Raleigh - Cary Home Reviews & Market News!: How Long Should a Seller Expect a Buyer to Take when Viewing a Home?

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How Long Should a Seller Expect a Buyer to Take when Viewing a Home?

When selling your house, how long can you expect the buyer to view your home? In the Triangle area, we generally time-block a showing for 1 hour - 1.5 hours. That doesn't mean the agent and buyers will arrive at the beginning of that hour. It means we'll arrive during that time if everything else goes according to plans.

If that is the only house that agent is showing to that buyer, they may arrive at the beginning and be out in a short time period. 

There are many times a house is one of 15 - 20 houses and the agent is showing those houses all day long. It is easy to get off schedule. Traffic, lunch stops, etc. 

It is good as a seller to be prepared to reschedule if requested. Sometimes it cannot be done but, a good idea if it can.

When a Realtor first takes a buyer out to view homes, we find out what kind of buyer they are. Some can go into a home, look and know if it is the right one or not. Others will consider everything. There are just different styles. It isn't that one is right or wrong, it's just that people are different. 

If your home sits on a large lot, it may take longer to show a house. If the house is large or extremely interesting, it will also take longer.

Overall, it is usually a good sign for a buyer to take longer in a house. 

As painful as it is to be constantly leaving your house for showings, consider it positive. You're that much closer to getting your house sold!

Thanks to fellow AR Blogger Maria Morton for the excellent information below:

How long will a showing last? Sellers want to know how long showings last when their home is listed for sale. They need to know how long they'll need to stay away from their home while the buyers are viewing it. Open the door and let the buyers in 

Every buyer is different. Some will know in 5 seconds if they like or don't like the house while others may take 20 minutes to decide. If they do like the house, some buyers will stay in it for an hour or longer. They will be figuring out where every piece of their furniture will go, which drawer in the kitchen will house their silverware, which kids will go in which bedroom, and where the litter box will go. 

Buyers may also be deciding what changes will need to be made to make the house work for them. They may discuss paint colors. They may talk about expanding a bathroom or putting in a patio. We may spend some time running up and down the stairs to see if it might be possible to move the washer & dryer from the basement to the bedroom level. 

If there is only one buyer, that individual will be able to make decisions more quickly than a couple. Two people buying a house together have to consider one another's opinions and tastes which will probably not be exactly the same. They may have to discuss compromises so each person can be happy in the home. 

Experienced buyers will be able to make decisions more quickly than first-time home buyers. They already know what works for them and what doesn't. Couples who've been married for 30 years will be able to come to an agreeable compromise faster than newlyweds. Newlyweds are still learning one another's likes and dislikes while the 'old married couple' already know each other's tastes, habits, and proclivities.

A good rule of thumb is for sellers to stay away for 2 hours when their house is being shown. This gives the buyers time to be comfortable and feel at home in the house. It also allows for traffic and previous home showings as their agent will probably set up appointments to see between 3 and 6 homes over a 2 to 4 hour period.  


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Comment balloon 4 commentsCarla Freund • February 23 2013 07:10AM


Carla, good blog.  The sellers also need to know that a scond look will be longer than the 1st and if there is a 3rd look (usually friends and/or family) that may take longer.  Then, with a contract an inspection can take about 4 hours for the average home (in the Greater Cleveland Market).

Posted by Pat & Steve Pribisko (Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West) over 6 years ago

Thanks for the reblog. I am always excited when I hear that buyers spent a lot of time at one of my listings.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 6 years ago

Carla, great reblog of Maria's post.  I agree with pretty much everything she said, but might add that when the situation requires I'll also phone the seller or listing agent to let them know we are finished and the sellers may return...just a courtesy thing.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) over 6 years ago

Great Points!  A Buyer in Cary who is looking for a their first home is certainly going to look at ALL of the possibilities - because, depending on where they want to live - they might not have much Inventory to choose from!

Posted by Eleanor Thorne, Equity Resources 919-649-5058 (Equity Resources) over 6 years ago

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