Showing your home is one of the most important steps in the selling process. During a showing, potential buyers are able to view every inch of the home and often do so with a critical eye. It is very important to make sure your home is clean and organized and presents a comfortable environment.
Here are 10 tips for successfully showing your home:
1. Clean up outside. The first thing people see when they drive up to your home is the lawn and the entrance. Make sure the lawn is mowed, shrubs are trimmed and the porch is free of clutter. Give the front door a good scrub or fresh paint. In winter, make sure a path has been cleared through any snow.
2. Let the light in. During the day, open all the shades and window coverings. If it’s nice outside, open the windows to let in fresh air. In the evening, turn on as many lights as possible. Light gives a positive feeling to the home and can make rooms feel more spacious.
3. Be aware of the aroma. Pet odors, smoke, greasy cooking odors and even strong fragrance sprays are unpleasant smells. Some people may even be allergic. Take some time before the showing to open windows and air out the house. Then put on a pot of coffee, boil cinnamon on the stove or turn on a burner for a moment and put a drop of vanilla extract on it. Subtle, natural smells are best.
4. Clean up. Before your first showing, clean your home from top to bottom. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Scrub sinks and mop floors. Repair any damaged or discolored caulking and be sure towels are bright and clean.
5. Clear the clutter! This is often the hardest part, but so important. Pick up all loose items and clear hallways. Organize all closets, and remember, the less you have in the closet the bigger it looks. If needed, rent a storage unit to hold items until your home is sold.
6. Keep it tidy. Get into the habit of making beds and cleaning up every day. Pick up papers and dishes and make sure everything is freshly dusted and vacuumed. Remove your kitchen trash before every showing. You want your home to look like a model home – a home with furniture, but no residents.
7. Pet control. If you have pets, it’s best to find a place for them to stay during the showing – either with you away from the home or with a friend or family member. If you are unable to do this, pets should be penned in an area of the backyard or kennel. Try to keep indoor cats in a specific room and put a sign on the door.
8. Pay attention to the little things. Check all doors, knobs, drawers and windows to make sure nothing sticks or is loose. Be sure to get all the little things fixed, it can make a big difference in the perceived value of the home.
9. Right temperature. A showing is not the right time to save on utility bills. Make sure your thermostat is set to a comfortable setting for the season. The goal is for potential buyers to not even think about the temperature in the home.
10. Leave the house. Send children to a family member or friend’s house during the showing. If you are using an agent, you should also try to leave. Potential buyers will feel more comfortable and are likely to spend more time viewing the home. If you are unable to leave, stick to a room away from the main part of the house, don’t travel from room to room and don’t volunteer information, but only answer questions they may ask.