans (the buyer could be trying to find out what urgencies you have to sell that could affect what they are willing to offer), or why you are selling, or if they make an all cash offer will you discount (all purchases are all cash to you), it’s best to defer questions to your Realtor. Better yet, go around the block again and avoid engaging in conversation that could cost you money.

I understand that having strangers in your home during your absence can conjure visions of horror, but keep in mind all the safeguards listed here and that all Realtors are responsible to their Brokerage and the State to stay within boundaries of good ethics and the rules laid down by the Department of Real Estate. In short, no Realtor is going to risk losing their license for petty theft or damage to your home.

Go forth and sell!

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 10:15 am by Sam Richards

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