Can I Be Present During Showings? Home Seller FAQ: Can I Be Present During Showings?

A common question sellers often ask is, “Can I Be Present During Showings?”.  Absolutely, it is your home and you can do whatever you wish.  However, Why would you want to be present when prospective buyers are getting up-close-and-personal with your property?

Below are several reasons why sellers should not be present when their home is being shown.

Should Sellers Be Present During Showings (typically, no)

As a seller, your home is your home and no one else’s until the moment that it gets sold. That means no one can force you out of it or leave it if you do not want to. But it is the best decision to make yourself scarce if you are trying to sell it.

Most local real estate agents will prefer you to be absent whenever prospective buyers tour the house. Other agents will be too polite or hesitate to tell you directly, but others will tell it straight. Being present at home makes you seem desperate to sell, which has its risks and dangers.

You are not required to leave, but there are plenty of reasons that say you should not be present during showings. These reasons include the buyers feeling crowded, coming off as desperate, and the chance that you might get taken advantage of. Raise the chances of your home being sold by being absent during showings.

Should Home Buyers and Sellers Meet?

Why You Should Not Be Present for Showings

There is no standard set of rules that should be followed regarding how to act as a homeowner selling their house. Since it is your home, you have more right than anyone else to dictate who stays and who should leave. Your local Realtor will nearly always recommend you go rather than stay. Remember, we have your best interest at heart.

It is important to remember that the end goal is for the house to be sold and that showings are only a minor inconvenience compared to the bigger picture. Some sellers, even you, might feel that being home will not impact sales as much, and some see it as a benefit. But mostly, your absence wins over your presence. 

Buyers will feel intimidated and hesitant, especially knowing that the homeowners are within the vicinity. Just as you, the seller, have your privacy to attend to, so do potential buyers as they are not setting down any deals yet. There is a chance that they may not feel as comfortable looking around the home and seeing what the house offers.

As a seller, make sure you are not too overbearing and avoid being there as much as possible. Unless it is a complete necessity, staying out of the way or even outside would be better options to take. Raise your house’s ability to make people feel comfortable by doing the same yourself.

Should Sellers Be Present at Open Houses?

As a seller, you have the full power to make your home the most appealing it can be. When it comes to the question of your presence being needed at a showing, the short answer will always be no. The following reasons are why:

It can make potential buyers uncomfortable and make them feel that it is crowded

Homeowners sticking by in the background during showings will make a potential buyer uncomfortable, especially if you try to talk to them. If you cannot avoid staying outside of the house and feel uncomfortable, make yourself almost invisible and avoid engaging in conversation with buyers.

Being a persistent seller can make you come off as overbearing and intimidating when in reality, you should be taking a step back and letting your agent handle the situation. Potential buyers will not only feel hesitant stepping inside of your home, but they will also feel uncomfortable with further exploring the area.

It is inevitable for buyers to open closets and cupboards and explore the house’s different features to see if it fits their standards and needs. With a seller being known and present at home, they may feel shy or too scared to do so, which results in the loss of a potential buyer.

Additionally, some buyers tend to be overly critical of how they view the house, especially when they want to gravitate to buying it. It helps them assess what is lacking and what doesn’t reach their standards, which makes it all the more uncomfortable knowing that the house owner can hear the criticism.

This is why a seller should strongly avoid being present, as it makes buyers hesitant and scared, which stunts the possibility of any transaction or offer arising. Give them space to criticize, assess, and inspect the house without intimidation or worry.

You come off to the buyers as a seller who is too desperate to sell

No seller in the world would want to sell a house and wait months for it to be sold. Of course, every seller has at least a little desperation in them, but it should not be expressed. Even when you think that showing up to an open house is harmless, it gives the potential buyers the wrong idea of you.

Being a seller who is clinging to their house and being there at every moment, even during a showing, makes you seem desperate. More so if you are a seller who tries to interject all the positive features and benefits of the house, which makes it too overpowering and overbearing for potential buyers.

Whether or not it is harmless to the buyers, you leave an impression that you are challenging to work with or not trusting. If your home is genuinely as advertised, should there be a need to hover and be present during showings?

Desperation is an easy trait to sense, especially for buyers sniffing and scoping out a potential home they wish to buy. Other sellers will take advantage of your vulnerability and desperation to haggle out a lower price on the house, where you will end up defeated. Desperation is never a good look on anyone, especially in situations involving money and transactions.

You are vulnerable and might be tempted to show all your cards Should Home Buyers and Sellers Meet

Home buyers will likely take advantage of sellers at the showings if they are not intimidated by the sellers’ presence. Questions will be asked, and not only for the home, but some might delve into more personal topics to fish out a lower price. These questions can significantly impact the home sale in more ways than one.

A new seller will be very vulnerable to these questions, and even due to nervousness or desperation to get the house sold, it might reveal a little bit too much. Most likely, you will still answer some because of being afraid to come off rude by not responding. Even sellers who are not first-timers are still susceptible to the possibility of being taken advantage of, whether you are able to dodge the questions or not.

The questions that sellers might encounter can go from small, house-oriented questions to bigger and more personal ones. An example of a personal question is why you are moving, where you plan to move, and what made you leave such a good house. Despite the good-natured tone, these are questions that can make you reveal information that might be used against you.

When you begin revealing your current and future circumstances, it is parallel to showing all your cards to the people on the table. This information might not sound valuable at first glance, but it is worth using against you, especially with getting you to lower the home price.

Whether you are in a good situation like a job opportunity, or a bad one like a divorce, it could always end up with you lowering the offered price. If you remain vague, it can maintain the price, but the best choice to make is to trust your agent and be absent during showings. It keeps your leverage up and avoids any on-the-spot negotiation between buyer and seller.

Sellers are not the experts

As mentioned, being a seller means that you have more attachment to the home than any person. This means that even though you are trying to make the home more appealing by being there and adding comments on the house, you’re risking more than you are aware of.

The purpose of a real estate agent is to help you sell the home professionally and through proven-and-tested methods so that you will not have to go through the trouble of doing it by yourself. This is crucial, whether you’re a first-time home seller or not. Your personal opinions on the home highly affect how buyers see it during a showing, especially if they know that you are the house owner.

In light of any question being asked by the potential buyers, it’s always in the best interest of everyone, especially the seller, to let the agent handle answering it. Professionals are very good at what they do for a reason, and as much as you would want to defend your home, it only makes you look desperate. Trust your Realtor!

A seller is essential to the process but not to the showing itself

Based on the previously mentioned reasons, it is safe to say that being present during showings as a seller is not necessary. It can even be the best choice to make if you want your home to be sold as soon as it can. Leave the talking and advertising of the house to the agents and professionals because they would not be professional if they failed in selling homes.

No matter how enthusiastic you are about sharing your home with others, try to be anywhere but home during open houses, showings, or even during inspections. Your presence is a significant factor that can play into the home’s final price, so better safe than sorry because you might get less than what you paid for.

Why Should Buyers and Sellers Not Meet?

As the reasons previously stated, it is not a very good idea to present yourself as a seller to potential buyers of your home during showings or inspections. This is more of a disadvantage to the seller than to buyers because sellers are vulnerable.

Homes are a valuable investment. If the house you have lived in and selling now has been with you for more than a year or so, you most likely have a strong emotional attachment to it, even if you are more than ready to let go. This means that you might say things that could be used against you in negotiations or settling the final offer on the house.

Buyers and sellers are never the same people and rarely have the same vision, even for the same house. So, being present and engaging in conversations during a showing can lead to a clash between opinions and potential plans. It decreases the likelihood of a buyer’s interest, which is terrible. You will defend yours, the integrity of how your house is at the moment, against what the potential buyer has in mind.

Sellers should understand that if they want their home to be sold, it is much better to stay out of any showing, open house, or inspection. The discouragement is not because of privacy reasons. However, it partially is, but more that it disrupts the experience of the potential buyers exploring on their own and realizing what they like about the home.

While getting out of the house can be a hassle and inconvenience for you, remember the bigger picture, especially if you have pets or kids. It is all for the possibility of letting go of the house and moving on to a new one. That process will only be slowed down with your constant presence during any showing.

Buyers want to spend as much time as they can exploring your home, as they are imagining and envisioning themselves living there and how high the possibilities are. Let them discover what great things lie in your home on their own, as a great house will be able to stand out on its own.

It will be worth it for you and them at the end when you settle on an offer that is not interfered with and beneficial on both ends.

At the end of the day, no one knows your home as well as you do, so if you communicate to your real estate agent everything you want buyers to know about your house, he/she can put together a packet of information that can be left for potential buyers.  This is a good way to show off, point out, or bring tidbits to prospective buyers attention without running into any of pitfalls above.

Tips Why Sellers Should Not Be Present During Showings

About Anita Clark Realtor

Anita Clark has written 614 posts on this blog.

Anita is a residential Real Estate Agent in Warner Robins Georgia, with Coldwell Banker Access Realty (478) 953-8595, aiding buyers and sellers with all their real estate questions on her Warner Robins blog.