Should the home owner be present when their house is being shown to sellers?

Asked by Trulia Houston, Houston, TX Fri Feb 1, 2013

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Jennifer Fivelsdal’s answer
Jennifer Fiv…, Agent, Red Hook, NY
Sat Feb 23, 2013
That is a bad idea. I once a buyer who wouldn't even open the cabinets because the seller was there, she felt like she was intruding. We had to make a second visit and request that the seller was not present.

This is a good example of why sellers should not be present.

Sellers will also give information that is not in their interest, but will make the buyer 's agent happy.
1 vote
Bruce Ericks…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Fri Feb 1, 2013
In most situations it is best for the sellers to leave the home. This way the potential buyers feel confortable to look in closets, garage, baths, etc and make comments to each other or thier agent. I have even seen them sit in the furniture of the sellers and feel right at home thinking about how it would feel if they owned it.

I know that sellers want to make sure they are there to answer questions or point out the special things about the home or neighborhood. But in most cases it is best to leave that to later if needed.

In the end after all the agents discussion with the sellers it is thier decission.

2 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Feb 2, 2013
Top 10 reasons why the seller should be there.
After 8 months and the home has received no offers the owners need to be able to say:
1. My agent did not demonstrate the tilt in windows.
2. My agent said the PUblix is 1 mile away, it only 9/10th of a mile away.
3. My agent did not meet the buyer and their agent at the curb.
4. My agent did not drag the buyer around announcing, "and here's the kitchen!"
5. My agent did not show sufficient enthusiasm showing my home.
6. My agent never shared how thoroughly we enjoyed living here and how happy are neighbors are for us that we are starting a new chapter somewhere else.
7. My agent never said. "What can we do today to get you into this home?"
8. My agent did not clean the house before the buyers arrived.
9...and didn't to the dishes
10. and didn't pick the poo.
Of course, if the sellers intent is the sell the home, they won't be preoccupied to looking for someone else to blame. They will be no-where to be seen and will have implemented all the suggestions their agent advised. Nothing makes an indelible image of your home faster than a great back story and the aromas of "HOME."

Best of Success,
Annette Lawrnce, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group.
Palm Harbor, FL
3 votes
Annette ... you neglected to mention ... My agent didn't provide a list of features which make my home so special that I can ask thousands above the comps. By the way, folks here in Houston have no clue about Publix. I'm a Palm Harbor transplant (still have a rental townhome in Fox Chase) and consider it home. We're getting Fresh Markets here, so the pain of being away might be eased somewhat. Thanks for the great post. Al
Flag Sat Feb 2, 2013
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Fri Feb 1, 2013
I guess it is unanimous! Buyers would rather that the seller not be present when viewing a home. The presence of the sellers inhibits the buyer and can be a cause of rejection of the home.
2 votes
Barbara Gran…, Agent, Anaheim, CA
Fri Feb 1, 2013
Most sellers are well intentioned and think they are being helpful by giving you the "guided tour" when in realty it has the opposite effect. Buyers need to look at a property at their own pace without being bird dogged by the seller.
2 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Fri Feb 1, 2013
Customesr almost NEVER feel comfortable when the owner is present.... to this end agents would be well advised to avoid owner presence at all costs. Any information the seller could provide would be able to be accessed via the listing agent and then passed along to the buyer.

For the most part....buyers and sellers should be kept apart until the closing and then you could be taking a BIG chance putting them together!

Interesting question,

1 vote
Georgina Van…, Agent, Houston, TX
Fri Feb 1, 2013
Dear Seller,
I would advise never to be present... If you are taken by surprise, and have a showing, just jump in the car and go for a drive around the block.
Most times, buyers will feel intimidated by your presence and will not take their time to go thru the home and see it all, like they should. The longer a visit takes the better!!!
I've had showings that have lasted longer than an hour, to me that means the buyers are REALLY excited about the home and very interested!!
We show homes on a daily basis and are trusted by our sellers and buyers to be alone in a property. We go thru the home together and always in a group. I can understand you as the homeowner feeling aprehensive by having strangers in your home.
Don't be present If you are a for sale by owner. It is best to have an allied agent whom you trust who can represent the buyer leads that you have and have agent benefit from the sale. Agree to pay the agent a commision and let them show the home for you.

Georgina Van Camp
Keller Williams Realty
1 vote
Sally Walden, Agent, Houston, TX
Fri Feb 1, 2013
Good god, no. Never. It makes it very uncomfortable for potential buyers and sellers tend to over share.
1 vote
David Tansey, Agent, Houston, TX
Fri Feb 1, 2013
Absolutely not, it makes the buyer uncomfortable. That is the last sensation you want some to have when they are in your home considering a purchase.
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1 vote
Tony Warfield, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Wed Mar 27, 2013
I say the only time a seller needs to be at home when showing is when neither the listing or selling agent is not available. A buyer does not want to be followed around the entire home feeling uncomfortable. Also the seller will many times offer up information and history and TMI that can be shared in the disclosures after an offer has been accepted. Doing this prior to an offer can be a deal killer.

0 votes
Nasyim Segal, Agent, Houston, TX
Wed Mar 27, 2013
It depends on the seller and their agent. As agents we are taught to never, ever, under any circumstances what so ever have the seller on site during a showing. I would have to agree with that thinking most of the time, but on the other hand there are occasions when it sometimes is beneficial for the parties to meet.

Typically, I would advise my selling clients to vacate the property for showings. However, depending on circumstances, I have actually made arrangements for my clients to meet the buyers.

Nasyim Segal, Broker Associate
0 votes
Kevan Pewitt, Agent, Houston, TX
Mon Mar 25, 2013
The home owner being present during showings is a good way to encourage buyers to move on to the next property. It is one of the best ways a seller can sabotage the best marketing efforts of their listing agent.
0 votes
Megan Paul, Agent, Vancouver, WA
Sat Feb 23, 2013
As an Exclusive Buyers Broker I find clients feel more comfortable opening a kitchen pantry, sizing up bedroom closets, looking behind the shower curtain when the seller isn't present. If it's the safety of your home that concerns you, the buyer's Realtor is a member of the local MLS, and the computerized key box installed by your listing agent on your home will tell you exactly when they entered your home, how long they were in your home, and when they left.

It is customary for the buyer's Realtor to call the seller and set up an appointment beforehand, and also leave their card.The buyers brokerage has a better opportunity to present your home to
pre-approved buyers if the seller isn't present.
0 votes
Mike Matthews, Other Pro, Houston, TX
Sat Feb 23, 2013
I disagree 100%. I say keep the owner out of the home at all time and all of their memories. The house is not worth 1 cent more if Jonie was raised there. I have personally owned and sold over 50 homes. Keep the home owners out and away from the home. Their precious memories are precious to them and them alone.
0 votes
Mike Matthews wrote: "I disagree 100%."

Disagree with whom?
Flag Wed Jul 17, 2013
Mark H Rogers, Agent, Houston, TX
Sun Feb 17, 2013
Let the agent do their job. A seller does not need to be there.
0 votes
Carolyn Wolfe, Agent, Houston, TX
Sun Feb 3, 2013
I have had buyers who dont feel comfortable making negative comments until after we leave the home because they have watched too many HouseHunter episodes and think they may be taped.

So do you really think they want the Seller there in person?

I always suggest the seller to give me a good list of improvements that we do not want to over look and make sure they are described in the listing and the sales flyers.
0 votes
Al Geffon, Agent, Houston, TX
Sat Feb 2, 2013
Yikes!! That's all I need. This business is difficult enough without such an obstacle. Some sellers are paranoid about strangers going through their abode with a fine-toothed comb ... I even had a situation that included "seller will be present" in the showing instructions. I immediately contacted the listing agent and advised him that such would not be acceptable. The owner acquiesced to an accompanied showing ... not a favorite of mine either.

It doesn't really matter whether the sellers shadow the buyers from room to room or lurk outside ... they need to be nowhere their home when it's being shown. If they have an issue with this, there's always FSBO.

Al Geffon
(713) 213-6350
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0 votes
Mark McNitt, Agent, Houston, TX
Fri Feb 1, 2013
No as this makes the buyer feel as if they cannot speak freely to their agent "with someone listening!". Also the buyer will feel rushed trying to get out of the sellers way. Also not good for the seller if the buyers start asking questions the seller may not feel good about answering.

The listing agent could be present during showings if the seller feels that strongly about having a presence in the home while the buyer and their Realtor are looking. Again, it is all about making someone feel welcome and to experience the home at their pace.

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
0 votes
Nina Harris, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri Feb 1, 2013
No, no and no!. Buyers are not even comfortable to walk into the room that the seller is in. They will also not give honest feedback. Sellers if you want to get your home sold please at least visit a neighbor while your home is being shown. Communication is so important in order to get your home sold.
0 votes
I'll be the first to say "whatever it takes to get the job done, but I would strongly encourage Sellers to wash their own dishes and pick up their own poo, not pay the real estate agent to do it - their money is better spent having the agent spending time promoting, not picking up the poo!
Flag Fri Jan 10, 2014
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