Some sellers will just make it extremely uncomfortable to even have this conversation. I have had comments like, “I’m not going to be kicked out of my own home.” So here is the question, is it Okay for a Seller to be Present during showings?
What do you think Michelle?
No. The sellers should never be present during showings. Let me repeat that. The sellers should never be present during showings! Period.
Well gee Michelle, you are kind of uptight, aren’t you?
Well. Maybe. AND it is an emotional time for a seller AND what if you say the wrong thing? Nobody wants to say the wrong thing. How do you even know what the wrong thing is?
What if you are the seller and you don’t want anyone to buy your home who doesn’t have horses. Yup. You, as the buyer, walk in and they say hello and the next thing you know, they are asking for your horse’s name. You know, the horse you don’t have. The one you don’t plan to have. Of course, you wouldn’t think anything of it and say, “I don’t have any horses.” Little did you know, you just put the nail in your own coffin. You are talking about your RV and all the space you will have for your boat and the next thing you know, the seller doesn’t want to sell the house. At least not to YOU. It happens.
Is it okay for a Seller to be Present during showings? What if I answer maybe? Maybe it will be okay, even at best it is just sort of weird and uncomfortable. You know, the seller walking in front of you saying, “This is a bathroom. This is the kitchen.”
I think we can all agree on what constitutes a bathroom and a kitchen. Right?
If you are a seller, let me give you some guidance. STOP BEING A CONTROL FREAK. If you want a control freak, hire one. Most REALTORS® fit that mold anyway.
Let me ask again, is it okay for a Seller to be Present during showings? The long and short of it is this, you hire a professional to sell your house for a reason. It doesn’t matter if the buyer has horses or an RV to park. Who cares? What matters is do they have money?
Sellers Who Block their own Home Sale. Is it Okay for a Seller to be Present during showings?
Another reason you might ask is it okay for a seller to be present during showings is sellers don’t realize that many sellers block their own sales. They make it so weird and uncomfortable to view the home that they lose buyers before they step inside. They point out things that really just don’t need to be pointed out. “Here is the pantry, this is the Master closet, etc.” Or they are looming over you while you look at the cabinets in the kitchen. You feel so uncomfortable and become very aware that this is THE SELLER’S home and NOT yours.
I had one seller want a discount because HE was “selling” the house. After multiple complaints from Buyer’s Agents and multiple conversations with the seller, I decided he needed a discount agent and not me. He personally walked every home buyer through the house as Captain Obvious and pointed at everything that was, well, obvious. Then he would bring out Drill Sargent home seller.
- “Why are you moving?”
- “Do you have a house to sell?”
- “Is your house sold?”
- “Where do you live?”
- “Do you have kids?”
- “Do you have horses?”
You could see tire marks in the driveway where buyers were burning rubber to get away from this house.
Buyers Love to get in Front of the Seller so they can Negotiate. Is it Okay for a Seller to be Present during showings?
The other side of this coin is the fact that some BUYERS love to get in front of the seller. It gives them time to win them over. They want the seller to like them and want them personally to have their home. It also gives the buyers the freedom to go Drill Sargent home buyer.
- “How did you determine the current price?”
- “How many offers have you had?”
- “When do you want to close?”
- “Are you negotiable on the price?”
- “How much will you come down on the price?”
- “How long have you had it on the market?”
- “I see there are a lot of problems with the tile, do you plan to reduce the price or give some sort of credit for that at closing?”
REALTOR® Code of Ethics Violation
At this point, if the Buyer’s agent is often still present, and most of the time they have lost their voice. None of these things should be discussed directly with the seller as it is a Code of Ethics violation and downright just inappropriate.
As a seller, you have opened the door to this by being there. Hire someone competent and let them do their job. Trust them.
Negotiating directly with the Seller? Not a Good Idea if you want More Money in your Pocket.
I can tell you one short story about a home seller in the high market. She hired a discount company to put her home on the MLS and they didn’t offer any representation, which, well, that is another story for another day, but my job was to represent the buyer and it was so uncomfortable.
It was a high market. We couldn’t get into ANY home for anything. I called her agent and he said, deal with the seller directly. Really? Are you sure? Yup, he said.
The short version is I played hardball. I came in below list and gave the seller three hours to answer. She called me and said she wanted to hold it open over the weekend and I said, well, our offer expires in three hours. She didn’t know what to do. I felt bad but I was representing my client and he needed to get into a house and in that market, it was a crapshoot. Plus she is the one who chose not to have any representation. She was clearly in over her head.
A great REALTOR should put Money in your Pocket
If I had been her realtor, she would have done none of the work and would have put another $25,000 in her pocket. But she did save money on the commissions. Or so she thought. A great REALTOR should put money in your pocket that offsets commissions. But that is another story…
As a Public Speaker and Writer, she has written for various magazine and trade publications and speaks Nationwide regarding the loss of her son, grief and emotional health.
She is a Certified Negotiations Expert, Master Practitioner of NLP and has attended Accredited Buyer classes and is a real estate instructor with Internal Dynamics Real Estate School.
Michelle enjoys time with her husband and family, writing, gardening, reading and is a huge fan of personal growth.