In order to sell a home or condo in the least amount of time I cannot stress enough how important it is to make your property easy for Realtors to show. Since many buyers come to town only for a short visit to look at properties you may only get one chance for a prospective buyer to see it. It is not at all uncommon for us to be able to show only five properties out of ten on any particular day, and you definitely want your home to be in that five!

We get all kinds of excuses for not being able to show a property: the dogs have to be put outside and the owners aren’t available; the listing agent has to be present (this is a major no-no); the owners have a birthday party (Saturday AND Sunday?); the listing is appointment-only and the listing agent didn’t get back to us (unfortunately all too common); the key isn’t in the lock-box or there is no lock-box on the property; the renters are home or the property is rented for the next month (why is it on the market?).

The fact is that it doesn’t really matter what the reason is. Unless our client is particularly interested in a property we will just move on to the next. This is a buyer’s market with a huge number of homes in inventory and there are plenty of homes to show.

We do understand it can be problematic and annoying to continually allow people into your home, particularly so if it has been on the market for a long time. But the sooner we can get the right buyer in there the sooner you can move on. So here’s a short list of how you can make it easier for real estate agents to show your property:

Appointment-only: It is okay to make a listing appointment-only if it is easy to make an appointment. Often it takes us days to get it touch with an owner or listing agent just to get a showing time, so imagine how difficult it is to set up ten showings for one day. We should only have to make one phone call or send one email, and there should be a lock-box on the property to allow us access. For greater security we personally double-code our lock-boxes so that Realtors must get a code from us verbally in order to get the key. Agents must use their electronic access keys to open our lock-box, and this gives us an electronic record of who entered the property and when.

Agent to accompany: This is one sure way to lose some showings. Buyer-agents do not want the listing agent present when showing a home. We are professionals who have shown literally thousands of properties, and it only hinders us to have the listing agent present. It also makes our buyers uncomfortable. Unless our buyer is particularly interested in the property, or we feel that it very closely matches their needs, we will not even call for an appointment if we see this condition. There are some listing agents who sell this as a “personal service” they offer their clients, when if fact it is a tactic for controlling the listing in hopes of handling both sides of the transaction. Don’t fall for it.

Leave the property: This is very important. It is uncomfortable and distracting for a prospective purchaser to tour a home when the owner is present. Run an errand or take a short walk.

Owners phone number in the listing: For our listings we suggest requiring the agent to call or email us to get the code for the lock-box, and then call the owner for a showing time. If they do not get an answer they should be able to go ahead and show the property.

Every property is different and every listing situation is different. But if you follow these tips you will be well on your way to getting the most buyer traffic in to your property, and in this market that has never been more important.