What’s the Difference Between a
Showing and an Open House?
Two ways buyers can view your property in person is by appointment with their agent or through an open house open to all buyers.
A showing is a professionally scheduled appointment that gives a potential buyer the opportunity to tour your home. Either your real estate agent will accompany buyers to your home, or another licensed sales professional who has likely been initially screened and approved by your agent. For security reasons, you should never allow an unaccompanied buyer into your home.
It’s in your best interests not to be present. Buyers need to feel free to discuss your home with their agent or us.
An open house is for any buyers to walk through and view your home, usually for a few hours on a Saturday, Sunday or early weeknight. Many buyers come without their agents, mainly because they are earlier in the process, and may not have an agent yet. Your real estate agent will do the hosting, sign in visitors, and answer questions for buyers. Again, you do not need to be present.
Tips for Showing Your Home
Your home should be looking its best when an agent shows it to potential buyers.
Here are some tips for making sure your home is ready for a showing.
- Turn on all the lights, including the outside entrance.
- Turn off the TV.
- Take your pets with you or ask a friend to watch the pets.
- Put out fresh flowers, your best towels and a nice tablecloth, if suitable to your decor.
- Do not use scented sprays and remember: There’s no substitute for clean.
- Empty your kitchen trash, even if it is stored under the kitchen sink.
- Keep the beds made in all bedrooms.
- Open all draperies and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible.
- Pick up stray items – newspapers, empty glasses, etc.
- Keep floors swept, mopped and vacuumed.
- Dust daily.
It’s best to leave when your real estate agent or another agent brings a buyer to your home. This allows the buyer to take his or her time and feel more comfortable asking questions. If you must remain, let the agents handle the questions unless you are asked directly.