You’re working with a Realtor and your home will be listed on the market soon – that means you will likely be contacted (on day one, hopefully) to schedule showing appointments! How will you handle these appointments?
Try to be as flexible as possible when scheduling showings.
It is understood that 24 hours notice may be required in some cases, but it is ideal to only require a few hours notice, if possible. It is helpful to keep your home in show condition – take a few minutes to clean, declutter and put away toys, dishes, etc. before going to bed each evening and leaving for work each morning.
Be courteous and leave room for the Buyers and their Realtor to park in the driveway.
They may choose not to, but at least provide the opportunity so that they don’t get the impression that there are parking issues with the home or community.
Leave the house, preferably before the Buyers and their Realtor arrive for their appointment.
This allows more freedom for the Buyers to view the home as they please and helps them to feel more comfortable expressing their likes and dislikes of the home to their Realtor without fear of offending the current homeowner. It also may prevent the Buyers from feeling like they need to rush through the appointment and give them a better opportunity to take in all of its features. Showing appointments typically do not exceed 30 minutes.
**Note: Realtors understand that this is difficult for many Sellers to deal with since it means that strangers will be walking through their home alone. However, it is a basic rule for Realtors to accompany their Buyers to showings and all Realtors are held to a Code of Ethics that should be strictly followed. If a Realtor provides a lockbox code or allows a Buyer to visit a property on their own, they are putting their license and career on the line, which most Realtors are not willing to do.
Take your pet with you or crate it, if possible.
It is impossible to know how your pet, even the friendliest of them all, will react to a stranger entering your home or if the Buyer or their Realtor may be afraid of animals. You do not want to deal with the possibility of your pet attacking a potential Buyer or Realtor or escaping the house, especially while you are away. You have the option of locking them in a bathroom, laundry room or another small area, but that would prevent a Buyer from viewing your entire home, which could jeopardize a possible sale.
If you have them, place important documents in an obvious place for the Buyers and Realtor to review.
This might include a copy of a survey, a home warranty policy that will transfer to the new owner upon purchase, past utility bills, etc.
This isn’t so much an etiquette tip, but more for courtesy. Consider leaving refreshments (that won’t make a mess) for the Buyers and their Realtor, like cold water bottles and cookies or mints. If you choose to do this, label them clearly so that the Buyers know they are free for the taking.
Before the showing, lock up or relocate any valuables that you may be worried about. After the showing, walk through the house and confirm that windows are still locked and that nothing is missing.