As I've mentioned frequently over the past few months, the number of houses available for sale is extremely low -- and now we at Suzanne & Co. are seeing a higher number of accompanied showings. Lead buyer agent Jessica Clark is on the front lines with the buyers on this issue, so I've asked her to share her experience in this area with us. And if you or anyone you know has been thinking about selling, NOW is the time! We invite you to give us a call for a complimentary market evaluation.
In my work with home buyers I am encountering more and more accompanied showings these days. (An accompanied showing is when the listing agent requires that they be present for all showings of the property, even if the buyer has their own agent.) I can see why a seller may see value in having their own agent present for every showing, and in some cases it is necessary to guarantee the safety of expensive artwork or manage an unfriendly dog, for instance. However, I strongly caution sellers against accompanied showings. For one thing, it adds another layer of schedules and conflicts to the mix -- I had three separate showing requests canceled last week alone because the listing agent wasn't able to accommodate the time and/or day we requested to see the home. These showings were for highly motivated and qualified buyers. And guess what? They ended up putting in an offer on a home they were able to see and those sellers missed out on a possible sale because their agent was too busy!
And many buyers find it annoying to have the listing agent present. One of the reasons a buyer sets up a private showing is so they can explore the house at their own pace and check for the items that are important to them. Having the listing agent there to point out the granite counter tops or newly finished hardwood floors is in many cases a distraction and not a help. The buyer's agent has a relationship with their clients and knows what items to highlight for their client.
Finally, the added pressure of accommodating another schedule often adds stress to an already busy day. Most buyers are looking at more than one house a day, and it can be difficult to figure out the exact arrival time at the next property on the list. If you're running behind and someone is at the next home waiting for you it is extremely stressful. No one wants a prospective buyer walking into their house feeling stressed right from the start.
I do understand accompanied showings are sometimes necessary, but the majority of the time it seems to be because the sellers feel their agent can "sell" the house on the showing by pointing out features and updates. However, as someone who works solely with buyers, I strongly urge sellers to reconsider the value in them after listening to all my clients' feedback.
What do you think? If you were the seller, would you want your agent present at every showing? And if you were the buyer, would you want the seller's agent there with you while you're considering the house?
Jessica Clark, Realtor | Keller Williams Realty | Team Suzanne & Co. | 978-985-0123