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Get Out! Brokers Don't Want Sellers Home When Showing Apartments

According to realtors, a well-staged apartment does not include the current owner during a showing or open house.

If selling is an art, then real estate agents are in many ways like landscape painters -- in other words, they prefer a vista without human characters. It’s not that they don’t like people; it’s because it’s much easier for a prospective buyer to imagine him- or herself in a home when the current occupant isn’t hovering around. 

The Cooperator spoke to several New York City brokers and asked them to explain why an apartment is best viewed without the seller at home.

What’s Up with That?

Joanna Mayfield Marks, a Halstead-affiliated broker based in Brooklyn, recounts the time a seller came to the door of a home she was showing, wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a doo-rag. The buyers declined to get out of the car. 

Agents routinely tell sellers to make themselves scarce when their apartment is being shown. Some even go as far as to spring for the seller to go to brunch, or visit a spa to get them off-site during an open house. But even with these incentives to clear the heck out, sellers can often be stubborn. So what seems to be the problem?

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