Selling Your Home? Make It Easy For Buyers to See
Truthfully, the title of this post is good advice by itself, but I wanted to take a minute to explain some common mistakes I've seen sellers make. I strive to keep my own clients from making these errors, of course.
First and foremost, I always advise my clients who are selling to try to allow every single showing if at all possible. Yes, this will be inconvenient at times. Yes, you may get 5 minutes' notice, or there may be an agent sitting in the driveway calling you. I recognize that it's not possible under every circumstance, but try to be as accommodating as you can be.
It only takes ONE buyer to sell your home, and you never know which one that will be.
Don't scare them away.
If nothing else, if they call and it's not a good time, ask if you can have 15 minutes to straighten up the place, or finish dinner, etc. When I'm showing houses, I am more organized than average, and I typically give a call the evening before I am going to show the home, but I don't expect that of every agent, and neither should you, frankly.
This leads to my next point: when you aren't flexible with showings, particularly if you have too many hoops to jump through ("24 hour notice", "call so that seller can move dogs", "no showings before 1pm"), it comes across as unmotivated and your house will be skipped sometimes, simply because it's too challenging to show.
If you don't have a lockbox, your chances of getting showings decrease. The exception to this rule applies to high-end luxury homes, at least in Austin. Most agents expect that if they're showing several $3 million homes, they will be meeting with the listing agent at each one. This is not the case for $250,000 homes. If you require an appointment (either with yourself or with your listing agent), you are much less likely to make the list. Don't let your agent convince you otherwise.
For investment properties that are still occupied, be careful not to allow the tenant to have too much leeway about determining showing times. I have seen this blow sales with qualified cash buyers more than once.
Bottom line is that you may be inconvenienced from time to time while your house is listed. But this is only temporary, and the more accommodating you are as a seller, the sooner you will receive an acceptable offer.