How to Handle Surprise Showings

I know this sounds strange, but almost every home seller thinks about this: What happens if someone comes to see your house when you’re in the shower? You step out and suddenly – there you are, face to face – with one of you possibly naked. (Most likely, you.)

This does happen. I know for sure. I was once house hunting with my Realtor when we entered a home owner’s bedroom and heard the shower running. We bolted out of that house so fast we almost left our teeth behind.

And the thing was, my agent did everything right. She followed the owner’s exact instructions: Call and make an appointment. If the owner wasn’t reachable, leave a message with the showing time, come over – and just knock to make sure nobody was home.

We did all of that. The agent knocked loudly, rang the bell repeatedly and then stood in the open doorway yelling “Anybody home?” No one answered.

So what’s the best way to deal with this situation as a home seller?

First, you can make sure your home is shown by appointment only. Anyone showing your house must talk directly to you. That will eliminate any showings you don’t know about.

If you don’t mind occasional drop-in showings when an agent can’t get a hold of you, then leave a prominent note right in your doorway on the floor that says, “Owner is Home. Please Do Not Enter!”

You can also leave the TV or music on for extra protection. Between the “Do Not Enter” sign and the noise, that should warn off  99.9%  of all unexpected house hunters.

For that remaining .1% -  if you are still worried, you can always serenade yourself in the shower. If someone starts singing along with you, grab a robe.

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