Montreal Real Estate – Your home or condo is up for sale, and potential buyers are requesting visits. Each real estate broker works differently so please find out exactly what your real estate brokers’ method will be in advance. Will you be left with the job of having to provide a “tour” of your own home? Set out clear expectations of how the visits will be handled, and who will do what. Think about if you are comfortable with other agents and their buyers visiting your home and talking about it while you are present? How will you field questions coming from buyers and their agents, are you prepared to do this with ease?
With years of experience, a good real estate broker knows what works best for your type of property and should work with you to create a plan for the visits. If your broker is present during the visits, perhaps they can pick up on buyer’s body language, answer questions and obtain valuable feedback from observations. This can help tweak your pricing and marketing strategy.
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With your broker, you may decide to clump all visits together on certain days of the week, cutting down on cleaning and preparation. You may decide it’s best to accept all visit requests with a 24 hour minimum notice, which is the most common. Again, deciding who will be present during the visits is an important part of your selling strategy not to be overlooked. Many brokers sell their services and focus a lot on “online marketing” and overlook good old fashion face to face connections, which usually help seal the deal!
Believe it or not, there are some basic rules of etiquette when showing a home. In U.S. cities, the trend is that sellers should never be home when a buyer visits. In Montreal and the province of Quebec we often arrive to see the seller opening up the door. As the seller, you may want to be helpful and point out certain features that you feel are important or want to point out. As a broker representing buyers for over 15 years, I can tell you that they require their privacy to freely visualize and also speak during visits. Buyers do not always want to be “sold” on the house by others, they want to soak it in and decide if they see themselves living in the space. The more distractions and people around, the more difficult this is for buyers.
I recall visiting a condo with a buyer, and the seller talking about their condo’s features and following us around, seemingly being helpful. The features the seller mentioned were not particularly in line with my buyers specific interests. Needless to say, my buyer did not enjoy the experience and was a bit confused as to why the seller was giving us the tour? The listing agent may have failed to “educate” their seller on what to expect when buyers show up with their agents. Perhaps this buyer unknowingly “killed the deal”.
If you have agreed with your realtor, that as the seller you will open the door to other brokers, should you leave the house or stick around during the visit? Although, we have concluded satisfactory transactions, where the seller was present and I guided my buyer through the process of “friendly” exchanges, this is not always the case.
Sometimes, the sellers’ presence will make a buyer uneasy and feel rushed, not taking enough time to envision themselves in the home and tackle concerns with their broker on the spot. The buyers’ broker’s job is to help pinpoint the positive elements which match their buyers’ needs and address any areas of uncertainty. Unless your broker is comfortable taking the lead and communicating with ease in front of the buyer and the seller, then it is best the seller not be present.
By staying in the house, sellers may be sabotaging their own home sale. Take for example, a buyer who makes an innocent comment about a certain wall colour, which may be overheard by the seller and perceived in a negative way. The seller may feel a disliking towards the buyer and not be very receptive to potential negotiations. As a buyer, you may form an opinion about the seller which skews your view of the home. A general rule of thumb is to allow buyers at least the first visit in privacy with their own broker and no seller present. As the seller, you may simply go outside for example. If there is a second visit this means the buyer is getting serious, they may well be interested at this point in meeting the seller and asking specific questions about neighbours and other tidbits of information. By all means, keep the conversations pleasant and pertinent! This will help all parties come to a smooth and successful transaction.
Eleni Akrivos is a Montreal real estate expert passionate about educating and inspiring everyone to succeed in real estate! She holds a Chartered real estate broker license and is President of North East Realties agency in Montreal. As a lecturer in the Residential Real Estate Program at College Lasalle, Co-Host of “The Real Estate Show” on CJAD AM800 radio and contributor to the MTL Times newspaper, Eleni shares her stories of real estate success to help as many people as she can!