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Your Wife, Home Buyer in Colts Neck, NJ

Should homeowners be home during a showing?

Asked by Your Wife, Colts Neck, NJ Fri Jun 1, 2012

Our realtor has advised that we leave our home during showings --- advice with which we agree. On the flip side, we would feel uncomfortable if we were to see a home with the homeowners in the very next room. But my parents' realtor requires them to be home when people come for a showing. This makes scheduling quite difficult, as there are now two parties who need to be available at the same time. But the larger issue, in my opinion, is the uncomfortable situation that would be created. Their realtor says that the people seeing the house would benefit from my parents' presence (i.e., questions about the home could be answered by my parents, the original owners). So which school of thought is correct --- homeowners stay or leave during a showing?

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Answers

25
BEST ANSWER
Unless there is a very good reason otherwise, the answer in my opinion is "no". I always make it a point to knock before entering, and every time I do my buyer will ask, "are they home?", clearly hoping not. The fact is this, it IS uncomfortable for the buyer, who will likely rush through the home which is not serving the best interests of the seller.

Good question - and in my mind, the answer is clear - always best for the seller to be away - if difficult then just step out for the showing - but out of the house, not into the next room.

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 2, 2012
Thank you for the "best answer" award - this is an important topic I review with the sellers I serve. I work with many buyers and can state without hesitation that they feel very uncomfortable when the seller is present. The result is that they hurry through the home, which serves no one's best interests.
Flag Wed Jun 27, 2012
"Buyers feel uncomfortable if sellers are home during a showing. "

Not true at all.

It is a hit or miss sitiuation. It is beneficial when the sellers are home for qusetions and such as noted.. it is also pretty simple. Never stay "in the house" no, not at all, You greet the realtor and the buyers and make it known that you will be going outside for a brief walk. Give ample time and come back. Sometimes the buyers may hang around to ask some questions and whom better to answer those questions but the homeowner themselves!


You can not blanket the entire buying community by saying they are uncomfortable when the seller is home.. that is untrue. I like when the sellers are there as a lot of buyers like to know whom they are buying the home from.. and that could possibly make the sale much easier in the long run.

I can go either way... it is a gut thing.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
I leave it to the homeowner.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
Real estate brokers have no business telling an owner to be there or not. The reason they don't want the owner around is that most brokers are massively incompetent and don't want the owner to see to what extent that is true in many cases.
Eric
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 2, 2013
I agree completely. Every "stay away" comment here has been justified with incredulous fantasy scenarios of "monster" sellers ruining things for the sainted agents. My experience has been that way too many agents too lazy to spend the time and effort needed to learn all the features of a home and don't want the sellers around to find this out.
Flag Mon Apr 22, 2013
I agree with Jeanne. I've never pulled up to a house with a car in the driveway and the buyer's said "oh goody, the sellers are here." Buyer's are mortified when the seller is there. Not only that, Seller's won't shut up! "Oh, yeah, we can recarpet the house if you don't like the colors." Seller's give away the farm when put in those situations!

If there are questions that only the seller can answer, set up a 2nd showing and have both agents and buyer/seller there.

Still though, just not a good idea to get buyer's and seller's together. There are enough ego's in the room with a Realtor and their clients, not to mention a 3rd party.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 31, 2012
From my experience, some buyers do like to ask the seller questions if they are in the home for showings. However there are some buyers that prefer to take pictures of the homes they preview and I'm not sure how some sellers would react to this gesture if they are present.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
It's best if the sellers are not home. Many buyers are uncomfortable viewing the home when the seller is present.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2014
My recommendation would be to request the seller's agent be present only and not the owner. The sellers agent should have instilled in their clients the confidence that they can answer any questions about the home in the most straightforward and professional manner. Sellers have a huge emotional attachment so it can get real uncomfortable when the buyer begins to make comments about certain things and it can get awkward very quickly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2014
My problem with this scenario is we have a three yr old and three dogs in the home. I understand the need for the home to be empty during a scheduled all day showing. However, should people want to pop in on this day or that, I think it's unreasonable for our realtor to expect me to pack up all the dogs and a child and entertain them for a couple hours everyday or two. Then to only give me negative feed back. I keep this house extremely clean for having animals and a young child in it...it is not my problem you can't incision your belongings in the house, I didn't include either of them in the listing so obviously my child's toys and my animals are coming with me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2014
The potential home buyers pull into the driveway and exit their car. They talk to each other and fantasize about how great the house is going to look after they move in. They walk to the front door and are surprised to see the homeowners are touching up some scratches on the living room walls. Oops, the homeowners thought they could make the home look a little better before anyone came to the open house.
After entering the home the buyers looked at each other in amazement. Well it seems one of the owners children had a very upset stomach and the home buyers showed up just before the exhaust fan could save the day. Lesson: Home sellers are not professional home sales persons. Realtors are. Most potential buyers want to look at the house without any homeowner distractions. Unless you’re Beyoncé don’t be there. They want to look and fantasize about how life can be in their new home, not watch you in your home. I hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2013
I recommend the sellers to leave during the showings. You want the buyers to be able to speak freely with their agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 31, 2012
In my market, Union County, it's unheard of for owners to be present during showings, and I've never heard of a realtor suggesting this. Your home is being shown by a licensed realtor who has been background checked and has signed in using a Supra key (or gotten a code from the office), so it's reasonable to expect that your possessions will be safe. If potential buyers have questions, the appropriate person to ask is their realtor who will then ask your realtor.
If you are selling your home FSBO, then by all means you should be present.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 31, 2012
Many buyers feel more comfortable to look at a home when the sellers are not present and they tend to stay longer. However, if there are certain aspects about the house that only the owner would know to point out to buyers when the house is being shown then they should be present for showings. It is not necessary to be there for every showing so do whatever you feel more comfortable doing when the house is being shown.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 27, 2012
No, no, never if listed with agent. Of course if you list by owner, well....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 8, 2012
I work with both buyers and sellers and the buyers are always uncomfortable when the sellers are there.
If there are questions that need to be answered, it is easy to go through the listing agent who can get the answers from the owners without any pressure.
Web Reference: http://dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 6, 2012
Bottom line, all of my listings that have sold within a reaonsable time from have done with WITHOUT THE HOMWeONER in presence! Period bottom line! I have one client for 5+ years who simply refusesto to leave the home and she is till on markt and despite my telling her not to gengae in conversation continues to do so.

All I can say is that expereince prevails!

Francesca Patrizio, Broker Sales Associate,ePro, SRES
Francesca@PatrizioREcom
732.606.2931 (24/7)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
No! No! No!

Having the owners present for the initial showing accomplished nothing......When showing property, buyers send a message when they sit down in the living room and begin processing the home's information and where they can place their furniture....this never happens with the owners present.

One selling objective is having the buyers remain in the property as long a possible. Doing so helps them to take in the environment and enjoy the home's offerings. Having the owners present works against this.

Bill
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
Absolutely not! My most uinsucessful listings have been those wherein the seller hangs aground and case in poing my one and only deal that fell apartr was where the sleller and buyer engatged in incennt conversation and the buyer then perceeived the sleller as lying. and he/she was NOT.

The bottom line is that life persectives are relevant to live expereinces . . what one may foresee as not a big deal another may perceipt as derimental .. . therefore, why I alwys keep buyers and selers at arms lengh . . . . not to decive, butr to understand circumstancesc.

Sincerely,
Francesca Patrizio, Broker Sales Assoicatie, ePro SRES
Francesca@PatrizioRE.com
732.606.2931 (24.7)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
I think in general most Sellers prefer to be away, to give the Agent and potential buyer the freedom to freely discuss the home, without worrying about the sellers overhearing something may be unsettling to them.

But I have shown homes to my buyers and I am a Buyers Agent at heart, with the owners home and with the owners not home, sometimes the were leaving as we were arriving, and pleasant hi's and how are you's were exchanged, most of the times the sellers stay in a different room, or outside in the summer time...... Many times the Sellers will only talk to the Realtor if that Realtor feels he or she
would like the owners to answer a question the potential buyers were just interested in....

It really is the obligation of the showing Agent, the agent who enters a home with his buyers, to prepare the buyers how to behave and how to ask their questions or concerns, if and when a seller
is in the home or nearby.....

I have never found it to be a problem.... But the general School of thought is for the Sellers not to
be home......

If for any reason my Sellers need to stay home, because of scheduling problems, or one does not feel well, but do not want to miss out to have the showing, and even though the showing happens with a Buyers agent who is coming with his/her clients, I will be there as the listing agent, I will be
the buffer, explaining why the owner is home, where they are, I will be ready to answer questions
if the buyers agent and his buyers have any...

But none of it has ever been a problem...... as long as buyers and sellers DO NOT TALK TO EACH OTHER, THE SELLER WANTS TO SHOW THE HOUSE, THE BUYER GOES DIRECTLY TO THE OWNERS AND ASK ANY QUESTION THEY LIKE...... that is NOT good, but Realtors can address
both sides and prepare both sides so that it all goes smoothly....

Good Luck to you, if you need a recommendation for a local Realtor, get back to us here and we
gladly make some good recommendations.

EdithSellsHomes@gmail.com
YourRealtor4Life! Your Chicago, Northern Illinois, N and NW subs and the fine homes of the
Northshore Expert with @Properties Northshore, 30 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, Il. 60093
Edith always works in the very BEST interest of her clients, buyers, sellers and investors alike
and she truly goes the X-tra Mile with a SMILE for all her clients

Have a wonderful Day and all the BEST....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 2, 2012
Buyers feel uncomfortable if sellers are home during a showing. They are not free to discuss the home and stay less than normal. I would suggest that an owner could be there and let them in but leave. There is nothing wrong with being close by if there are questions but honestly, the questions are best channeled through their Realtor. In sum, the seller should vacate thee home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
There is no reason the homeowner has to be home during showings. If the buyer has questions, they can always be answered later. But, more importantly the home should be easy to show. So to make it difficult to show because someone needs to be home is counter productive. If the homeowner chooses to be home they should make themselves scarce so that the potential buyer can have the freedom to take as long as they want to be able to picture themselves living in the home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
There is no reason the homeowner has to be home during showings. If the buyer has questions, they can always be answered later. But, more importantly the home should be easy to show. So to make it difficult to show because someone needs to be home is counter productive. If the homeowner chooses to be home they should make themselves scarce so that the potential buyer can have the freedom to take as long as they want to be able to picture themselves living in the home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
There is no reason the homeowner has to be home during showings. If the buyer has questions, they can always be answered later. But, more importantly the home should be easy to show. So to make it difficult to show because someone needs to be home is counter productive. If the homeowner chooses to be home they should make themselves scarce so that the potential buyer can have the freedom to take as long as they want to be able to picture themselves living in the home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
I agree with Nina Harris. Owners must leave. Think of yourself as a potential buyer... you would just not feel comfortable discussing the home if you knew the owners were listening from the next room. Homeowners who stay and add friendly comments like "The draperies are negotiable" also look over-eager.

In my experience, showings where the sellers are present are short showings, the buyers scoot, they are uncomfortable. If buyers are interested, you can answer their questions through the brokers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
It is better if the homeowners leave during a showing. Potential buyers do not feel comfortable when the seller is home. They need to have the ability come in and imagine themselves in the house while expressing their opinion freely. My advice to all sellers is to leave while the home is being shown.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 1, 2012
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