Control Your Showing Schedule

By Steve Flanagan

Since you’ve written a great description of your home and created a solid marketing plan, potential buyers will soon be lining up to view your home. Selling without an agent means that the work an agent would traditionally do showing your home now falls on your shoulders.

To help keep the scheduling process from taking over your life, as you plan your schedule keep these six touchstones in mind:

1. Know your availability. The most critical element to consider is what works for you. If you work during the day your showings will need to be in the evening or on the weekends. Make sure your available times are clear to buyers when you go live with your listing ad.

2. Show in the best light. Offer showing times when your home looks its best, whether that’s in natural light complimented by internal lighting or with internal lighting working on its own. For instance, if your home faces east and is bathed in sunlight in the morning, offer a.m. showing times. If sunlight is limited where you live, or you just don’t get a lot of it because of the number of windows or their placement, offer more showing times in the evening.

3. Days to avoid (or consider). You’re unlikely to attract many buyers on major holidays, but consider offering showing times on holidays not celebrated by all employers (President’s Day, Columbus Day, etc.). Teachers, government workers, bank employees and many others don’t work on many of those holidays and may request showings on their days off. If need be, think about taking those days off from work to make yourself available for showings.

4. Be easy to reach. Give buyers the power to contact you through email and Facebook (together with other social media tools) and via your cell phone. If you’re concerned about people having your cell phone number permanently, get a temporary cell phone to use through your selling process.

5. Keep your house tidy. Even when your showing schedule is online and organized, you never know when a buyer might make a last-minute request to pop over and see your home. It’s a challenge to keep your home in showing condition throughout the process but that helps you build in flexibility for buyers which can really pay off. You never know who that right buyer is until you’ve agreed on a sale, so be prepared at all times and make every effort when reasonable to accommodate surprise requests.

6. Be as flexible as you can. You don’t want the home selling/showing process to take over your entire life, but your overriding concern is selling your home quickly for a good price. Your buyer may have an unusual work schedule or personal life considerations that make it challenging to arrange showing times in “normal” hours. Don’t agree to a showing at 3 a.m., but do your best to work with buyers to accommodate their schedules even if that means you’ll have to miss that football game you’ve been looking forward to.