It is never a comfortable moment when a Seller asks their agent if they can play an active role during the showing of their home. This is generally met with a moment of dread. It is tough telling the Seller “no”, but here are some reasons why “no” is the way to go.
Have you ever had anyone reading over your shoulder or hovering around you when you are trying to accomplish something important? Many times a Seller’s presence will make the Buyer feel uncomfortable in the home or like they are invading the Seller’s privacy. To sell a home, the Buyer needs to envision themselves living there. They need to see the home at their own speed, look in to closets, open drawers and explore. Rather than taking the time and doing what they can to learn the most about the home, they might shut down or politely engage in small talk with the Seller missing the intricacies that are important to them and cut what could have been a productive showing short.
Sellers usually talk too much. It is the Realtor’s job to lead the Buyer around the home and hopefully, by the time they get to the house they have an idea of what is important to the Buyer and how best to present the attributes of the home. When the agent is competing for time to talk to the Buyer, the Buyer can easily be turned off with all the “selling noise”. Also, if the Seller is leading the Buyer around and pointing out every detail, they may be less likely to ask pointed questions to their agent and get the answers they are looking for. Generally, a Buyer is less likely to comment and ask questions that they might think is insulting to the Seller but are important to them.
For example: a Buyer may want to know what type of flooring is under the carpet they would rip up, how much it would be to change the wall color, would it be possible to put up a fence. To a Seller that has lived there for years and has called it home, this may sting. Worst case scenario, the Buyer gets no answers to the hard or candid questions that would have been asked and dismisses the property.
At times there are exceptions and every once and a while it is okay to have the Seller at a showing. This usually occurs the second or third time a Buyer wants to see the home when they have already had time to poke around and see themselves living there, walk the property, ask questions and get answers. It also may be helpful for the Seller to get some immediate feed back on why a property might have been on the market for a very long time. Just the same, the Seller’s presence should be “I’ll be over here if you need me”.