Selling Your Madison Home – And The SHOWINGS Begin!

You’ve  picked your favorite Realtor, you’ve figured out a pricing strategy, you’ve worked for days getting your home in showing condition and now your home is officially on the market, full blown marketing has begun and your beautiful home is exposed to all the world. A big sigh of relief and then the phone rings…a showing…tomorrow? Okay! Now what?

What to expect now that the showings have begun…

The day your Madison WI home goes on the market live you will receive a link to the listing and your marketing home books will be scheduled for delivery within a couple of days. Your showing instructions were filled out with all the other listing paperwork so the showing line service knows how to get in touch with you. The showing line is a contracted service that is open 7 days a week from 8am – 8pm and available to schedule all showings and help coordinate the showing feedback.

If you’ve priced your home right (which is important to do because there is no point in price testing in this market unless you are just pretending to sell) then you should expect to get showing requests in the first week your home is on the market. If you don’t get any showings in the first 2-3 weeks then your home is overpriced or not being marketed correctly. And this happens. I have seen homes listed with incorrect area codes (mls codes are crucial to proper marketing and kind of a no brainer).

Overpricing is a great thing to do if you are trying to help your neighbor sell. If your neighbor has their home on the market (which we assume is similar to your home) and you price yours higher, the buyer will come through your home and then go tour the neighbors home and realize the neighbors’ is a way better value than yours and BAM, you’ve just helped to sell your neighbors home. Aren’t you sweet? Although after all that work staging your home, I doubt your goal is to help sell the neighbors home so please, price it right! No market testing allowed.

Back to your first week on the market…an important week. You want everything perfect and it should be. Buy the pretty flowers, turn all the lights on and please take out those plug in smelly things (it makes it seem like you are trying to cover something up).

Will I get 24 hours notice? Maybe. Maybe not. So leave your house ready for showings every day. That doesn’t mean you have to leave all the lights on every day (tsk tsk), but have it picked up and in showing condition when you leave for work in the morning. Most Realtors will give you a days notice for their showing but things happen.  A Realtor may be out with their buyers and as they listen to their buyers comment on homes they are seeing they will realize what they like and don’t like they may decide that their buyer should see your home. You want to be ready for that. However, if you aren’t ready you can say no. If you have a sick child at home, say no. Don’t feel bad saying no, your life is your life. But please try and accommodate all showings. Please. It is the only way I can sell your home.

How long are the showings? Showings are normally scheduled in one hour appointments. For example you may get a request for a showing tomorrow between 2-3pm and another one from 4:30-5:30pm. Convenient? No. But say yes to both of them anyway and then plan on being out of the house during the scheduled showing times. If it is scheduled from 2-3pm that doesn’t mean the agent and buyer will show up right at 2pm. They might come at 2:30. Or even 2:55pm But they will do everything in their power to come within that time frame. Imagine what it is like to try and schedule 10 showings not knowing how long the buyers will want to be in each house at a time, calculating travel time, etc. It isn’t easy so please be empathetic if a showing is late (or even early). Sometimes the agent will leave their card so you know they’ve been there, and sometimes they’ll forget. Sometimes the buyers will take the marketing booklet and sometimes they won’t. But it sure is a good sign if they do take one. Also, expect there to be miscommunication problems at least once while your house is in the available and showing stage. There are a lot of people involved and mistakes happen. The agent requesting the showing may mix up the time with another showing. The showing line person may write down the wrong time. Or maybe you heard the time or date wrong and then all of a sudden you have an agent at your front door who thinks they have a scheduled and confirmed showing. And you are in your pj’s. Don’t freak out. Life happens. Take a deep breath and figure out if it is realistic for you to take 10 minutes to get out of the house to accommodate the showing. If so, ask the agent to wait and kindly agree to hurry out the door. If there is no way you are letting anyone in your front door to see your wreck of a house (which we all understand), then say no. Apologize for the mix up (even though it may not have been your error), and be nice. If you get hostile you could potentially lose a willing and able buyer. If they really want to see your home, they will reschedule.

What did the Buyers think of our home? Showing feedback is pretty important and also can be very misleading. So let’s talk about this straight. First, the logistics. The showing line service will schedule the showing with you (either online or via a phone call). Once the showing is confirmed they will call the agent back to let them know they are confirmed to show your home and then the showing is entered in the system. Our office and the listing agent get an email immediately when a showing has been scheduled and we know who will be showing it. After the showing takes place an email is sent to the agent that showed your home asking for feedback. There is a email form that the agent fills out on behalf of their buyer letting us (and you) know their feedback and what their buyers thought. And there is room for open comments. You might get feedback forms that say your home is overpriced, or just right or doesn’t have a good layout. They may comment that the Buyer didn’t like the backyard (it is too big or it is too small) or the bathrooms are outdated. Please brace yourself as you read the feedback forms.

Remember these things in regards to showing feedback:

You will get more negative feedback then positive feedback. This is because if the buyer is planning on writing an offer they aren’t going to gush about how much they love your home. That would not help their negotiating position.

Just because all the feedback says that your home is priced right, doesn’t mean it is priced right. If your home is priced right, you will get an offer. If you have had 20 showings and your house has been on the market for more than 2 months and you haven’t received an offer than it is overpriced. Period. And the same goes the other way too. I just had a listing that had 2 new showings and 2 second showings within a two day period and we had just received an offer and another one was on its way. We got one feedback form back that said the house was overpriced. Really? Obviously not.

Take note of what you can change and that is it. If the buyers didn’t like the layout then they weren’t the right buyers. Don’t worry or focus on that. If the buyers comment that your home feels outdated, then you call me and we can talk about what changes you can make to update the home in a cost effective way. If the buyer comments on the landscaping, then yes, get out there and do some yard work. But if they don’t like the corner lot, then let it go.

No feedback is feedback. Not all Realtors will send their feedback. If they showed your house and didn’t write an offer, that is feedback. Listen to it.

I think I’ve properly prepared you for what to expect and how to handle showings and the feedback you will get. But if I missed something or if you still have a question, please comment! I love your feedback.

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