When I’m preparing to list a property, I always take the time to chat with my seller and determine a few things upfront that will make the selling process easier once the property is actually on the market. If the listing is a house, I ask what attracted the seller to this area. If I am listing a ranch, I ask about utilities. If I’m listing a condo, I ask about HOA fees. I also always ask about showing instructions.
It’s important for sellers to know the pros and cons for different options. In Austin, listing agents have to select what type of showing instructions a particular listing requires. Whatever choice the listing agent inputs is what buyer’s agent see in the MLS, and thus, how they show the property. The easiest type of showing for a buyer’s agent is a “GO”. This means that the agent can show the home anytime they want. This is most commonly seen on vacant properties, and is also used when the sellers are out of town for a specified amount of time.
From a seller’s perspective having a listing that is a “GO” is also good. It means that you are more likely to have the highest amount of showings. However, it is also oftentimes concerning for sellers because they worry about what could go wrong, and there is no way to prep the home prior to a showing. Additionally, when a property is owner occupied, it simply isn’t an option.
The best option when you are listing an occupied property is to use the “call first, go” selection. This selection allows agents to call the owner or the listing agent first to schedule a showing. I find out how much time my client will need in advance of showings prior to the listing going live so that I can schedule showings accordingly when a buyer’s agent calls me. That way, when I inform my client of a showing, he or she can make sure the lights are on, clutter is put away, the dogs are in the backyard, and most importantly he or she is out of the house!
The third option is “Appointment with Agent”. This is commonly seen on high price point homes. Unfortunately, many agents will choose to bypass showing these types of properties simply because scheduling showings is challenging. Sometimes, clients are only in town for a short amount of time or the buyer’s agent cannot reach the listing agent, and showings are impossible to coordinate.
When you are considering listing your property, it is important to take these types of showings into consideration. There are other options as well, that may or may not be appropriate given your situation. It’s a good idea to have a conversation about the pros and cons for each type of showing instruction. Ultimately, you must consider that more showings are often a good thing, but you also want quality showings to buyers who have the means to purchase your property.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.