There are a number of standard steps to selling a house. You might make some renovations. You’ll come up with a good list price, either on your own or with an agent. You’ll take photos and create an MLS entry. Then there may be some open houses and showings before you ultimately get a buyer on the line. From there, it’s negotiation, inspection, appraisal, closing, and moving out!
But there’s one step that might surprise you: Some homesellers actually let potential buyers spend a night in their home before they commit to a deal! Yes, it may sound a little unorthodox… but could there be something to it?
In this article, we’ll explain this trend and give you our advice. In the meantime, remember that you can always get custom tips for selling your home by requesting your SOLD.com seller’s report. Grab yours today if you haven’t already!
Should You Let a Potential Buyer Spend the Night?
Now, to the question at hand. As you think about how to sell a home, should you consider allowing a buyer to stay the night?
First of all: Yes, it might be sort of an odd request for buyers to make, and a very extreme example of the “try before you buy” mentality. But it does happen, and it’s becoming increasingly common. Some buyers want to really see how the place feels before they sign on the dotted line. So, at the very least, sellers need to be prepared for the request and to have an answer at the ready.
Pros and Cons
As you think about that answer, it may be helpful to list some pros and cons.
First, some reasons why you might consider it.
- It can give the seller a little more peace of mind. For example, they’ll actually have a chance to discover how quiet the neighborhood is; to test things like the washing machine; even to see how much they like the shower pressure! All of this can potentially make them more likely to make an offer.
- Along the same lines, the sleepover approach can help you put to rest potential concerns. Maybe your buyer doesn’t quite believe you when you say the neighborhood is quiet… well, why not show them?
- Finally, the sleepover approach gives buyers a chance to walk around and explore the community more generally. This can be an especially big boon for out-of-town buyers.
With that said, there are also some cons.
- It can obviously be pretty inconvenient for you to try to find a place to stay for the night, and it may also come with an added expense (e.g., hotel expenses).
- There are liability issues to think about, in terms of your guests’ safety and also the safety of your property.
- If you allow someone to stay at your home for a long period of time, it means you can’t show the house to other buyers!
Getting Ready for Overnight Buyers
Maybe the best approach is to allow the overnight request only in select circumstances, when you know you have a serious buyer with some potential concerns that need to be allayed. Some specific tips for selling your home via an overnight visit include:
- Pre-screen your buyers; make sure they have the financial means to buy, and that they have been pre-approved.
- It’s not unheard of to ask for a small fee from buyers who stay the night—at least enough to pay for your own hotel accommodations!
- Make overnight buyers sign a waiver, shielding you from legal liability issues.
Again, reserve this for really serious buyers who specifically ask if they can stay; it’s definitely not an option you want to advertise to anyone and everyone who comes to see your home!
Learn More About How to Sell a Home
There are a number of potential steps to selling a home—and letting buyers stay the night may or may not be a step you’re willing to consider.
Regardless, you always want to approach your home sale with the right information in hand. We can help with that! Your SOLD.com seller’s report will give you some specific guidance on the best ways to consider your listing. Get yours today.