What to expect?

ladybugfruitFebruary 1, 2010

We will be putting our house on the market in the next few weeks and while I have sold several houses over the last few years, none of them have been mine or lived in, so this will be my first experience from that perspective.

To make things more complicated for showing, we have 2 dogs and I have a husband that works the mid shift ( works til 10 or 11 at night many days) and is a night owl. That means he is generally not up and moving around until 11 in the morning( and this we can not really change, that's his normal sleep cycle).

One of my dogs absolutely cannot be in the house while showing since she is unable to have rabies shots ( health issues) and it is far from ideal for dogs to be in the house anyways during a showing.

Would it hurt us too much to place a few restrictions on when the house is shown? Such as anytime after noon until 9pm ( how late do they show?) Also,I remember there is a time window they give when they call, would it be asking too much to have the buyer agent make a quick call directly to me about 10 minutes before arriving so I can get the dogs out with me ( since they are indoor dogs)?



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You have to make the home accessible for buyers. Especially in this market. So place as few restrictions as possible, or take the risk of turning away buyers that will find another listing that is more accessible. You can always ask for the 10 minute heads up call, but don't be surprised if you don't always get it. I'll speak as someone that was relocated out of state a number of times, and if you're taking away half of Saturday and half of Friday as well as half of Sunday. That's half of the weekend that I'd be in town to look at houses. So there is the distinct possibility that I may have to skip your house. Realtors do try to accomodate, but if you put too many restrictions on when they can view, they'll find it more difficult to show your home and pass you by.

Our realtors would usually show us vacant homes on Sunday mornings because Sunday mornings were usually times that sellers would not want to schedule showings. But other then that I think showings were normally between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 9:54AM
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You can choose to put any restrictions you want on showings, but the more restrictions you put on, the fewer people will be able to see you home. If you want to sell it quickly, you should suck it up and show anytime someone wants to see it. Just make sure the house is clean before you go to bed at night, and then you can clear out quickly if you need to.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 11:43AM
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When my realtor would set up house tours for us, he would let the owners know that we would be there between X and Y time, usually a 60-90 minute window. He would then schedule several houses with a cascading schedule, so that we didn't have to wait around for our next appt time at a house -- we could just keep looking. This worked well, since the owners knew what time they had to be out and we knew how long we had to look.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 10:34PM
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What you are proposing sounds perfectly reasonable to me. People understand that shift workers don't keep 'normal' hours and need their sleep. Ten minutes to clear out with the dogs is nothing. The only suggestion I would make is to consider bumping the noon part back to 11:00 am if feasible. That way at least one hour of the morning is open.

Talk to your potential agent(s) on the subject. You want one that will work with you.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 7:06AM
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thanks so much for the input!! We are set to go "live" in 2 weeks and I am a planner of sorts, so your input was very helpful. Now, if I can just knock out the rest of the "to do" list before we hit the live date!!
Thanks bunches!!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:14AM
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I had similar issues with needing time to get the pets out before viewings when we sold our house. I asked to have two hours' notice before a showing because I have four kids and a ton of pets, and needed time before showings to get the place show-ready.

Timing was never a problem as most of the calls our agent got were from people who wanted to see it in the evening after work or the next day--there weren't any short-notice situations.

As it turned out, the thing that actually drove me crazy was that some agents would stay in the house f.o.r.e.v.e.r!
When we had a viewing, I would take the kids and the dogs and the cat(!) and leave in my van. Because I didn't want to have to stay in my van with four kids, four dogs and a cat any longer than necessary, I'd usually park down the block so I could see when they left.

It's a small house, and exactly like all the other houses in the neighborhood in terms of floorplan, so I was dumbfounded that some people spent an hour or more inside--and one couple stood on the front walk chatting with the agent for AN HOUR after they were done indoors.

Little did they know I was parked two houses down, sending them ESP messages to either whip out a checkbook or leave already!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 1:31PM
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Unlike leafy02, I have always had a lot of last minute calls. In fact, for a condo I was selling a few years ago I had one agent who kept stopping by at 8am with a client without calling me at all! (Since he eventually sold the condo by the method of dragging every buyer he had to it, I forgave him for catching me in my pajamas many weekend mornings.)

If at all possible, keep the home reasonably clean and picked up at all times. If you do a little bit of cleaning and straightening every day, it doesn't become so overwhelming. And it will pay off when that agent calls and he's 2 blocks away and wants to show the house -- it won't be perfect but at least it won't be too messy and any panic you feel can be diverted to dumping the dirty dishes in the dishwasher or some other critical task.

You may want to ask the agent to simply put a note in the broker comments request 24 hours notice if possible, and to have them call you directly for showings. Then when you talk to the showing agent, make the request then for the 10 minute phone call and tell them why. Or, if needed, ask them for a later time frame. If they are making the rounds with a buyer it isn't necessarily that hard to put another house or two in front of yours so the time gets pushed back.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 4:05PM
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We only had three showings this last summer. (We sold to the the third couple.) I had asked for an hour's notice, but every single call I received was "We're in the neighborhood." I received all calls on weekend afternoons; and fortunately, we were already out of the house all three times.

I cleaned up every single morning including making the beds, sweeping, dishes, etc. I made the kids hand me clothes as they undressed and they went straight into the washer so they weren't visible. Dirty dishes went straight into the dishwasher and the load was washed every single night. I also washed sheets every couple of days just to make sure the bedrooms smelled fresh. In your dh's case, you probably need to do everything you can the night before so that basically, all he has to do is throw on clean clothes, make the bed, hide the dog dishes, and get the dogs out.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 5:33PM
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Gosh, it sounds like I am in for an adventure, but I kind already knew I was signing up for that! :)
Yup, gonna make a little check list for the hubby in the evening and me in the morning to stay on top of the chores we tend to slack on when we don't have company.
LOL, it should be interesting keeping the bed made! My Ridgeback LOVES to unmake the bed so she can lounge across our pillows. When I walk into the bedroom after I just get home, many days all I can see ( and hear) her tail banging against the mattress at full speed and the comforter balled up around her like her own personal bodywrap.
On another note, saw our first house today and WOW, I was stunned because the home owner was an agent and the place was very messy and dirty and there were bills laying out for everyone to see! Yipes. The appt was scheduled yesterday early afternoon, so it wasn't like a last minute thing. I guess it certainly is a good encouragement to keep our house looking good.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 5:55PM
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