Selling a home during an economic downturn can be very challenging and, in a competitive market, sellers need a strategic approach to stand out, showcase the property and attract potential buyers to this end, show days offer a valuable opportunity to do so.
“Show days offer a powerful solution for showcasing your home's best features and generating interest among multiple buyers simultaneously,” says Arnold Maritz, Co-Principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.
“And with the guidance of a skilled real estate agent and careful preparation, show days can become the key to selling your home quickly and at an attractive price in the face of stiff competition.”
Maritz cites the following key advantages of hosting a show house:
- Increased Exposure: Show days attract multiple potential buyers on a single day, creating a sense of urgency and competition. This concentrated exposure can lead to more interest and offers.
- Convenience: It can be a challenge to keep one’s home spick and span for weeks on end to accommodate potential buyers making individual appointments, and this way, sellers can concentrate their preparations for multiple viewings for one afternoon, rather than preparing their home multiple times for separate viewing appointments.
- Convenience for Buyers: Buyers often appreciate the convenience of attending a scheduled show day where they can view multiple properties in one outing. It saves time and effort, making it more likely for serious buyers to attend. It’s also an opportunity for buyers to bring their family with, and friends to offer their opinions.
- Emotional Connection: Show days allow potential buyers to experience the property in person, fostering an emotional connection. When buyers can envision themselves living in the space, they are more likely to make an offer.
- Sense of Competition: The presence of other potential buyers during a show day can create a sense of competition, encouraging buyers to act quickly and submit competitive offers.
“However, the success of a show day depends greatly on the skills and experience of your agent because there is a lot more to it than merely placing an advert,” says Maritz.
He advises sellers should expect the following from their agents regarding show days:
- Marketing and Promotion: Your agent is responsible for effectively marketing the show day to attract a broad audience. This may include online listings, social media campaigns, and direct outreach to potential buyers.
- Preparing the Property: An agent should help the seller prepare the property for the show day by providing guidance on staging, decluttering, and enhancing kerb appeal.
- Attracting Buyers: Successful agents will have an extensive network they can tap into to attract potential buyers to the show day event. They also reach out to other real estate agents to promote the property.
- Facilitating Showings: During the show day, the agent will coordinate and facilitate property showings, ensuring a smooth and organised experience for both buyers and sellers. A good agent will also be able to engage well with potential buyers and pique their interest.
- Negotiating Offers: After the show day, realtors handle the negotiation process, ensuring that sellers receive competitive offers and the best possible terms.
However, no matter how good an agent is at their job, there is only so much they can do, and Maritz says that it’s essential for sellers to do their bit as there are a number of things that they can do to contribute to a successful show day
- Clean and Declutter: Prior to the show day, thoroughly clean the entire house, including windows, floors, and carpets. Declutter and depersonalize to create a neutral and inviting space.
- Enhance Kerb Appeal: First impressions matter. Ensure the exterior of the property is well-maintained, with a tidy yard, trimmed bushes, and a fresh coat of paint, if needed.
- Minor Repairs and Updates: Address any minor repairs and make necessary updates to improve the overall condition of the property. For instance, fix leaking taps and give the walls a coat of paint, especially if any are unusual or very bold colours.
- Create a Welcoming Atmosphere: Set the stage for a welcoming atmosphere during the show day. Consider adding fresh flowers, open the curtains to let in natural light, and make sure the kitty litter box has been removed.
- Secure Valuables: You don’t want to ruin a successful show day by having personal items go missing.
Maritz says that even though no one knows the property as well as the home owner, it’s always better for the seller to leave the property on show day to allow potential buyers to explore freely and ask questions without feeling rushed or uncomfortable.
“At the end of the day, your agent will give you feedback regarding the level of interest and any offers received.
“Bear in mind that in a competitive market, selling a home may take time so be patient and be as flexible as possible with showings.
“With the right approach, the guidance of a skilled agent, and a well-executed show day, show days can be the key to selling your home quickly and at an attractive price in the face of stiff competition.”