Sellers, Don't Say "No" To Showings

Posted by Judy Orr on Friday, February 23rd, 2007 at 9:09am.

UPDATED 2/19/2019

orland park home for saleIt always amazes me at how many sellers will not confirm an appointment to show their home.  I realize we all have a life and sometimes a showing is not convenient, like when you're very sick or you're having a party (or maybe the morning after the party), etc.

I tried setting several appointments for Orland Park homes recently during the day.  On each day, one seller said no.  Then the receptionist asked if I could make it at a different time.  My answer is always, "We're out looking at that time.  If my buyers don't find something we might reschedule at a later date."

You should use a lockbox

Most sellers allow the use of a lockbox which makes it very easy and comfortable to show their property, which is the only way it's going to get sold.  Yet many sellers still do not allow their agents to use lockboxes.  In some areas, it is almost mandatory that every seller allows the use of a lockbox.  That's just how it is done in those areas whether the house is occupied or vacant.  

Unless there is a dog walking freely in the property, I don't understand why someone would not use a lockbox.  In 35 years I have never had any problems using a variety of lockboxes.  We always use our Sentrilock box on vacant properties because it allows us to see when an appointment has started and ended.  We get the agent's information so we can always keep track of who was in the house and at what time.

I've had showings where the buyers bought one of the homes out of the group I was able to show them.  Maybe a home that was not confirmed would have been the better choice.  But some buyers won't wait around to see all the homes that were on their list.  They fall in love with a home and want to move forward immediately.  In a robust Seller's Market, buyers don't have the time to view the homes we couldn't get into because they could lose the home they love to another buyer.  We always tell buyers, if you love this home someone else might love it too.

If it is a Buyer's Market that means there are more properties available than buyers out looking.  In that kind of market, a buyer can take a little more time to make a decision.  However, that is the time sellers should be showing their homes to the dwindling supply of buyers and not saying "No"!

Make sure your agent uses Showing Time

One thing we also come up against once in a while is an agent that insists we must set the appointment through them vs. the appointment setting program we have available via our MLS, and the agent never gets back to us.  The program we have allows vacant homes to give immediate showing confirmation with access details - no waiting. 

I remember trying multiple times trying to get into a vacant building with no response from the listing agent.  They finally responded back three days later!  I tried to nicely explain that they should use the Showing Time program we have available and they didn't want to hear it.  I wonder if their seller knew that they were missing out on showings because their agents weren't responding to selling agents trying to show their property.

This wasn't the first time this has happened and with a couple homes the agent never got back to me and we never were able to view the home.  The buyers said, "forget about it."  Unfortunately, this makes me look bad when I can't get an appointment confirmed after multiple attempts.  It's very difficult for a buyer to understand why a seller wouldn't show their home when it's on the market for sale.

The Showing Time program is also great for occupied homes.  We set-up our sellers on the program so it texts and e-mails them with every appointment request.  It provides the agent's information and the day and time of the appointment.  All the seller has to do is hit Y or N.  Of course, if they hit N, I call them to find out why so I can contact the agent and explain.

Some agents still insist on having other agents call their office or call or text them, making setting appointments that much more time-consuming.  Some agents use Showing Time but don't understand how to use it properly & cause more steps in the appointment request process.  Showing Time is offered to us for free, so I don't understand why a listing agent wouldn't use it and learn how to use it properly.  

If they all used it, I could set multiple appointments quickly vs. having to make phone calls where I have to wait while they put me on hold and then have to ask and write down my name, Agent ID, phone number, brokerage and the day and time I want to show.  These are antiquated ways to set an appointment!  The Judy Orr Team makes it easy for any agent to set an appointment on our listings.

Have your place ready to show

It's not fun selling your house.  You have to keep it "showing ready" at all times.  You need to clean up and make your bed every morning before work just in case someone wants to see it that day. 

If you have dogs, you might have to limit showings when you're at work or find someone to come and get them (or crate them) during a showing.  If you have young children, they might have to miss a nap or you might have to organize the hustle and bustle of going to or coming home from school.

Be careful about asking for advance notice

Although we can ask for some lead time, if you require 12-24 hours advanced notice you will probably miss some showings.  Listing agents are supposed to let selling agents know via the MLS print-out if advance notice is required.  When an agent sees "24 hours" and they're trying to set an appointment for the same day, they might not even try setting it up.  Also, if an agent is using Showing Time and advanced notice is required, then the appointment times are blacked out for 24 hours. 

Once in a while, we will see a home that has very specific times that the property is available for showings.  Sometimes, those times just don't coincide with my buyer, who might work an opposite shift.  Some sellers don't want showings when they're at work during the day, although I don't see that much now. 

Recently, I tried showing a home on a Saturday.  It was set-up in Showing Time with a "24-hour notice recommended" message on the MLS print-out.  When I tried setting it up in Showing Time on Thursday, appointment times were blacked out up until Sunday at noon.  I tried reaching the listing agent to make sure it was correct but she never returned my call.  My buyer wasn't available on Sunday (again, I tried setting this on Thursday).  She then said she decided against seeing it at all. Maybe she would have liked it if we were able to get in on Saturday with a 2-day notice. 

I understand that sometimes you might have a party or out-of-town guests or someone is sick.  You really don't have control over your agent if he/she bothers explaining that fact to other agents or is setting things up properly.        

The buyer you say no to might be the one that would have loved your home.  If they don't make it back you might have a long wait for the next one.  

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