Should home owners be home when agents are showing their home, or during an open house?  

The short answer is "no."   There are understandable circumstances, such as client immobility, that may be an exception, but generally we strongly encourage our clients to vacate the house during showings.  Here's why:  

1. When the homeowner is present, prospective purchasers automatically assume that the tour is inconvenient for them and tend to minimize their time in the house and do not get a "feel" for the house.   Typically the longer the tour, the more interest is demonstrated.  And, It is hard to envision the home as yours if the current owner is sitting on the couch. 

2. When couples tour homes they prefer to discuss the pros / cons of the home as they tour.  This will frequently result in one of them "selling" the home to the other.  They will not be comfortable having such conversations within earshot of the owner as they do not want to offend.   

3. Frequently sellers will feel obligated to conduct a tour and "sell" the home.   Purchasers want to observe and "feel" the home and this hinders that process and may actually "unsell" the home.   

4.  Sellers may give up competitive information that will hurt during a contract negotiation such as:  "We have a contract on a new home and really need to move."    Such innocently made comments will not be lost on purchasers or their agents when constructing the contract offer. 

We hope this helps, and wishing our readers the best.

Joe and Deb