5 ways to calm your sellers’ nerves when showings slow down

By Missy Yost

Recently, in a very hot market with low inventory, I listed an amazing townhome. We did everything right. It was priced well, advertised, located in a popular neighborhood, and the home was completely updated for the contemporary buyer.

Within a week of listing, I held an open house and solicited feedback from visitors as they came through. The turnout was great, and the comments were positive.

I heard over and over “this one won’t last long.” But, for the first few weeks, after it was listed, I had only a handful of showings, and my seller began to panic.

Ever had this happen to you? One of the toughest parts of the job can be keeping your sellers from stressing throughout the hectic process of listing, showing and selling their home. Here are five strategies to help keep your sellers’ nerves calm when showings slow down.

Seasonal slow-downs affect showings

In this case, the home was listed the week before the Fourth of July. This is the time of year when many potential buyers take a break from actively visiting properties.

Statistically, late summer and Thanksgiving through Christmas are slow downtimes for showings.

If you are in a situation where showings decrease, talk to other agents to see if they are experiencing a similar drop in showings. That will give you a better idea if the decrease is due to an issue with a particular listing or the market in general.

Open house visitors aren’t always serious buyers

Let’s face it, when you first list a home and hold an open house, many of your guests are nosey neighbors and real estate agents getting familiar with inventory. That’s not a bad thing though.

A home that shows well gets good buzz. Most neighbors know someone who may be looking. I have sold many homes through referral by a nosey neighbor.

Price point competitions can be hard to overcome

Many times there is fierce competition within a price point that is difficult to overcome.

For example, in my area, new construction for first-time homebuyers can often be close to the price of a resale home. In that case, you need to sell the existing neighborhood to show why the resale home is a better choice.

Also, look at building materials. Does your listing have better “bones” than the new construction home?

Be prepared to match some of the builder incentives such as money toward closing costs or a whole house warranty that is comparable to what the builder is offering.

We’re waiting on the ‘right’ buyer

Not every home is suitable for every buyer, but every home is suitable for the “right buyer.” In the case of my townhome, it was completely updated and showed well.

But it was a two-bedroom with two masters, and both masters were located upstairs. That eliminated buyers who cannot climb stairs and need a minimum of three bedrooms.

But it made it a perfect home for a young professional looking for a roommate.

Let’s take time to assess

Encourage your seller to hold steady and be patient for the first 30-days so that you have time to gather feedback and assess the reasons for the drop in showings.

Once 30-days has passed, it’s a good time to regroup and make changes if needed.

Sometimes a price reduction will breathe life back into the showings. Other times, it’s a bonus incentive such as an improvement allowance.

Study the feedback you’ve received, and then make the needed changes. Chances are showings will increase.