Preparing to Show & Sell
Home showings are extremely important in selling a home and could mean the difference between receiving offers and sitting on the market. Here are some tips for showing your home.
- Make the bath luxurious: make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight, along with old towels and toothbrushes. Add a new shower curtain and fancy guest soaps.
- Remove clutter: clear off counters, and pack unnecessary decorative items. Dirty laundry piles, unflushed toilets, dishes on the counter or in the sink, unmade beds, clothes scattered about, soiled carpets, and overflowing trash cans.
- Take care of minor repairs: sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.
- Tidy up outdoors: cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. A pot of bright flowers near the entryway adds great curb appeal.
- Hide or remove all valuables, including medication: valuables don't always mean high in price, it also means irreplaceable. Medications should be kept locked away in cabinets, as theft of prescription drugs is becoming more common during showings. If you have a safe, they should lock up expensive items such as jewelry. Portable safes should be as hidden as possible, or kept with the seller for maximum security. Bottom line Agents can’t watch everyone all the time.
- Hide or remove personal documents: keep relevant documents with private information in their possession, rather than leaving them at home.
- Remove personal photos of family: buyers will try to gauge the type of person you are to assist with specifics of their offer
- Consider a security system: there are many options available for security systems, including budget-friendly options. For more information, contact me for references and quotes.
- DO NOT DECLINE showing requests: unless there is a medical emergency do not decline any showing requests. Real Estate agents request appointments to preview or show their potential clients. If the agent receives a notice their request is declined they will move onto the next home with their clients and you have missed out on a potential sale of your home. If you need to decline a showing, contact me with an explanation so I attempt a reschedule appointment and explain your special or unexpected circumstance.
- Leave the home prior to showings: buyers running into sellers at the time of a showing appointment is considered "awkward encounters" and make it uneasy for them to focus on the home and it's features. Sellers who stay for showings are considered “stalker sellers”, which are people who like to follow buyers and agents all over the home to see what they thought.
- Remove pets and their messes: send the pets to the neighbors, even pets left in a crate can pose a distraction since they might make noise the entire time others are in the house. Plus, if they seem mean, the buyer might not even step in the room.
- Remove bad smells: a displeasing smell can really turn buyers off. Common offenses include cooking smells lingering around the home, such as garlic, fried bacon, or fish. Also, watch for cigarette smoke and animal smells. Sellers become immune to the smells in their home so get honest opinions and plan before showings begin.
- Keep house tidy: clean windows and screens will help bring more light into your home. A deep clean before listing your home will make upkeep easier. Consider hiring a cleaning service to help.
- Let it shine: clean the walls or brush on a fresh coat of bright, neutral paint. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones (or none at all) and show off your view.
- Perform a sniff test: clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate odors. Open the windows to air out the house. Consider potpourri or scented candles and diffusers. For quick fixes in the kitchen, cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract or orange juice can instantly make the fridge a nicer-smelling place. Boil lemon juice in your microwave, then add it to your dishwasher to eliminate odors. You can also run lemon rinds through the garbage disposal for a similar effect.
- Turn on all lights and lamps: replace burned out light bulbs and consider higher wattage in low-light areas.
Source: John Lakatosh, Realtor Magazine