Posted by Bill Siemens on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 4:23pm
Your home can have more upgrades than a cell phone, but if it doesn't show well it's still going to be challenging to sell. The idea behind making your home "showable" is creating emotion in the buyer. You don't just want them to see your home visually, you want them to feel it, see themselves living in it and not forget about it the second they walk out the door. Think about stimulating the buyers senses (touch, taste, sound, sight and smell) as well as their emotions. Obviously you need to be practical and I understand that you may not be able to do everything I have highlighted below, but if you do your best and keep the buyer in mind your home is sure to leave a lasting impression. The following are a number of important tips you are going to want to follow when getting your home show ready.
If you don't let the buyers see your house they aren't going to see your house. Now this may seem obvious, but it happens a lot. If you want to get your home sold you need to try to be as flexible as possible when getting showing requests from your real estate agent. More often then not if you cancel a showing that buyer will not return to see your home. Generally buyers will book multiple house showings at once to be as efficient as possible. They too have limited time in the day. There are going to be times where you absolutely cannot make it work and that's ok. Talk with your agent about trying to make a different time work. Just remember if you want your home sold you need to get buyers through it. Though showings may be inconvenient they are necessary and your real estate agent is going to love you for being flexible.
2. Leave the house and leave on time
I have viewed multiple properties where the owner and/or tenant did not leave the property and honestly it felt uncomfortable. Most buyers feel this way. It is nice to be able to look at a home without feeling like someone is watching you or listening to your conversation. A buyer may also rush through a property and not take the time they need to view it if the owner and/or tenant is still present. They may not return to view it again.
3. Clean the house
Please, please, please clean your house. I know you won't always be able to do a sparkly clean job, but at least have the main areas cleaned and tidy. You want the buyer to feel at home because hopefully it will become their home. Make them comfortable. Let me give you some examples:
- Counter tops clear and wiped
- Floors at least swept/vacuumed so there is no visual debris
- Toys, clothes, dishes etc. all put in their proper places and not laying around
- Beds made
- Bathrooms have a good surface clean (shouldn't be able to see mirror grime)
If this is just to much for you consider enlisting the help of some family and friends or maybe hire a cleaning company.
Since you will hopefully be moving anyway, why not start de-cluttering your home. Go through the closets, storage rooms, garage and anywhere where "stuff" may accumulate. If you haven't used it in the last year you probably aren't going to use it. Recycle, donate, sell or throw it out! The more open and spacious your house feels the better.
5. Curb appeal
This is the first thing the buyers are going to see upon entering your property. They will most likely form some kind of judgement as to how the house it going to be based on the curb appeal- good or bad. You don't have to spend a ton of money to make your front yard look presentable. Mow the grass, pull the weeds, trim the hedges and trees, clean the driveway, add a little pop of color with some flowers, all simple and inexpensive ways of making your home look as good on the outside as it does on the inside. Again if you need help to get this done ask some friends and family or hire someone.
6. Fix those things you have been putting off
Many times the little fixes get neglected. There never seems to be enough time in the day, I totally understand. But when you are selling your home it is important to get those things done. Tighten handles, replace burnt out light bulbs, fix doors that aren't shutting properly, do some paint touch ups, these are all great examples. I highly recommend you go through your home and make a list of the small fixes and get them done before or shortly after you list your home on the market.
7. Smell test
Some may think this is not a biggy, but it's a BIGGY. Smell is connected to memory so if your house stinks it's not going to leave a good memory. I have been in houses that smell like cat pee, smoke, mildew and on the other side so much scentsy candle stuff that you almost pass out. Have an individual who does not live in your home do a smell test. When you live in the home there may be odors that you are not aware of because you are use to them. Some smells get deep into fabrics, carpets and walls. These smells might not come out unless you take out the whole wall, carpet or fabric (for example cigarette smoke). This may be unrealistic, so do what you can. A deep clean, carpet cleaning and deodorizers, air fresheners etc. can go a long way.
This can be a hard one to do, because after all it's still your home and you want it to feel that way...right? But when selling, you want your home to feel like the buyers home. Having a number of personal nic-nacs and photos can make it hard for a potential buyer to visualize themselves living in your home. De-personalizing opens up more opportunity for the buyers imagination.
9. Lights on
When you leave the house for a showing be sure to leave the lights on and open the curtains. Make your home bright. This creates a very inviting and comfortable atmosphere.
Going The Extra Mile
Do you like taking things just one step further? Well here are a couple more home showing tips that go above and beyond. Remember, when it comes to house showing think about stimulating the buyers senses: smell, touch, taste, sound and sight. Here are a couple different ways in which you can do this, in addition to the above 9:
- Temperature: Not too cold not too hot
- Soft music: pleasant to the ear
- Fresh baking for the taking: smell and taste all in one yum!
- Leave a nice Welcome note: this is more emotional based
- Soft throw blankets that encourage touch
- Turn on the fireplace: if you have one
Hopefully this helps to get your home show ready. I am always here to provide support where needed. Just give me a call or message me. Buying or selling I'm here to help!
This is not intended to solicit those currently under contract with another agent.