Inevitably you receive a call from your real estate agent letting you know that a buyer wants to view your home. Your listing is new to the local market and you know that first impressions are everything to a prospective buyer. Below are ten tips on how to help get your home looking its best and show ready prior to a buyer arriving:
- Go out even if it's just for a walk around the block. Typically, when a seller stays home during a showing the potential buyer feels uncomfortable and rushes through the home as they feel they are imposing on the seller. The idea of a showing is to entice a buyer to stay in the home as long as possible to see all the benefits of the property and ideally to visualize themselves moving into the space. Honest feeback is invaluable to the seller for future showings and it is highly unlikely that a rushed showing would produce any positive feedback.
- Ensure that the home is clean and presentable prior to a buyer arriving. Having floors devoid of loose items, a clean kitchen area, tidy bedrooms all effectively help to sell your home to a buyer. Remember the goal is to SELL and that will mean having to keep your home "show home" ready sometimes even at a moment's notice.
- Turn on all the lights prior to leaving and request that the buyer's agent turn them off once the showing is done. Remember to turn on floor lamps and undermounted lighting as this will also help to brighten the home and literally show it in its best light. Be sure to replace any burnt out bulbs whenever you notice them as well.
- Depending on what season turn on the heat or air conditioning. If the ambient temperature of your home is too hot or too cold buyers will feel uncomfortable and will want to leave relatively quickly after getting there. It is safe to say that if a buyer feels uncomfortable in your home while viewing it they will not feel like they would be comfortable there in the future either.
- Make sure your home has an inviting smell and feels warm as first impressions are everything when marketing a home for sale. Having a nice light scent near the front entryway sets the tone early and puts the potential buyer at ease. Avoid cooking foods with smells that linger long after they are served such as: fish, heavy spices, bacon to name a few. Of course aromatic ssents from things such as: freshly baked cookies, breads and some flower types are very welcoming and send the right messge to the buyer.
- Leaving toilet seats down is a must and trust me when I say it's important to buyers that you do!
- If your home is going to listed over the Winter months then make sure to leave out printed photos of the yard in full bloom (in the kitchen or on dining room table) as it gives the buyer a good idea of what to expect once Spring time arrives.
- Put away any items of value such as: jewellery, art, heirlooms, family photos or anything else that may have sentimental value. "Out of sight is out of mind" is the best policy to adpot here as the last thing you want to be doing is negotiating on an item of personal value during the offer process.
- Pick up any pet mess in the front and back yards and also change litter boxes on a regular basis.
- A simply but effective way to win over buyers is to provide them with some snacks and drinks. Many times buyers have been looking at homes for a few hours and may have even missed eating a meal. Providing cookies, crackers, bottled water and juices for example will give the buyers a much needed break and will have them remember your home as pleasant and inviting.
These are just a few suggestions and tips that have helped Sellers effectively market their homes to Buyers and ultimately get that coveted "SOLD" sign in the front yard!