You’re about to put on a cup of tea and curl up with a good book when you get a text from your real estate agent: “Buyer wants to see the house tomorrow. Does 1 p.m. work for you?” You stop mid-relaxation to vacuum, clear countertops, and ask the kids to please put away their toys.
During the appointment you take the dog to the park and come back an hour later to find the buyer’s car still in the driveway. So you walk around the block again…and again, until the coast is clear. Exasperated, you wonder: “Phew, I don’t know how much longer I can do this. How many showings on average does it take to sell a house?”
Expect to show your house 10-25 times to sell it
The number of showings required to sell your home will depend on factors such as the level of competition in the market (is there surplus or lack of inventory?), whether the home is priced correctly, and if you’ve taken measures to fix up and stage the home to impress.
You could show the house just once or a handful of times and receive multiple offers. That kind of scenario has not been uncommon as of late. Recently sold homes spent an average of one week on the market, down from three weeks the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2021 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers.
Or your home could be on the market for six months or more, leading to several dozen showings. However, real estate experts estimate that the typical house will be shown somewhere between 10 and 25 times.
Showing averages from MLS data
A home can average around 25 showings before being sold, according to a blog posted by Portland real estate agent Steven FitzMaurice. FitzMaurice describes a showing appointment cadence across 29 days, at 6-7 showings per week.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast, the Tri-County Team in Pennsylvania tracks that “the average home stays on the market for 65 to 95 days before selling, and if you get one to three showings a week, you can assume to show your home 12 to 36 times.” And Kevin Vitali, an agent in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, writes that sellers in his market “should easily expect 12-15 showings in the first 3 weeks.”
Do you have to show your home?
When you’re selling a house while living in it, showings are one of the most inconvenient steps.
Sight-unseen offers from buyers have increased in recent years due to the development of virtual tours, video listings, and digital walkthroughs. Social distancing during the pandemic only accelerated those trends. However, buyers still prefer to physically tour the home.
“If people have the option, they would rather see it in person,” says Michelle Harringon, a top real estate agent based in Bellingham, Washington. “Yes, we have more closings without the buyer seeing the home — but the reality is that they’d prefer to see it before they write an offer.”
Is there any way to avoid showings?
You’re not alone in dreading the lack of privacy and added stress of showings, and there is an alternative.
In recent years, a group of companies called iBuyers have made it easier to sell your house almost completely online and without the need for showings. iBuyers use technology to value homes and provide near-instant offers on homes they’re willing to buy.
A Q4 2021 survey from HomeLight found that a preference to avoid showings was the top reason real estate agents see sellers pursue an iBuyer offer.
With Simple Sale, you can skip repairs, staging, and even showing your home. Tell us a bit about what type of home you’re selling, how much work it needs, and how soon you want to sell.
Then we’ll provide you with a cash offer within 48 hours. If you accept the offer, you can close in as little as 10 days and pick a flexible move-out date. We provide cash offers for homes all over the country in almost any condition.
In a regular market, we say that after 10 showings, if you don’t have an offer in hand, your home is either priced incorrectly or marketed incorrectly.
- Michelle Harrington Real Estate AgentCloseMichelle Harrington Real Estate Agent at Compass Washington Currently accepting new clients
- Years of Experience 21
- Transactions 531
- Average Price Point $500k
- Single Family Homes 476
Top factors that affect showing volume
The average number of showings needed to sell a house might be higher than what you hope to see, but these are simply estimates. And a good real estate agent can help you attract a quick offer, reducing the number of times a house has to be shown.
“In a regular market, we say that after 10 showings, if you don’t have an offer in hand, your home is either priced incorrectly or marketed incorrectly,” she says.
So what does a home need to sell in fewer showings? The three most important variables are the home’s condition, the location, and the price, says Harrington — with price and condition being the two within control of the seller.
Below we’ll review more in depth how these factors can influence showing volume.
In a buyer’s market (defined as more than six months of inventory), you see more homes for sale than buyers. Buyers have a greater selection of homes to choose from and this may result in reduced showing activity per home. These showings might span over a longer period.
In a seller’s market (defined as less than six months of inventory), there are significantly fewer homes for sale than buyers. You may experience a rush of showings as soon as your home hits the market. Or, your first showing could lead to an offer since buyers know they are under heightened pressure to make a decision.
Because the U.S. has been experiencing a nationwide inventory shortage as the result of new construction hurdles and low interest rates, it’s more likely that you’re in a seller’s market than buyer’s market.
According to existing-home sales data from NAR, the inventory of unsold homes decreased by 12% in October 2021 to 2.4 months of inventory, putting conditions well within strong seller’s market territory.
|Seller’s market||Expect more showings over a shorter period.|
|Buyer’s market||Expect fewer showings over a longer period.|
Time of year
Seasonality also impacts how much attention your home is likely to receive and the number of showings you’ll need to accommodate before you get an offer.
Data from HomeLight’s Best Time to Sell Calculator shows that homes listed in April sell, on average, up to six days faster than average.
If you’re in a four-seasons climate in the North, you will see only about 66% of normal sales activity from November to January due to the smaller pool of buyers, according to sales numbers published by NAR.
In the warmer months, casual buyers may browse real estate listings and pop into open houses as a hobby, resulting in more showings booked by house hunters in various stages of their buying journey.
On the flip side, no one is trudging through snow and booking a showing on a cold, dark winter evening unless they’re highly motivated to buy. So selling during fall and winter might mean fewer showings but more serious buyers coming through.
|Spring or summer listings||Expect more showings with some tire-kickers who may be in the early stage of buying.|
|Fall or winter listings||Expect fewer showings but with buyers who are motivated to purchase right away and are prepared to make an offer.|
Showing volume may vary depending on your property’s price point. Luxury homes in the top 10% property values for a market will generally see slower showing activity since fewer buyers can afford them.
Houses in the starter-home or trade-up range are within budget for more house shoppers. Data from NAR shows that 34% of buyers are first-timers with a median income of $86,500, whereas repeat buyers have a median income of $112,500.
|Homes priced $250,000 or below||Expect a higher-than-average number of showings, particularly if the home has a desirable location and condition.|
|Homes priced $251,000 to $500,000||Expect an average number of showings since this range includes the median price of homes nationwide.|
|Homes priced $501,000-$1 million||Expect a slightly lower than average number of showings, especially if your home is in a less affluent area.|
|Homes priced over $1 million||Expect a smattering of showings, unless you live in an affluent market or a high-priced market like New York or San Francisco.|
Will a buyer walk into your home and see a tidy, decluttered space that smells fresh and is moderately updated? Or will they see a list of projects they’ll need to tackle? The state of the home — whether it’s in poor condition or turnkey — will impact your showing volume, too.
According to a survey of over 2,000 adults from Coldwell Banker, 80% of Americans say they would prefer to buy a move-in ready home over one that requires renovations. In addition, 70% of millennials and 71% of Gen Xers would be willing to sacrifice the size of their home for one that required no updates.
To make the most of each showing, do a deep clean, purge clutter, and make light repairs.
“Cleanliness is the most important thing,” Harrington says. “People want the house in good condition. They can’t see past the smells or dirty carpets.”
However, a niche group of buyers who intend to flip the home or have a limited budget may be intrigued to tour a fixer-upper.
To boost your showing volume on a home that needs work, be transparent that your home needs some TLC and would be perfect for a buyer looking for a bargain.
You can note that the cost of repairs has been factored into the price, and that inspections are for a buyer’s informational purposes only.
|Needs significant work or teardown||Expect fewer showings from the niche set of buyers who seek a fixer-upper.|
|Needs a little work||Expect an average to high amount of showings. A few needed repairs may lower your price, putting your house into the budget range of more buyers.|
|Move-in ready or needs nothing||Expect a high volume of showings right away, since this is the preferred home condition for most buyers.|
Great curb appeal can help attract buyers, while a messy yard will likely suppress showing activity. A professional photo of your home’s exterior will serve as the book cover for your property listing across all the home search websites.
If buyers like what they see from the outside, they will be intrigued to flip through the next few photos and hopefully review your entire listing. From there, they may text their agent to book a showing for 235 Peach Street, and it all started with the thought: “Oh, that house is cute!”
One study by HomeLight found that 94% of top agents nationwide cite curb appeal improvements as the most effective way to boost the marketability of your home.
|Manicured and inviting home exterior||Expect to see ample showings from serious buyers right away and potentially quicker offers.|
|Overgrown home exterior with chipped paint and cluttered lawn||Expect quieter showing activity and for it to take longer to sell your home.|
“Location is always what creates the value of real estate,” says Harrington. “If you’re in a house that has phenomenal views in a great neighborhood, and it’s totally dilapidated but priced right, it’ll sell — we’re seeing that right now.”
You can usually count on location factors like great school districts, nearby shops and restaurants, proximity to public green space, and easy access to commuter routes to create higher demand for your property and robust showing activity.
But there is no singular “good” location. Buyers have different priorities and preferences. And if your home isn’t in the best part of town, you can work with your agent to improve showing activity by highlighting your home’s other strengths.
|Near the city business district or has great views||Expect high showing demand and a quick offer.|
|Fine location but nothing special about it||Expect an average number of showings and normal timeline.|
|Undesirable location||Expect lower showing demand, and a higher number of showings required to sell, improved by extra efforts to market the home and showcase its positives.|
Top real estate agents prioritize a smooth and efficient showings process for their sellers. Not only will they coordinate showing requests on your behalf, they will put all of their real estate expertise behind finding a qualified buyer for your home in the shortest amount of time possible.
Your agent will:
- Value your home accurately using a comparative market analysis to show buyers you’re priced in line with current market trends.
- Select a price that will help your house show up most visibly in online home search filters.
- Ensure any buyer who books a tour is pre-approved for a mortgage or has proof of funds.
- Put together an eye-catching real estate listing with professional photography and creative description of the home.
- Possibly provide extras such as a digital walkthrough or 3-D tour to help buyers see more of your house online and cut back on in-person showings.
- Make showing instructions to buyer’s agents clear.
Without an agent’s assistance, it will likely take longer to find a buyer. You could end up hosting unnecessary showings with buyers who aren’t qualified, or fail to get the attention of buyers who might have made an offer.
If you aren’t sure where to begin your search, HomeLight has connected over 1 million buyers and sellers with top real estate agents nationwide and we’d be happy to introduce you to some quality candidates who can help reduce the burden of showing your home.
|No real estate agent||Expect a sporadic showings schedule and the possibility of unqualified buyers coming through your home.|
|Average real estate agent||Expect the typical amount of showings for your market.|
|Top real estate agent who’s familiar with your area||Expect a burst of showings the first week or two from qualified buyers and the strong possibility of a quick offer.|
How many showings does it take?
It’s impossible to predict the exact number of times you’ll need to show your home before it sells. But by allowing buyers to experience your home firsthand, you also give them the chance to fall in love with it in the same way you did. The effort could lead to an offer that makes all the hassles worth it.
If you have a great real estate agent, it’s likely that you’ll be able to impress buyers who come through and get an offer faster. But remember — if you’re really fed up with the idea of strangers entering the home, you can always request a cash offer and skip the whole process.
Header Image Source: (Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock)