Congratulations, your home is finally on the market! You have found an agent, hired a photographer, drove interest through the “Coming Soon” ads on Zillow, repaired and cleaned every little crevice you have forgotten about, and might have even gotten a professional stager for your home. You have spent weeks—maybe even months—getting your home ready for all the potential buyers. And now comes the exciting part: people are interested in actually seeing your home! After all that hard work, these coming weeks are crucial on what kind of impression you’ll leave on potential buyers touring your home. You want to leave an impression of a warm, inviting and comfortable home for all that come through your front door.
In following these tips, you can help increase the showability of your home and increase interest from buyers starting Day 1:
1. When you leave the house in the morning or during the day, leave it as if you know it is going to be shown.
Unless you have tenants or feel strongly about allowing your home to be showed without being present, there is a high probability that your home will be shown at times when you cannot be there too. When a home is shown there will always be a licensed real estate agent present, and your agent will know who is always coming in and out of your home via LockBox or another tracking system. Therefore, avoid taking that lunch early to go home and make the bed you forgot about, and always anticipate a showing. This leads to my next tip…
2. Tidy up! Keep the kitchen counters uncluttered and remove dishes from the sink. Clean the carpet and make the bed.
Having a mess in a home can automatically signal to a buyer that there is a lack of pride in ownership from the buyers. If there is an glaring mess in the kitchen when they come to see the house, what other not so glaring messes could there also be? Make sure to eliminate such doubt in buyers and maintain a tidy, clean home.
This may be a tough one for some, but buyers want to be able to walk into a home and imagine themselves living there. That can be incredibly difficult if when they tour the home they can only picture the seller, or their grandma, living in the home. Hide family photos, personal trinkets, valuables, firearms, etc. that may turn off potential buyers. A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t see it in a hotel room, it shouldn’t be seen in your home.
4. Keep good scents in the house, such as reed diffusers or scented candles.
One of the first things someone notices about a home when they enter home is what the home smells like. Scents that will turn off potential buyers, such as: mildew, trash, or overbearing food smells can deter even the most interested buyers if they cannot focus on anything other than the smell. Invite a neighbor or friend that does not come by frequently to smell your home and gauge if there are any hidden smells you have become accustomed to. Stick with clean or fruity scents to create a welcoming yet clean ambiance for the buyers.
5. Keep pets out of the way – preferably out of the house. Many people are uncomfortable around some animals and may even be allergic to them.
Unless absolutely impossible, try and keep pets out of the way when showing a home. If this cannot be done and you have a dog or cat, keep him/her in the backyard, garage, or closed room during the showing. Also, clean up after your pets. Clean litter boxes frequently and vacuum pet hair to avoid messes/lingering odors.
6. Let there be light!
Make sure all the lights are on when a buyer comes to tour the home. Also, let the sun shine in during day showings. Open window treatments and blinds. Natural light is a request that many buyers ask for, and given that it is not something that can be easily added to a home, this is your perfect time to showcase the amount of natural light your home has to offer! If your home does not have ample natural light, remove darkening curtains and panels from windows. Stray away from fluorescent lights if at all possible. Stick with brighter, warmer tones that creates comfortable mood lighting while still allowing buyers to see the home.
7. Turn off loud, noisy and disturbing television shows/music.
When buyers come to your home, they should feel at ease and comfortable talking to their family members and agent. Turning off the television show will eliminate unwanted attention to the television and allow buyers to focus on what is important: your home! If possible, play soothing background music like jazz or an easy listening station. Keep the level low to avoid disturbing the buyers.
8. Control the Temperature.
Buyers do not want to enter a home and feel as though they either entered an icebox or a sauna. Make sure that thermostats are set to comfortable temperatures at all times. If it is in the winter months, ensure that temperatures do not drop too low but are not too warm either. Buyers should be comfortable both leaving their coats on or taking it off. And in the summer, utilize the cooling system in your home or get to opening those windows!
9. Snacks are always a nice touch.
If at all possible, have a couple small snacks and water available for guests touring your home. Many may not be interested, but it always a nice touch to have it available for buyers. It will also create a memorable impression of your home and stand out to buyers who are looking at multiple homes in a day.
10. Try to leave your premises.
Take a short break while your house is being shown. Most showing windows last 1 hour at the most. Buyers are intimidated when sellers are present and tend to hurry through the house. Let the buyer be at ease, and let the agents do their job. If you have to stay – remain in the background. The agent knows the buyer’s requirements and can better emphasize the special features that may appeal to the buyer.