Being your home’s tour guide is almost as bad as over pricing your home. I say almost because no matter what you do, if your home is overpriced to the market it’s in, it will never sell. However, being a “tour guide” when potential buyers and their buyer’s agents visit your home is an almost sure-fire way to keep the house from selling.
After all, who knows your home better than you? You’ve lived in it for years. You’ve made the improvements (if any) to the house, you know the neighbors. What could possibly be wrong with you giving the potential buyers a tour to let them know every little thing about the house?
Buyers Are Looking For Their Next Home
The thing about showing off your own home is that you want to point out all the wonderful things that have happened over the years.
Here’s is the great kitchen you remodeled ten years ago (but not completely because you ran out of money). Here is the room where you raised your kids…isn’t that lovely wallpaper? Or a cute mural? Here is the family room we all spent so much time in together. Oh, did I tell you we remodeled this bathroom just a year ago. The siding on the outside of the house is super premium.
You get the picture?
What you’re doing is sharing your memories and love of your house with people who want you to get the heck out so they can move in.
The real problem with that is really more subliminal.
Most buyers are nice people. They don’t want to kick you out of your house. If you insist on walking through the house with them and showing everything that’s important to you they’ll know you really don’t want to leave. So, they’ll smile and nod and be polite and leave your house as quickly as they can. No offer to purchase will be forthcoming.
What’s The Price?
The other problem with being your house’s tour guide is that you probably will say way too much about what you’re willing to accept. Or, you’ll say way too much about why you’re selling your house.
There is an old saying about showing your hand too early. Don’t do it.
The reason you’ve hired a real estate agent (someone like me) is that you don’t want anything to slip while you’re talking and being friendly with the potential buyer and their buyer’s agent. it happens all the time.
Why are you moving? Will you give closing help? Is the price negotiable? How quickly do you want to get to settlement? I noticed the foreclosure across the street. What are the neighbors like? Is there much crime?
Hey, you just want to be friendly and helpful. So, you answer all these questions and more. What you’re doing is giving away the store. You are disclosing everything the buyer and their buyer’s agent could possibly want to know when they get together, privately, to discuss what type of offer (if any) to put together to buy your house.
Is It Time To Let It Go?
Many people who give tours of their own home to potential buyers and their buyer’s agents really don’t want to let it go.
Sure. They’ve gone through the motions of hiring a real estate agent, signed a listing agreement, have a sign in front of the house, presence on the Internet. The whole nine yards. Yet, each time a potential buyer comes by they remind themselves (and the buyers) how much they love the home. The memories. The little things they’ve done to make it their home.
Each time they give a tour of their home, the seller realizes how hard it will be to live somewhere else. They haven’t been able to “let go”.
Eventually, they will let it go. They will eventually either move out or the house will come off the market and they will stay another couple of years.
Selling a house isn’t easy. There is a lot of emotion wrapped up in letting some stranger move into a house you’ve lived in for years.
If you want to move onto the next chapter of your life, you need to let your real estate agent do the work of marketing and negotiating the sale of your home. If people come by to take a look at it, take a walk around the block. Sit and read on the porch. Do something. Anything. Just let the buyers and their buyer’s agent walk through your house — alone — to find the things they love about the house.
Everyone will be better off.