Absence during viewings better and safer

29 January 2021 | Life Style

The pandemic has changed the way in which the real estate industry operates. To minimize the risk of infection, sellers (especially those who are at high-risk) are advised not to be at home when potential buyers come to view their property. This is not only better from a health and safety perspective, but also from a marketing perspective.
“As much as it can be more convenient not to have to leave the home, by choosing to remain on the premises during a showing, sellers could be inhibiting potential buyers from being candid with the agent regarding their thoughts of the property. This feedback could be vital to help the seller make the necessary adjustments to sell the home,” says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Beyond this, when a seller is in the home, Goslett explains that buyers often feel rushed to get through the viewing quickly as not to take up too much of the seller’s time. “This is vital time that a buyer needs in order to decide whether or not this property could work for his or her needs.”

Eavesdropping
Many sellers might also prefer to be around during a showing so that they can step in if they overhear a question being asked that their estate agent cannot answer.
“The problem is that this can often create the impression that the seller is desperate for the sale – a position no seller wants to find themselves in. In a worst-case scenario, homeowners have even been known to accidentally let slip the minimum offer they would be willing to accept, which leads to a lower selling price than what could have been arranged through the agent,” Goslett warns.
Many homeowners also choose to remain in the house for extra security measures.
But Goslett explains that responsible agents will advise homeowners to place valuable possessions out of eyesight before a viewing and will be sure to keep an eye on the buyers as they walk through the property.
“Apart from the marketing-related reasons why it is better for the seller not to be present during a viewing, this option is still the safest solution for as long as the current pandemic is underway. Agents will also advise viewers that there is a no-touch rule when viewing a property and will sterilize all high-touch areas in the home both before and after the viewing has taken place. Although this process is different from what most are used to during the house-hunting process, these procedures exist to protect the seller, buyer, and agent,” Goslett concludes.

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