With the turn towards spring, the new listing season is up and running. The competition among listing agents for good listings can be fierce, and most have a pitch to convince sellers to choose them. They may buy more Zillow ads, belong to more than one MLS, have a great website or show up with a slick presentation. One of the hardest pitches to resist is the promise that the listing agent will be present for all showings. That sounds great in theory. Your representative will be there to point out all of the unique and special features of your home and position it in the best possible light with potential buyers. They’ll also be there to protect your cherished collection of Elvis paintings on velvet.
The problem is that you’ll likely get fewer showings, and no last minute ones. When I go out with buyers, we work together ahead of time to pick out a group of houses to see and I set up a tour. But in many cases the buyers don’t know quite what they really want, so it’s a bit of a shot in the dark. Often when we’re out together, after I see their reaction to the first few houses, I think of some other houses that might be better fits than what I’ve arranged to show. If thoses houses are vacant, with a key available, I can make a quick call to the listing agent and we’re in. If a house requires the listing agent to be present, and they’re on another appointment or a half an hour away or I can’t reach them, the house doesn’t get shown.
How often does a last minute showing result in a sale? A lot. Of the last 4 deals I’ve put together, 2 were last minute switch outs based on the buyer reactions to the first houses they saw.
There are certainly valid reasons for a seller to request their agent to be present — tenants, animals, expensive artwork or an overly intrusive seller that needs to be distracted. But in many cases, it’s that the agent pitched their presence as an extra service. But in many cases, it may be a disservice, if a buyer that may be ‘the one’ can’t get in to see your house.