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Selling a House by Appointment Only

Started 1262822943 in Among Friends | Last reply 1265820570 by Jackhound Mommie
Any realtors or folks with knowledge about selling a house? We've had ours on the market for a few months with "by appointment only" stipulated. We've had a couple of showings with at least a day's notice. Today at about 2:30 I got a phone call that the realtor wanted to show it in an hour. I had to refuse. I've had the flu or something like it and the house was a wreck. It has worried me but I just didn't feel like I could have it cleaned up and presentable in that amount of time. Is that normal? Shouldn't they try and give you a little more notice?

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.
-Alfred A. Montapert

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Mona Lisa1262823241259 PostsRegistered 1/6/2010
cinebee, it's a tough market out there and as difficult as it may be, it's probably a good idea to have the house ready to show at a moment's notice. Sorry to hear you're under the weather, so you did have a good reason not to show it, but I'd be very excited to receive a call if my house was for sale and would probably not have a "By appointment only" stipulation.
Good luck to you!
*The original Mona Lisa from 06

*The original Mona Lisa from 06 \

cjdw1262823506463 PostsRegistered 4/17/2005Zinzinnati, on the banks of the beautifui Ohio
Absolutely agree with Mona Lisa. It's a buyer's market and be grateful for any interest in seeing your house. You have to be ready at a moment's notice. Good Luck. I've been through this too.

coldlake12628236931392 PostsRegistered 12/5/2008
I think if you really want to sell your house, you should try to make it look good and be available any time, flu or no flu. If the house is a mess and you are sick, tell the realtor that and let them decide if the potential buyer needs to get in right away or if they can wait. We sold our last house when the out of town buyers were driving by with their realtor, on the way to the airport to leave town after a fruitless househunting trip, and they decided to call even though we were listed as "appt only" too. If I had turned down the showing we would not have made that sale. Don't beat yourself up over losing a showing but do try to accommodate any potential buyers. Think of it as a business, you are in the business of selling your house.

Wheatchick112628238143210 PostsRegistered 12/17/2008The Merry Old Land of Oz
When I was selling my house I kept the house ready to show on a moments notice.
What really amazed me was the gall of people who would see the "For Sale" sign in the yard and walk right up to the door wondering if they could just "come in and take a little look see". That happened on more occasions than I could have ever imagined! Obviously I would tell them to call the number on the sign and make an appointment - and then they would have the nerve to act like I had insulted them!
Selling my house was one of the most "educational" experiences of my life. One time someone took a poop in one of the bathrooms and didn't bother to flush. People constantly coming with kids who would pull open furniture drawers that had nothing to do with the house. They would let the kids run wild.
Oh the horror - NEVER AGAIN!
The original Wheatchick - a few thousand posts missing
Edited by Wheatchick1 at 01/06/2010 3:25 PM PST

Last edited on 1/6/2010

LIFE - it's what happens while you are busy making plans. Man makes plans - God laughs.

lynnzzz1262825783543 PostsRegistered 9/4/2008
We sold our house after a showing where we had just returned from vacation and laundry was all over and the fridge was broken. Almost did not say ok to the showing! Also, used to hide in the crawl space when one of our houses was for sale and had people who would bring in pets or I had a big sign on the crawl space door not to enter and let my mean doggie loose and some kid was going to open the door anyway and I was hiding in there in my bra and panties b/c they came early!!

markswife12629117501927 PostsRegistered 12/4/2007
cinebee, The best deal we ever got on a house we sold , was when the people came and looked at it while both hubby and I were at work ,and inlaws were staying at our house . suitcases everywhere, dirty dishes in the sink, and bathrooms not cleaned from extra morning showers yet. Realtor called and mom in law said sure come on over. I was horrified when i got home and heard someone had been in my house like that.But we got an offer we couldnt refuse that night. :) :)

Perkup12629149117201 PostsRegistered 12/24/2008
Over 50 years as a Real Estate broker. You never know when someone may pop in, call in, or otherwise ask to see
a house on very short notice. You show homes when a buyer wants to look. It's great to have an appointment made in advance, and this can sometimes be done. But it's often that couple who rode past your house, saw it from outside, and were attracted by what they saw that will be your buyers. You can't keep a house perfect at all times. You are living there, and most buyers are very understanding of that. Keep it as neat as possible, and as generic as possible. Get rid of the Brick a Brack, limit the family photos, and try to limit your "projects" while the house is on the market. Save the
scrapbooking and sewing until you're "sold". Keep the baths
clean, make your beds and straighten your closets and cabinets so it appears that you have plenty of both. I try to
tell my sellers that they should be prepared for short notice
showings and grateful for those who make appointments.
The last out of state move I made forced me to choose a home in one day. I had to see as many homes as I could in
a very short time. No time for a day's notice! I bought from those homes that allowed me a chance to look on short notice. Your Realtor should be your guide. Best of luck!

MarthaStew­ardess12629198427842 PostsRegistered 11/14/2006
Years ago when I was selling a house, I wanted it to be by appointment only. The house was kept clean, however, I worked night shift, so it was important to me to have people come see the house at certain times. One realtor basically wanted to dismiss my wishes and bring people in there when I was trying to sleep! I didn't like that idea and didn't appreciate her putting my concerns aside. Yes, I wanted to sell the house, but sorry, it was still my house and that was the way I wanted it and need it to be. The house sold in three days anyway!

Milesthecat12629247311704 PostsRegistered 8/17/2005In my house
Edited by Milesthecat at 01/07/2010 11:50 PM PST
Edited by Milesthecat at 01/15/2010 8:50 PM PST

Last edited on 1/15/2010

~~~The greatest gift you can give to a friend is a piece of your heart! ~~~God sent me an angel disguised in fur to remind me of love!~~~

sparkygirl12629263384627 PostsRegistered 10/2/2006
When I was house hunting, my realtor would try to make an appointment that suited both us AND the seller. How else would you do it? I don't think the majority are shown with no notice...are they? Maybe you might get calls on short notice, but I would think much of the time you could dictate the schedule...and mutually decide on a time. That's what the realtor is for--to communicate back and forth for you.
I know I would only sell my own house by appointment...Most people who are serious about seeing your house, I'd believe, would be glad to make an appointment. It'd be a RARE short notice that I'd allow in my house, but it does make sense to keep the house as clean as possible, just in case, I guess.
Edited by sparkygirl at 01/07/2010 7:57 PM PST

Last edited on 1/7/2010

ZoeZo1262927228313 PostsRegistered 9/4/2007
I am an interior designer and stage homes for realtors. The real estate market is bad everywhere because 6 out of 10 loan applications are turned down. I would keep my home in as close to perfect condition to show in a moments notice. The longer a house sets on the market for sale the less desirable it becomes to a homebuyer. In this economy I would do everything possible to be avalible to anyone willing to look.

Jackhound ­Mommie12629580742371 PostsRegistered 8/9/2007Arizona
Dear Cinebee,
The other posters have given excellent answers. DH and I are in our 11th home so we have sold 10 because of military moves. I always kept my homes "ready" but I usually bought homes that were "lived in." Don't beat yourself up for not showing your home when you were sick. Even with the market the way it is right now if that buyer was supposed to have your home they will be back. We have bought many homes in one state while living in another. Is your home on the internet with a virtual tour? We even bought one home that way without ever seeing it in Louisville because we knew the neighborhood form living in that city before. Also, you don't have to do everything (no offence) that your realtor suggests, such as leaving for a showing. I have had some very negative things happen during open houses and showings. This might turn some off but you can also ask for a pre-qual letter and that will stop some "lookers" form coming through. Good luck! Cathy

Jackhound Mom

missy1126296739734003 PostsRegistered 3/4/2007
One should have the of house semi clean when having it for sale.
Our buyers looked at it during our ds birthday party. With this bad economy , you need to be ready. Some stopped by, some gave an hour notice. We had to take our dog on a walk when people came to look at it.
Edited by MissyW1 at 01/08/2010 7:18 AM PST

Last edited on 1/8/2010

SweetNothi­ns1262967789899 PostsRegistered 11/13/2006
ITA with the OP, esp. being SICK, and I wouldn't WANT to tour a home with a sick/germy person there.
However, the housing market is not like it was 2+ yrs ago.
Today's housing crisis demands that you keep it ready or at least presentable 24/7.
If I were selling, I'd have cleaning folks in weekly if I had to to keep on top of things.
My assessed value dropped almost $20,000 in the past 12 mo., and one beautiful home I LOVE here in town is priced $80,000 under its assessed value.
Times are tough.

Perkup12629678017201 PostsRegistered 12/24/2008
How badly do you NEED to sell your home? Of course your
Realtor will try to make appointments, and the timing may
range anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. You
certainly have the right to say, "I'm not feeling well, could you
come tomorrow?" or whenever. It's rare when someone will walk up to your door, ring the bell and ask to show. But
there have been times through the years when I've had
a buyer in the car, driven down a street and had them say that
they want to look at "that" one. I certainly try to contact the
Realtor and/or her office, but sometimes you can't reach
anyone. In a case like that I will go to the door and ask whether I might show the home. Some people who are ready to show will agree right away. Others might say that I
could show it in an hour if I can come back. The point is,
if you NEED to sell, you NEED to be ready to show on short notice. Sure, you can ask for the moon, but you may lose a buyer. Most buyers are pre-qualified by the Realtor before they are taken out. You can demand a pre-qual letter from a lender, but again you may lose a buyer, and some buyers with pre-qual letters may have given bad information and not really be qualified at all. One case I remember was a man with a very good income, with a letter from a lender saying he could
buy in a certain price range. Unfortunately he failed to tell the
lender that he had $2200.00 a month child support payments to his former wife for their six children. His explanation ~ he
didn't like to mention it in front of his present wife because it
might upset her. His pre-qual letter was meaningless. You need to rely on your Realtor and their good sense to weed out
unqualified buyers as best he or she can, and allow them the
option to show your home whenever there is a prospective
buyer who shows interest. There aren't enough buyers out
there right now, and you should give the good ones a chance to see your home when it's convenient for them. You have an
item you wish to sell. If you don't allow anyone to see it, how
can they decide it's something they want? Walmart doesn't
hide their merchandise in a stock room and tell you that you
can only see it at certain times! My favorite (and best) buyers
have often been the transferee who has a week paid by their employer to look for a home and arrange financing. They have
to look quickly. Make it as easy as you can, and talk to your
Realtor after showings to see what you can do to improve your chances!
Edited by Perkup at 01/08/2010 7:24 AM PST

Last edited on 1/8/2010

Usamarsha12629690951400 PostsRegistered 12/13/2008
I think you have received some good advice. I've sold several houses over the years and I agree with the have the house ready at a moment's notice advice and don't turn anyone away. It is a huge pain in the rump (especially when you have young children and a dog like I did), but it is your best chance of selling your home. I found that whenever we had a scheduled appointment, they almost never showed up for some reason or another. It was the call saying "can we stop by and see your house" that were the purchasers for all the homes I've sold. There was many a day I had to drag the kids up from a nap, load them and the dog in the car and drive around the neighborhood for a while. It stunk, but we sold our house.
Good luck!

aubnwa0112630256617161 PostsRegistered 10/18/2004Cortaro, AZ
When I was selling my last home, I didn't have a stipulation about showing by appointment only, but my realtor noted in capital letters on the listing & all paperwork: "PLEASE CALL SELLER BEFORE SHOWING".
For the most part, the realtors called & left voicemail messages because I was at work during the day. Wouldn't you know it, though, on a Saturday morning, when I was sleeping in, a stupid realtor decided to show it at 9am in the morning. He never called & came by & rang the doorbell. The house was a large 2 story home & my bedroom was upstairs & I couldn't hear the doorbell. When the realtor got no answer to the doorbell, he unlocked the door with the key from the lockbox & came on in with the potential buyers.
I awoke to hear voices downstairs (which scared the carp out of me!) & went to the head of the stairs in my PJs & called down, "Hello?" I told them to give me a second to throw on some clothes & came down & sat in the living room while he showed them the house.
I asked the realtor why he didn't call before just walking in the house & he said they were just in the neighborhood & he decided to show them the house. The clients were totally mortified at his attitude. They didn't buy the house.
My realtor was so PO'd, she called that rude SOB realtor several times, but never got a hold of him, she just left him nasty voicemail messages to not ever do that again to any of her clients & to pay attention to what the listing says!
After that, I was so paranoid that when I was home & sleeping in, I pulled a bunch of furniture in front of the door, so no one could just walk in & surprise me like that again!
"Always be a little kinder than necessary." - James M. Barrie, author

"Always Be A Little Kinder Than Necessary"-James M. Barrie

jazzmom11263027540914 PostsRegistered 8/23/2008
> We sold our house after a showing where we had just
> returned from vacation and laundry was all over and
> the fridge was broken. Almost did not say ok to the
> showing! Also, used to hide in the crawl space when
> one of our houses was for sale and had people who
> would bring in pets or I had a big sign on the crawl
> space door not to enter and let my mean doggie loose
> and some kid was going to open the door anyway and I
> was hiding in there in my bra and panties b/c they
> came early!!
Lynnzzz, that is hysterical! What was the reaction when your hidey hole was discovered? Who screamed first and who screamed the loudest?
”Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. “
Coco Chanel
Edited for spelling.
Edited by jazzmom1 at 01/09/2010 8:56 AM PST

Last edited on 1/9/2010

”Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. “
Coco Chanel

hopi126302906411548 PostsRegistered 11/26/2006
I totally understand not wanting to jump to answer the call of a buyer in a matter of a second. Can't worry about it, if the buyer is really interested they will call back. The problem is that the housing market is really slow and if your in a hurry every showing helps. It is normal to want your home to look perfect for every showing and its hard to live like that.

apricott p­ie1263045542638 PostsRegistered 8/16/2009
:^OBest to let realtor show home within 20 minutes if they call and it can be very inconvenient.

Dagna126304734714011 PostsRegistered 2/10/2006
Some of these posts are great. I remember selling our last house. It was Christmas Day and a couple who had already seen the house twice stopped by (without calling) with their realtor when we were in the middle of dinner and wanted to see it again. They stayed for over an hour - and didn't buy the house. Nice.

Jackhound ­Mommie12630591112371 PostsRegistered 8/9/2007Arizona
That's what I'm saying. Buyers and (sorry) sometimes realtors will push you as far as they can. It is "your" product that is for sale. "By appointment" to me just means show me a little respect.
Also, another poster was right, you don't want to ask for a pre-qual letter you want a qual letter if you want to stop the lookers. Not all realtors ask or even discuss what a buyer is qualified for. They just show whatever the person wants to see. The good realtors find out first and then show homes.
This was by far the worst part of moving with the military and renting is no picnic either. I am so glad to see so many making such valid points. Good luck again on selling!

Jackhound Mom

Milesthecat12630926511704 PostsRegistered 8/17/2005In my house
> mystree,
> That's what I'm saying. Buyers and (sorry) sometimes
> realtors will push you as far as they can. It is
> "your" product that is for sale. "By appointment" to
> me just means show me a little respect.`````````````````ITA!
Start the day with love. Fill the day with love. End the day with love.~~Sathya Saibaba ~~ "The greatest gift you can give to a friend is a piece of your heart" - Unknown ~~ A day in the country is worth a month in town.~~ Farm livin'~~Country living is best!~~ Dreaming of a country life.~~ Country girl stuck in the burbs~~Don't buy while shelter pets die~~Open your home to the homeless..adopt a pet!~~

~~~The greatest gift you can give to a friend is a piece of your heart! ~~~God sent me an angel disguised in fur to remind me of love!~~~

Jackhound ­Mommie12630945572371 PostsRegistered 8/9/2007Arizona
Thank you Miles!
Good natured, tender hearted

Jackhound Mom

Financialg­rl12631394475488 PostsRegistered 8/21/2006Virginia
I think unless you are willing to open your home at any time (within reason) you are severly limiting your chances of selling your house. I get that you were sick and that I'd understand, I'd also "get" turning people away who were trying to come thru when you are having dinner or late in the evening. However, any home for sale should be clean all the time, no exception.
In this market, I don't think you have the option of placing strict limitations on your showings if you really really want to sell.

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