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How Do Home Showings Work?



Before there was COVID, sellers’ mostly wanted to know such things as ‘How much should I list my home for?” and “How long will it take to sell?”. COVID has added an extra dimension to the home selling process, especially about how the home can be shown safely and conveniently.

Showings versus Open Houses

Open houses are scheduled for a fixed period of time, for example, Saturday and Sunday from 2-4 pm. Your listing agent is present at all times, and buyers are free to drop in without appointments to view your home. Open houses were been banned at the start of the pandemic and have only recently been allowed once again (with lots of safety measures).

Showings are completely different from open houses. Each showing is for a definite pre-scheduled time period, usually 30 or 60 minutes. During this time the buyer can view the home with his agent. Because of COVID, rules and procedures have been established to ensure safety.

Here’s what home sellers can expect when their home is being shown.

The Anatomy of a Home Showing

The showing gets scheduled
When a buyer finds a great house online, he will usually want to see it as quickly as possible. This is especially so in a strong sellers’ market like we have now. The best houses often sell very quickly, and buyers don’t want to miss out. If you are living in the home during the selling process, make sure that you are readily available to approve showings quickly. You don’t want to miss out on potential buyers, and a showing appointment that isn’t confirmed may not get re-scheduled. If necessary, ask your agent to give you some notice, say an hour or two. This will give you time to do some quick clean-up before the showing.

How will you know when there’s a showing?
Before your home goes on the market, discuss with your agent the best way(s) to communicate with you, for example, text vs email vs phone call. Make sure that you have easy access to messages and are able to check often so that showings can be confirmed promptly.

Who is present at home showings?
An agent will always accompany the buyer. This can either be the buyer’s own agent or, if the buyer doesn’t have an agent, your own agent will conduct the showing. While it’s completely up to you, most sellers will leave the home while the showing is going on. This makes it easier for the buyer to imagine himself living in the home and to discuss it freely with his agent. If the market is very hot and you expect a lot of showings and a quick sale, you might want to move out altogether while your home is on the market. This makes it easier for buyers to access the home at short notice and ensures that your home remains in tip-top condition during the entire process. Constantly ‘prepping’ your home for showings can become very tiring and annoying!

What happens during the showing?
The buyer and his agent will be allowed to view your home during their scheduled time period (30-60 minutes). It’s expected that they will arrive and leave during that time window. The buyer’s agent will tour them through the home, make sure they remove their shoes, and ask him to follow the COVID protocols (for example, wear a mask and touch as little as possible). You might want to turn on the lights before showings or ask your agent to do so if you are moving out. This way, your house will show at its best, and the agent won’t have to fumble around looking for light switches. It will also minimize the touching of surfaces. You could also leave closet doors open to further minimize physical contact.

Make sure you have a clear plan for showing before your home goes on the market. You will get more showings, more offers, and a better price!

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