When you have your home up for sale, you may be told that you shouldn't be around during the showing. In some cases, your listing agent may not even be there for every showing. It might just be the buyers and their real estate agent. So, who will be there to make sure buyers don't miss a thing? You know your house better than anyone else. You can point out all of the features that a buyer or their agent might miss. And maybe you will be able to get a read on the buyers. Are they in love with the house, or do they need a little extra push? Maybe you can pick up on it and say what needs to be said, in case their agent isn't selling them on your home. Plus, doesn't it make sense to be there to make sure nothing gets touched or stolen? Or, maybe you simply don't want to leave. What's the big deal if you are in the other room, watching TV in your sweats? Or in the kitchen eating dinner? Or, if they really don't want you around, maybe you feel just stepping out into the backyard is fine... As much as you might have your reasons or rationale...don't do it. Be gone when buyers come to see your home. Why?
1. Buyers want and need their space.
When you're in the house during a showing, you're getting in the way of the buyers being free to explore and feel at home themselves. You want them picturing themselves in their home...not with you in your home.
2. Agents want and need their space, too.
A buyer's agent usually knows their buyer well. They know what other houses they've seen. What they like and dislike. What they hang up on. What they need to think through. What they need to get over in terms of expectations. Sometimes that means the agent needs to say some pretty blunt things. In the least, they need the freedom to have some open conversation with their clients, without you being around to hear, to help their buyers work through any hesitations. If your ears are in the room, or even the house, you're probably getting in the way of some key thoughts the buyer's agent may otherwise share in the moment...and not saying them may very well cost you an offer from the buyer.
3. They may not get excited.
If you're around, buyers may want not want to "show their cards". It's natural for a buyer to not want the seller to see them get too excited, because people feel like it will hurt them in negotiations. So, they hold back from not only showing excitement, but also from being excited. Not on purpose...it just happens. You can be getting in the way of the buyer getting swept up in the moment.
4. You can hurt you own cause by saying stuff...
You may say something you regret. Maybe you let something slip that hurts your position or ability to negotiate the best deal. It happens. You could feel like every one is getting along really well, and you are just making conversation, and the next thing you know, you're telling them your life story. If you aren't there, they have no way of knowing you desperately want the house sold, and would be fine taking $16,000 less than they were even thinking of asking. But if you're around, it can happen. And it does. Or, you might just start grumbling about something you hate about your neighbor, for instance. An offhand remark could easily make a buyer decide not to buy. Or, you could say something insulting without realizing, like you hope they plan on having babies. You really want to sell your home to someone with kids. Maybe they can't have babies and always wanted children. It would be hard for them to buy and live in a house after a conversation like that. Or, you could violate a fair housing law without knowing. All it takes is an off-color, or careless remark, and you could find yourself in hot water. Or, you could cite something that isn't actually true, like you own the land all the way to that tree back by the neighbor's shed. You may very well think so, but in actuality, you don't. And if things move forward with them thinking what you said is true, it could come back to haunt you.
5. It can be just plain "creepy".
You probably aren't "creepy". But some people are, or at least come across that way. You can't control how someone feels about you. Everyone has their own sense of what "creepy" is. What you feel is normal, friendly, or nice, could come across as creepy to a buyer. In the least, you literally are "creepy", in the sense that you are creeping into the space and thoughts of your buyer. Sure, it's still your space. But you gotta give people the space, to be in your space, so they make it their space. So, when there's a showing scheduled, go for a drive, or a walk. Or, go hang out at a neighbor's house. (Feel free to sneak a peek at the buyer, but don't be staring at them from behind the neighbor's curtains the whole time...that's creepy.) Go run errands. Go to the mall. Go grab a bite to eat... Go anywhere but inside your home. Don't even linger in the backyard or in the driveway. You'll be doing yourself more good than you could possibly do by being there. In fact, being there has more downsides than possible upsides.