One of the important instructions I give my clients is “Do not show your own home to strangers.”
Before you put a sign in your yard, you knew not to let some stranger that knocked on your door inside. And yet, the sign goes in the yard, and sellers somehow forget the rule. But don’t. It’s still just as dangerous.
In fact, I ask sellers to LEAVE and completely vacate the home during even pre-planned showings. This is for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is their own safety and the safety of their family.
The truth is that real estate agents showing homes are frequently putting themselves in danger by showing homes to strangers, which is why we put policies in place to reduce the risk, there is simply no reason for you to make yourself so vulnerable.
Aside from safety issues, buyers simply feel uncomfortable looking at your home with you. It’s nothing personal. It just feels like you’re snooping around a strangers’ house peaking in their closets. They will never be able to view the home as anything but yours if that is how they know it first. Imagine that you walk into the room filled with memories, and you’re just hoping the buyer can feel the warmth and love that room has always held. You glance at that wall between rooms, and are slightly agitated that your listing agent made you remove the 12 years of school photos for each child that you had lovingly hanging there, collecting one year at a time. You are wondering if the buyer has kids, if they’ll hang their school photos there, too. The buyer turns to you and says, “Do you think this wall can come down? I am wondering if I can make this one big room, and put a stage on that end, and a bar on the other.” So the buyer won’t say that.. instead they will say your home is lovely and they will leave and you’ll never hear from them again. I am not saying owners are never able to sell their own homes, but they rarely do, and this might be one of those reasons.