Relatedly, chances that a buyer’s real estate agent will show your home are increased. Busy schedules often cause agents, as with anyone, to take the path of least resistance. If they have 20 homes to show and 5 are occupied, they may well show the vacant homes because it’s easier. They don’t have to call and make an appointment. They can simply go over and use the lockbox. Further, the continual pressure to keep daily life from affecting the home’s pristine staging presentation isn’t there. The seller is not under constant pressure to keep the home in immaculate showing condition and spotless. If you might be unwilling to keep the home in turnkey condition for showing purposes, consider vacating before putting the home on the market. There are situations in which it’s almost essential to vacate the home during the selling period—e.g., if the sellers’ home is simply too messy to show while the sellers live there. Reasons for messy homes vary. Some sellers are packrats and their home reflects that behavior because boxes are piled everywhere, and rooms are stuffed to the gills with personal belongings. This is a considerable obstacle to getting a good offer. Other sellers have several children, which can obviously present difficulty in always maintaining a clean, show-ready home. Potential buyers should be alerted that the seller has vacated the house to best show it. A vacant home can be interpreted as meaning a “motivated seller” who needs to sell quickly. Often, with an empty house, sellers are motivated! One comment on a real estate online forum tells of making an offer of $30,000 less than the asking price, believing the owners might be getting desperate to sell. They were asking $300,000. The buyer was sold on it anyway and would have paid more, but “haggling” began well below what was expected because the buyer read the fact that the home was unlived in as a clue to a desperate-to-sell owner.
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