Show Your Home For Sale Like the Professionals
Tips for Showing Your Home in the Best Possible Light to Attract and Capture Buyers
Now that you’re ready to show your home, make sure the buyers feel welcome and can see your home in the best possible light. Here are some general checklist items to keep in mind before letting a buyer into your property whether for an individual showing or an Open House:
NOT SEEN AND NOT HEARD
Send children and pets off to stay with family or friends until the showing is over. The fewer distractions you offer, the more the buyer will be able to focus on your property. Many buyers have allergies. If you have indoor animals, have carpets and furniture covers cleaned to remove hair, dander and odors.
A GRAND ENTRANCE
Remember, when a prospect comes to look at your house, the first thing he will see is your home’s front door! Se sure that everything about your entrance is fresh and clean. Be sure your yard is free of refuse and leaves. If it snowed, be certain that you’ve removed the ice and snow from walks and steps and salted to avoid accidents. If it’s raining, put a small rug near the front door so buyers can wipe their feet. Also, in the event of rain, put an umbrella stand or can near the door.
LIGHT AND BRIGHT
Open those drapes and curtains all the way, so the prospect can see how bright and cheerful your home is. No one wants to walk into a dark tomb-like house. If it’s nice outside, open the windows so that fresh air fills the house.
KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING
If you have a fireplace, (and it’s winter), get the fire going. You’re trying to make the house feel as much like a home as possible. A warm feeling from the glow of a fireplace can help set the right emotional stage for the buyer.
LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT
Take a few minutes to check to be sure that your doors don’t stick or have loose knobs on them. Don’t forget your windows and cabinet drawers. Get all those minor flaws fixed since they detract from your home’s value
SAFETY FIRST AND ALWAYS
Keep stairways clear and clean when showing your home to avoid injuries This will also avoid detracting your potential buyers from your home.
Unlock any garages, outside entry basements or storage sheds for the buyers to have access to. Move all cars out of the driveway from the property (don’t park them in front of the house either). You may leave 1 car in the garage. Make sure the garage door is closed.
CLEAN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
Display your attic, basement and other utility space [including crawl spaces] by removing all unnecessary articles. Straighten up every room. Make sure all beds are made.
Make them look bigger by having them neat and well organized to show that your home has ample closet space.
BATHROOMS SELL HOMES
Make these rooms SPARKLE! Check and repair any damaged or discolored caulking in the bathtubs and showers; and, be sure that the towels and rugs are clean and bright.
BEDROOMS SHOULDN’T SLEEP
Keep these rooms bright and cheerful. Remove any excess furniture and be sure to use attractive and colorful bedrooms and curtains.
Your home’s illumination can be a “Welcome” sign to that prospective buyer! Turn on all of your outside lights when showing your at night and they’ll feel a glowing warmth as a result of your lighting.
For Open Houses you’ll want to prepare a “Guest Book” for people to sign in as they enter your home. Have columns for date, name, address, and phone number. This is a great way to keep track of your showings and to help you remember how many people and exactly who has seen your home.
You can easily prepare a Home Book with a small white binder and photograph pages filled with pictures of your home in different seasons, pictures of the local schools, churches, shopping, school scores, area information and maps to help give your buyers a feel for the area.
Put away or remove from the house any valuables or cash. Especially if you’re a woman alone, never allow yourself to become trapped in a room without exit. Let a neighbor or friend know that you’re showing the house and to call and check on you within a prescribed time period. And, of course have all buyers pre-qualified by a mortgage lender before letting them into your home.
When showing your house, turn off blaring radio or television. Soft & easy classical or jazz background music can set the right mood, but nothing should be overpowering. Avoid polka, rap, rock, country or pop as these may offend some people.
Try not to offend potential buyers with your personal or ethnic icons or shrines. Too many items of personal or ethnic nature may make some buyers uncomfortable who have different backgrounds or beliefs. It’s one thing to be proud of what you believe, but don’t risk losing a sale by not making the potential buyer feel like this is their new home. You are not selling your lifestyle, but rather a house.
KEEP UTILITY ROOMS NEAT & CLEAN
Keep Utility Rooms & Closets free of dirty or unfolded laundry. Keep Washer & Dryer sparkling, especially if these items are being offered as part of the sale.
DON’T PUT THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE
Trying to sell prospective buyers any of the furniture or furnishings, which you are not taking with you, before they’ve purchased your home, can often loose the sale. Wait until after all of the conditions of the sale have been met and all contingencies removed before attempting to sell the buyer’s other personal property items.
AH, THE AROMA
Put on a pot of coffee, bake a cake, boil cinnamon on a stove or pour some vanilla extract onto a cookie sheet and put it in a warm oven to create a “home sweet home” smell.
Excerpted from the Bloomkey FSBO HomeSelling Guide only available at: www.Bloomkey.com