Home-selling tips: What an agent does when showing your home
Special to the NNBW
Agents do a lot of things when they show a home, not all of which are readily apparent. Sellers want them to accompany every person in the viewing party to every room and bestow the virtues of the house at every moment. Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work that way.
Agents bringing buyers to your home are usually looking out for the buyers’ interests. They will show them the good things about your home and property, and they will also point out any deficiencies they notice.
It is their job. An agent that does a good job of disclosing deficiencies is actually doing the seller a good service. Deficiencies aren’t always property deficiencies; they could be a reason why a property doesn’t work for a buyer. Better to learn early in the process than after you come to terms and go down the escrow path a bit.
Deficiencies pointed out by an agent can also be brought to the foreground and explained. Often there is a good explanation why something appears to be the way it is. Better to discuss it than to have them walk away thinking negatively about your property when they are actually good buyers for you.
A good agent will assist the buyer in assessing the property and how it will work for them. Buyers often get overwhelmed, especially if they are looking at several properties in one day.
They will see the obvious and get distracted by decorations while missing some important components of the property that are important to them. Typically missed items are quality of construction, dual pane window upgrades on an older home, good condition roof, view corridor is protected, etc. The many subtle items that contribute to value and quality of life that aren’t in your face obvious.
An agent entering a home with people in tow has a responsibility to make sure the people they let in to your home respect your environment. They may not know the buyers well so they should make every effort to protect your valuables to assure minimal exposure to theft. That includes making sure the house is locked up.
If a home is being cased and set up for later entry and theft, they may unlock a window or leave a patio door unlocked. It doesn’t happen often, but once is too many times and agents must be diligent in making sure that your home is secure. You will know who was in your home as the modern lockbox records the agent who is opening it and sends a message to the listing agent.
Agents must also make sure that your pets are safe, don’t get out and aren’t inadvertently closed off from their food or facilities. That includes not turning off the switch with the Iguana heat light connected to it, not letting dogs or cats in, or out, from where they were, etc. Common sense really, but if they are focused on the buyers, these things can get away from them. They must be in charge and paying attention to everything going on.
Our Advice: Buyers’ agents are there to protect everybody in one way or another, buyer, seller, and agent. They will look for personal property that can be questionable as to whether or not it is real estate and included.
They will look for “tell” signs that may show a buyer the seller’s real motivation, i.e., heart medicine on the kitchen table indicating they must get to a lower altitude, late notices from billing companies, etc. Put those things away as they can negatively impact your sales negotiations. Many good things can come from sellers interacting with a Buyer’s agent. Talk to your agent about what you should say to a Buyer’s agent.
Agents want to sell and buyers want to buy your home in a safe, fair transaction. Good discussions between the parties about the property can assure everyone of a good transaction.
Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, work for RE/MAX Realty Affiliates in the Carson Valley. Visit carsonvalleyland.com or call 775-781-5472 for information.
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