Are you showing homes in the best way you can?
Whether you are an established realtor or a homeowner going it alone, you need to show your home right. Highlighting the right features and creating the right atmosphere is crucial. But, with the pressure of a sale looming over you, it can sometimes feel like a daunting task.
Do not worry, we are here to help! Read on for our guide on how to show a house the right way.
Qualify Your Buyers First
Qualifying your buyers is one of the first steps you should take before you sell a house. Otherwise, you could spend the whole day showing the buyer great houses, they finally find one they fall in love with, and the next thing you know, you do your checks and they are not able to buy the property.
That is a waste of your time and theirs, so it is best to pre-qualify your buyers to avoid this. It might sound like a long, rigorous task but it is actually a simple questionnaire you ask the buyers. Yes, it is detailed, but it will determine their ability and readiness to buy.
To get started, here are some sample questions so you get a better idea:
- Have they pre-qualified for a mortgage?
- If so, what lender are they with?
- What is their budget price range?
- How much is their downpayment?
- How long have they been looking?
- Do they have another agent?
- Is this their first time buying a home?
- If no, are they selling their current home and does it need to sell before they can buy?
- When are they looking to move by?
These questions will help you avoid wasting everyone's time. It will also give you insight into what they are looking for and their expectations.
Have a Pre-Showing Interview
Whether you are new to the business or a seasoned real estate agent, this tip is vital. This is a chance to go through the pre-qualifying questionnaire and get to know the buyers more.
Here are some example questions to ask:
- What is the budget for the new home?
- What style of home are they looking for?
- Are there any specific home features they want?
- How many bedrooms do they need?
- How many bathrooms?
- Is there a specific neighborhood they want to look in?
- Do they have school-aged children?
- What neighborhood "vibe" are they going for? Family suburbs, trendy, close to shops?
Doing a pre-showing interview will help you work out if your home is the right fit. Or, for agents, it will inform you on what homes in your portfolio you should show them.
Do a Thorough Check of the MLS
This one will apply to agents only, but you must double-check the MLS for homes that suit your clients. Have a look the night before or the morning of your viewing day. You will have the most up-to-date information and will not miss anything.
Real estate sales are fast-paced. There is a good chance that homes will go under contract since you last looked. Especially with extra special homes or when the market is hot. You do not want to take a client to see a home that is already taken off the market.
Let the Buyers Ride or Drive
Some buyers will prefer you to chauffeur them to and from the properties you show them. Others will want to get a sense of the area themselves and prefer to drive behind you. Let your client decide which is best for them.
Some clients, like couples, would like the privacy their own car brings. They can candidly discuss the properties without the discomfort of you listening in. It is not personal, it is what makes them feel more at ease.
If they do go with you (and this could be a last-minute change), make sure your car is clean. It should have a fresh wash and smell nice inside. Also, make sure not to forget to fill up on gas. You do not want to end up running out in the middle of a showing day.
Know the Way
As a realtor, you will need the navigational standards of a taxi driver. It is unprofessional to get lost on the way to a viewing. It will not leave your buyers feeling confident with your abilities as their real estate agent and could put them off working with you entirely.
You have to know how to get from point A to B and then on to C and beyond. Map out your route and drive it a few times before showing day. Street names can change, or roadblocks happen. Make sure you have a few alternative routes on backup.
It is also a good idea to go the most scenic route even if it takes longer. You want to highlight the neighborhood and paint a good picture. By seeing all the best parts, it will help buyers form a positive impression.
Further to the point, it is a good idea to get to know the area features. It will help you pinpoint and hone in on the information that will appeal to your buyers the most. Make sure you know things like:
- How close malls, stores, hospitals, etc. are.
- Traffic issues and busy times
- Accessibility of public transport
- School district facts
- Highway access
- Airport access
- Local development/construction plans
- Change or zone/land use plans
A positive impression of the area has more chance of leading to a positive impression of the houses.
Don't Choose Too Many Houses
You will have scoured all your sources and found a great list of potential perfect new homes. Now, narrow it down to the best of that list that most suits your clients. You should pick 5 or fewer.
It is easy for clients to get overwhelmed with too many choices. After a day of hard house hunting, their brains will hurt and every house will start to blend into one.
You want buyers to leave with a fresh mind, remembering each house as an individual. You can save the best two houses for the first one you see and the last one. This way, your tour will start and end with a showstopper. Even if they do not pick one of these homes, it will boost their confidence in your ability to find what they need.
You want to be sure to have all of the information you can about each property you are showing the buyers. You need to prove that you know your stuff and picked these homes for a reason.
You can have notes with you, and a personal information sheet would help you out as well. Familiarize yourself with the floor plan, the current owners, and the features of the home: bedrooms, bathrooms, any special unique features you think will wow the buyers.
It is also helpful to know information like:
- Average utility bills throughout the year
- Any add-ons or extensions
- If the wood flooring is real hardwood
- If the features are original to the home or added later
These extra bits go a long way with buyers, who will want to feel informed and get to know the home they are seeing.
Your buyers will want to know all about the home, but first, they will likely ask about the neighborhood. This is where you need to sell its features and amenities, to prove it is the right place for them to live.
A neighborhood fact sheet is a good idea with all this written down. There might be a local newsletter you can sign up for too, to keep up to date with any changes or developments.
Features of the House
Features buyers give the most weight to are ones that are unique to the property. Ask them questions about what they like and dislike about each room.
This can help you narrow down your search for future properties. You will get a better idea of what buyers are looking for, and what is turning them off about a property.
Remember, you will need to have all the facts for each property too, but when you are marketing a home, this should be information you are already familiar with. Arm yourself with information such as:
- HVAC system
- Number of rooms
- Square footage
- Asking price
- Rough monthly payments and cost of insurance
- Unique features (period hardwood floor, pool, games room, etc.)
- Reason seller is selling
Watch the buyers' body language as it will tell you a lot about their opinions before they say anything. This is a valuable skill to learn if you are showing houses.
Prepare a Buyers Information Pack
While going on a house viewing tour, it is hard for buyers to remember each little detail. To help with this, put together a buyer's information pack for each property. Include the following:
- A fact sheet for each house
- Pen and stationery for them to take notes
- An itinerary of the houses on your tour
- A neighborhood map with the properties pinpointed
This will be a great reference for buyers to look back at when they go away and make their decisions in private.
How to Show a House Made Easy
So, there you have it! Now you know how to show a house, your viewing days are sure to go off without a hitch.
Preparation is key, so make sure you plan ahead. Know the routes and have your information to hand. The more information you can give your buyers, the more impressed they will be with your skills.
House hunting is stressful, and at times buyers can feel hopeless. You want to put them at ease and reassure them you have their back. You have the skills to find the perfect home for their wants and needs.
If you found this article useful, be sure to check out the 9 Tools in Real Estate Technology You Need to Be Using to take your business to the next level.