Should a Seller Give Tours of their Home to Buyers?

Real Estate is a funny business. Many people look at Realtors as traditional "Sales People" and in fact, many sellers believe that the reason their home is not selling is because of the sales skills of the Realtor--or lack thereof. Well, I am here to tell you that not only is this seldom the reason why your home did not sell, the Realtor's role in selling your home is to MARKET your home and NEGOTIATE the deal--not to be a smooth talking and well adored clothes horse that you thought you needed to sell your home fast and for the highest possible price.

Now, you may have been sold on a Realtor's superior abilities as a listing agent. Many Realtors take classes to become "Certified" as "negotiators" or "specialists" and become better presenters TO their prospective clients. Realtors can buy presentations today from other agents and use them in an attempt to show their superior skills and ability to sell your home faster and better. Personally, I have never been fond of fast talking sales people--in any field. Not in Real Estate. Not in car sales. Not for any important purchase that I make. I want information and someone who can answer my questions or someone who can teach me more than I already know. That is my water mark and it is the standard by which I judge myself. I never go on the hunt for someone who can "sell" me something. I want more and I believe most buyers today expect more than someone trying to pitch a house to them.

So, how does this relate back to the seller being present when a home is listed to answer questions for the buyer? Glad you asked.

When a buyer walks into your house that is For Sale, they should not be thinking about you, the seller. They should be thinking about their needs, their wants and their family. If they are distracted by anything or any one (e.g., you standing by to give them a tour of the house or answer questions), what they are really thinking about now is you and "your house", not them in this neutral home. Let me say it again; they are thinking about YOUR HOME--not their future home. The simple truth is, for all of your efforts to point out why you think your home is great for you, you have missed the most important point of all--it is not about you! Buying a home is about the buyer--never about the seller. Your very presence is a distraction of the highest order and is the primary reason why your home is not selling.

Mr. Seller,

It is time to step away from this home. Divorce your thoughts from the fact that this is your home and start thinking about it in the terms that the new buyer will think about it. When there is a showing--get the heck out of Dodge City. There is not enough room for you in the house with the buyer at the same time. Here are some of Tim's rules for you to take to heart:
  • Don't introduce yourself on the way out. 
  • Don't tell them what you think is great about your house.
  • Don't offer to show them around. 
  • Don't tell them that if they have any questions they can just ask. 
  • Don't call them after the visit and ask them what they thought or try to tell them what they may have missed. Just don't do it. 
  • Don't do anything except rely on your Realtor's expertise, marketing experience and negotiations skills. That is what you hired them to do--so make sure they have 100% runway to do their job. 
  • If your Realtor has given you directions in how to stage and keep the home when it is listed, you should follow those directions to a T. This is how they make a living and if your Realtor does not know how to do this--find one that does.
In the end, it is not SALES BRAVADO that sells the house. It is more about creating neutrality and a sense of "WOW" with no buyer distractions. Now, step aside and let the buyer be Wowed!

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