You've cleaned out the hall closet, painted the front door and selected your Real Estate Broker. Tomorrow the sign goes up and then your listing will be activated on the Multiple Listing Service. The Buyers will arrive soon after.
Or will they? Getting the buyers in to your house has become a contest. Not only does the price have to be right, the marketing material attractive, but the house has to be accessible.
Of course, if you've listed your home with a brokerage firm, that becomes their problem, right? Maybe or maybe not.
If you have opted for a 'By Appointment Only' listing, you have taken much of the hard work of your agent, thrown it out, and tied their hands behind their backs. There are a lot of listings out there and not as many buyers. If a buyer cannot get in to your house when they want to, I can tell you they will skip it.
Most of my clients who request a 'By Appointment Only' listing have some compelling reason: a pet, an infirm relative, a small child or a job they do from home. Believe me, I understand and sympathize with your reasons. I would tell you, however, you are handicapping your house in the contest to get to closing.
Most Realtor Associations have protections in the form of lockbox security. This will enable you to limit access only to those Realtors who are registered and paid in full. You can also limit the hours that the lockbox works. You can find out who has been in your home through the lockbox technology. This does not keep them from coming in without notice. But I would contend that most agents and buyers are understanding and would not expect you to clear out without notice. Instead of making it 'By Appointment Only,' why don't you request an hour call ahead? As a Realtor I find too often that By Appointment Only means tomorrow or the next day. It also means that the homeowner wants to be in the house--not always conducive to a really thorough walk-thru. Some buyers just don't have the option of waiting until tomorrow or the next day, and as for being in the house, only in extreme situations is that a good option.
I know how hard it is to have your home on the market--I, too, have been a seller. But it is also a brief time out of your life (if you do it right). I have found that most dogs will do fine if left in a mudroom or, if crate trained, in the crate. I have seen babies sleep through showings; most people are willing to be quiet if you are generous enough to open your house to them. As for elderly relatives or the home office situation, again, we all understand what kind of sacrifice you are making.
Selling a house, either as a listing agent or a buyers agent is a collaborative process; we are all trying to work together to sell a home--shouldn't it be yours?
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