Are you ready to show your home to a potential buyer?
These tips will help make sure you continue to make the best first impresssion when buyers walk through your door.
The success of showings or an open house can depend on a lot of things. Some factors we can’t control but the ones that may take a bit of effort are well worth the time. Sometimes.....thousands.
Your REALTOR will ensure all the marketing and sinegage is ready and YOU just have to make sure these steps are complete before we open the door.
1. Ultimate Curb appeal
You should start getting the outside of your house ready well before the open house. Check to make sure that there is no loose garbage, branches or debris on the property. Doing so will ensure a good first impression.
Make sure that all garbage and recycling receptacles are out of sight and give the front walkway and entry way a sweep or shovel if necessary.
2. Take the odor test
Our sense of smell is our strongest sense and triggers memories; good and bad! Since every home has its own unique fragrance, you should try to neutralize any odors before the open house.
Regardless if there are pets in the home, infuse the air with a scent that will appeal to most people. A light sented candle or simmer a pot of potpourri; will create a pleasant, homey smell. Nothing too strong.
It’s important to note that the use of heavy perfumes and air deodorizers can lead prospective buyers to think that the seller is trying to conceal odors.
3. Mind your main entry space
Make sure that most shoes and coats are removed from the entry way. There should not be any clothing or unnecessary items within view when visitors enter your home.
Check any glass, window or mirrored surfaces for prints and smudges (don’t forget light switches and door knobs!). To ensure that hall closets appear spacious, out-of-season apparel should already have been packed away.
4. Create open & clean sight-lines
Which rooms can be seen from the entry way? Are there any unnecessary or out-of-place items that can be put away?
Make sure that all window treatments in the home are open to allow as much natural light into the space as possible. If it is a dark or overcast day, turn on several fixtures or lamps to create atmosphere.
5. Maximize your kitchen
Make sure that counter space is maximized by putting away any unnecessary kitchen items and remove garbage and recycling to eliminate any unpleasant odors.
Sinks should be polished and all kitchen linens put away. Make sure that appliances are sparkling clean, inside and out! If there is a dishwasher in the home, it should be empty and clean.
6. Make your bathroom(s) shine
Along with the master bedroom, bathrooms are the most personal space in any home and require special attention. Remove all visible personal items such as toothbrushes, combs, shampoo, shaving cream, razors etc. and place in a pre-designated basket or container that can be tucked away in the vanity or linen closet.
Bathroom fixtures such as the toilet, tub, shower, sinks, and mirrors should be glowing. Hang fresh, clean linens and maximize floor space by putting away extra toilet paper, magazines, cleaners etc. and make sure that the garbage is empty. A toilet brush is not a display item and should be out of sight!
7. Don’t use bedroom closets for storage
All window treatments should be open to allow as much light into the space as possible. Beds should be made and, once again, all personal items should be stored. An inexpensive storage tote is a great last-minute container to store items during short-notice viewings.
Tuck the container away under a bed or neatly in a closet. Garbage receptacles should be empty, or, if possible, completely out of sight. Remember, potential buyers will open closets!
8. Create ambiance in the dining area
Chairs and tables should be clean and clutter-free. A simple arrangement of fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit are sufficient and allow potential buyers to see the space. If possible, dim the light above the dining area to create a nice ambiance.
9. Tidy up the living room/family room
Every day items such as newspapers, magazines, remote controls, children’s toys and games can be misconstrued as clutter.
All electronics and furniture items should be free of prints, smudges and dust. Rearrange and plump up any decorative pillows and throws so that the overall appearance is neat and tidy.
If the carpet has tracks in the pile, brush it using just the bare floor attachment; this will give the carpet that “just vacuumed” look.
10. Dehumidify the laundry/basement areas
It is normal for below grade areas such as basements, rec rooms and cold cellars to have a bit of “basement” odor. Running dehumidifiers or air purifiers will be beneficial. This is just good home maintenance and should not be a concern
A plug-in room freshener, concealed behind a piece of furniture, is sufficient. If there are issues in these areas, they should be disclosed to potential buyers immediately. By doing so a seller conveys honesty and ultimately, any issues will be disclosed during a home inspection.
Laundry areas, regardless of whether they are main floor or below grade, should be spotless! All detergents and related cleaning products should be stored out of sight. Remove dryer lint and empty garbage receptacles.
While the above list is extensive, it is in no way exhaustive. A little goes a long way and will help you get the most money for your home.