Okay, so now we know marketing is my job and price is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay, so what can you do to help? Your mission, if you choose to accept it (and not everyone does) is to prepare your home to Show and Sell…it’s just like Show and Tell only we let the description and the photos do the telling because buyers are looking online first. We need your home to look its best for the photos so the more items you complete before we take photos the better.
There are some very simple steps we can take to help your home show well and get it seen more often. We’ll go over the basics here but I’d be happy to provide a more in depth article at your request just in case you are an over achiever! If you visualize dollar signs as you’re working through these items it might help you get through more of them!
The way you Live in a Home and the Way
You Sell a Home are Two Very Different Things!
When you’re showcasing your home for sale, it should look very different from the way it looks when you’re living there. Here are a few suggestions for preparing your home for sale and showings:
Pack as much as you can now – Get rid of excess furniture, put away unused items and make your home neat and orderly. If you’ve ever visited a model home, you’ll notice it’s clean and uncluttered. Packing early not only helps the buyers visualize themselves living in the home but it also helps you emotionally prepare to move out. Less clutter and furniture also makes the home show larger.
Consider having your home professionally cleaned – Cleaning and cosmetic repairs, especially in well used areas (kitchen and baths) can yield you extra dollars. Professional window cleaning is one of the most overlooked items that can really make your home shine during showings especially if you have exceptional views.
Check for odors – A time tested smell that is helpful when selling a home is the smell of fresh baked bread or cookies. A plate of cookies with a note to buyers to indulge is a nice touch used by some sellers. While there are many commercial home scent products available, some buyers may have allergies and can be bothered by these smells.
Pets should be out of sight (and smell!) – Some people are uneasy around pets. Pets and/or their odor may distract attention from the features of your home. Taking pets out of the home for showings is ideal. If pets must be left in the home for showings, crating or containing them to just one room is a good option. Be sure cat boxes are clean and inconspicuous.
Pay attention to lighting – Leave all lights on for showings and during the day, open all your blinds and curtains. The few pennies it will cost you per day to leave the lights on will be worth a quick sale at a higher price.
Turn off distractions during showings – When showing your home, turn off all appliances, television, radio and anything that will distract attention from your home. Some agents recommend leaving soft music playing during showings, but be cautious of radio stations where the programming might change unexpectedly.
Make your home an easy show – Try to be as accommodating as possible with showings. You will get “pop Tarts” (short notice showing requests), late comers and no shows from time to time. All the more reason to sell quickly and be done with showings!
Use the “Basket” Trick – A great tip for quick pick-up, for short notice showings, is to keep an old laundry basket in the hall closet. When you receive a call for a showing, grab the basket and walk through your house tossing any items that you need to get out of the way quickly into the basket. You can even make this into a game for your kids!
Don’t show your home – As much as you might like to do otherwise, please don’t stay in the home for showings and especially don’t follow people around when they are looking at your home. This makes buyer very uncomfortable and they will get out as fast as possible. If you can’t leave the home, sitting outside or taking the kids/dog for a walk is a great option.