Getting Your Home Ready for Showings
You LOVE your home ... now let someone else; How to share the LOVE during Showings.
The Key to a Great Showing - Always say ‘Yes’ to Showing Requests!
In an ideal world, you would have an infinite amount of time to accommodate each showing request and prepare accordingly. The reality, unfortunately, is that a lot of showing requests are ‘last minute’ ... at best! Buyers are very emotional; if they see something that they like, they want it now! Learning to be flexible and accommodate a short notice request, is part of the game.
Emotional buyers may cause you some grief up front to scramble and meet their request. In the end though, these buyers are usually the ones that will offer more because they're emotionally invested. Buyers, however, are also very vulnerable, they want to feel that their new home is somehow ‘meant to be.’ If their short notice request is at first met with rejection, they may take it personally, see it as 'a sign' and quickly cross it off their list.
The best thing that you can do for any Buyer? - Get lost and leave them alone ;)
One of the best things that any homeowner or tenant can do during a showing, is to not be there. Even the most well-intentioned, proud homeowner, can intimidate and cramp a buyer’s style. Leaving the home when there is a showing, allows the buyer the freedom to really explore, let their imagination run wild and, most importantly, see their future there.
If you can see yourself in your home; buyers can’t:
Remember to remove personal pictures, nicknacks, religious and politically associated memorabilia in your house. While it might seem ‘impersonal’ to you, Buyers are looking for a fresh space to make their own. If your home is bursting at the seems with pictures, sayings and decor that is reflective of you … and your family and your goals ... a buyer might not have the imagination to see past this and envision their future there also.
A nice purse is cute but too much baggage is not - Time to get rid of the clutter:
Our homes are usually a reflection of our life’s work. Too much ‘stuff’, however, can be a huge turn-off for buyers. Your furniture, decor, and ‘toys,’ while comforting to you, might seem overwhelming to a potential buyer. Take a good look around and seek the advice of a real estate agent and/or home stager for their professional suggestions. A few simple pieces in each room is usually all that is necessary to make a space inviting and cozy.
Keep it Light; How to set the right mood every time:
Our rational side tells us to turn off the lights when we leave the room. Keeping your house cloaked in darkness, however, is not a great idea when trying to create a good first impression. Remember to open all of the blinds in each room; light helps to make a space appear larger. Know which lights you leave on in each room to help create an inviting and relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, temperature, is very important. Make sure that the thermostat is set to the perfect degree when you leave the house before a showing; you want people to linger longer whenever possible.
Pets and Smells: How not to get caught in the middle:
Even the most beautiful home, can be overlooked, if the buyer senses unwelcome smells and sounds. Smells that you might have become accustomed to, can hit visitors in the face like a ton of bricks when they first enter your home. If you have family pets, smoke or have simply been in your home for a long time, a deep cleaning of your house might not be out of the question. Getting the carpets professional shampooed is always a good idea to rid tough pet odours. Having an efficient, fool-proof game plan to evacuate pets on short notice for showing requests is always a bonus. Nothing can spoil a Buyers’s focus like the repetitive barking of an anxious dog nearby.
Cleanliness is next to... selling quickly for more money:
You know what it’s like to go into someone else’s house and see two days worth of dirty dishes piled in the sink, beds are unmade and unfolded laundry is left on the floor. It may seem like a small thing to you, but if your home is on the market, leave your home impeccable every time you leave it, in case there is a short notice showing request. Take a few extra minutes, take out the trash, clean out the sink, get rid of the crumbs, vacuum and make sure that your home is pristine. Without consciously realizing it buyers can easily associate a messy house with a careless owner. If the small things are left in disarray it makes them wonder about the ‘the big ticket items’ that could also have been overlooked; a leaky facet, a burner that no longer works, etc.
You’re Nosey, so are Buyers; time to rid your closets of unwanted skeletons:
Some buyers might spend less than 30 seconds in your home, others might have a hard time leaving. If this is the home for them, they are going to want to get to know it, intimately! Closets should be neat, tidy and ready for inspection. Your cupboard organization should put Martha Stewart to shame, and the front and back entry ways, should be free of shoes and seasonal effects.
Make a great 1st impression, before the front door opens; maximize curb appeal:
How you stack up to the other homes on your street is very important. When driving down your street, does your eye naturally drift to your property … for the right reasons? You may not have the biggest or best lot on the street, but you can still wow them with your pride of ownership. Make sure that your property is seasonally up-to-date. Summer? Is the grass freshly cut? Are there beautiful plant and flower accents in the front or back yard? Winter? Is the driveway shovelled? Is the front walk and steps salted, safe and ready for guests?
You really want to give your Buyers the impression that you love living here and they should too!