Your Question: I'm Selling My Home by Owner... How Do I Show it to Buyers AND Agents?
Professor Tate Answers:
First screen the Buyers. Before you let them into your home, ask them a few questions during that initial phone call. What’s their name and phone number? In which area do they live? How long have they been looking for a home? Do they have their home up for sale?
Asking them these questions will help you to determine whether or not they are legitimate. If you’re comfortable that the person is a genuine potential Buyer, set up a showing for your home. If you are uncomfortable, you may still want to arrange to have a second person with you at the time of showing. Keep a log of potential Buyers that have contacted you, with their names and phone numbers, dates and times they’ve called/emailed, and the date and time of the showing appointment.
In addition, have a “sign in book” for anyone you show your home to. They will fill in their name, address, and phone number. This will enable you to contact them in the future to see how their house hunting is going and to determine if they are truly a potential Buyer for your home.
When your visitor’s sign the guest book, give them a copy of your “Home Brochure” and tell them that you will call in a day or so to find out if they have any questions.
When telling the prospect that you will call, it serves two purposes, one is to refresh the Buyer’s memory about your home and the other is to not let the Buyer think you are desperate to sell.
Keep in mind that when Buyers look through the home, it’s best for the Seller to give them some space so that they may feel comfortable. Since you won’t be able to keep a constant eye on your guests, it would be prudent to keep all of your valuable or important items in a bank security box or at a trusted relative’s or friend’s house during the length of time your home is on the market.
Don’t just screen the Buyers, also screen the Realtors. When a Realtor contacts you for information about your home and/or for showing instructions, make sure you get some information from them and then record it in a book for yourself:
Be very careful how you represent the assets of your property. The Buyer can bring suit against you for recovery of damages if he feels the property has been misrepresented. Sellers Disclosure Forms are required in most states and will protect you against this.
You asked, now you know!
-Professor Reel S. Tate