Getting Ready to Sell: A Guide to Showings

By: Dana Gain

Getting Ready to Sell: A Guide to Showings

Tags: home showing, home showing, house showing, guide to showings, how to prepare for showing, preparing for showings


If this is your first time selling your home or if it has been some time since you went through the process, you may be wondering what to expect from the experience.
Let’s take a look at some of what you might expect as you prepare for your showings.

How Much Notice You Will Have?
Sellers often wonder how much time they will have to prepare before showings.
In fact, there are two answers to this depending on whether you are preparing to list your home or getting ready to show it to potential buyers.

When speaking with your REALTOR® about listing price and timing, you will also discuss when you want to list the home for sale. That is, what specific date will you go live on the market?

It is an important question, because once your home goes live on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), it also goes live on, the consumer website most buyers use to search for homes. Showing requests will begin very quickly after the new listing becomes available.  
You will want to choose a listing date that allows you sufficient time to prepare the house. Decluttering and depersonalizing is key so that potential buyers can more easily imagine themselves living in the space. Usually homeowners allow between a few days and a week for this preparation.

In this same discussion with your REALTOR® before your home is listed, they will ask you how much advance notice you would like before showings. Try to be flexible so that you can accommodate as many qualified buyers as possible. 

For this reason, sellers may opt for a minimum notice period such as 1-2 hours, but it will depend on your schedule. Also, consider what tidying up might be necessary in the home beforehand. You will want your property to show at its most appealing.
Your REALTOR® will ask about any restrictions you might have around showings. Would you prefer to have visitors only in the evenings or only during the day, for example? 
If the house is occupied, you will want to have the ability to confirm all appointments before a buyer enters the home.

Your REALTOR® will make these arrangements on your behalf, ensuring that have the opportunity to confirming each showing as is scheduled. This allows you to maintain full control over who enters your home and when.
For vacant properties, your REALTOR® can set up the showing schedule such that all requested appointments are immediately confirmed.

If this is the case in your sale and you don’t feel the need to approve each showing request, you will simply be notified about the confirmations by your contact method of preference.
There are also other methods of scheduling home showings depending on your circumstances. Speak with your REALTOR® to accommodate what works best for you.

How Long Does A Showing Last?
The duration of first showing is usually between thirty minutes and one hour. Often, REALTORS® will schedule a full hour to allow some flexibility between visits to other properties.
Potential buyers may stay anywhere from a few minutes to a full hour, depending on the level of interest in the property. Longer stays often mean a higher interest level in your home, but not always. 

If a second showing has been requested by the same buyer, your REALTOR® will alert you to this fact because it often means a heightened level of interest.

Normally, a buyer’s first visit to a home is to narrow down favourites. A second visit is a good sign because it means the buyer really liked the property and wants to come back for another look. 
Second showings usually last longer, but most do not exceed one hour. If the buyers need more time than that it is customary for their salesperson to alert you through your REALTOR®.

Who Attends?
A buyer will always be accompanied by their REALTOR® for all house showings. A combination lock box will be placed on your front door for security. Only REALTORS® who have confirmed showings for their clients will be able to access the keys and therefore your property.
Showings may also involve other professionals in the course of a real estate transaction. For example, a buyer may bring a professional home inspector along to a showing once an offer has been accepted. In this case, the visit is usually longer, often 2-3 hours, and the buyer’s REALTOR® will attend as well. 
Customarily, sellers do not attend showings of their own homes. If you are preparing for visitors to your property, ensure that you plan to be out of the house for the duration – along with any children and pets. 
The thought of allowing strangers into your home can bring anxiety for some, but it is important to remember that there are processes in place to help things run smoothly.  

Remember that your REALTOR® is on hand at all times to help guide and support you in the process.

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