Our home’s on the market and we’ve actually moved quite a few times. So as one who has spent a good deal of time preparing a variety of houses for the market, I wanted to offer you 5 of my top tips to prepare a home for a showing. When your home’s on the market, you live in it quite differently than you do in everyday life. Most Realtors wanting to show it to prospective buyers will give ample notice to come into the home, but sometimes you will get requests with minimal notice. So what do you do to get the home ready for a showing?
After you’ve spent time preparing to list it (Read our Top 5 Staging Tips HERE!), your home should be cleared of all big projects and maintenance items. Getting ready for a showing is more about fine tuning, like you would when you were expecting people over for dinner. Your goal is to give it its best first impression from all aspects, because you only get one chance to do that!
1. Tidy up the curb appeal: if they don’t like the outside, they may not come in. It happens, but if a buyer pulls up to a run down home and they’re not renovators in the market for that, they may pass on by. Keep flowers fresh, cob webs cleared, light bulbs replaced, weeds pulled and the lawn mowed. If you have a front or back porch, show off those space’s potential with furniture and planter boxes. Let your home be the one every passer by takes notice of!
2. Put it away: dishes, laundry, business piles, toiletries, projects, you name it. Buyers don’t need to see your projects, so find ways to keep up with the laundry or simply leave it in the washer and dryer if you’re mid-cycle. Keep the dishes out of the sink and don’t worry about what’s in the dishwasher. We’ve even used our oven as a last minute stash for dishes that needed a hiding spot! The ultimate goal is for buyers to be able to see the features OF the home and not what you’ve got IN the home!
3. Clean: it’s no easy task to stay tidy and clean, but it will pay off in the end. Counters, sink bowls, toilet areas, kitchen sinks, hard surface and carpeted flooring, doors and glass, garage, beds made, pet hair and messes, switch plates, appliances and cabinets wiped down…these are just a few of the areas that will need your ongoing attention. A deep clean may be in order every one to two weeks, but keeping up with the day-to-day presence is a must if you’re wanting to show off your home!
4. Lights On, Shades Up: Dark homes just don’t show very well! When leaving for the day, I tend to leave on a few key lights so if I get a last-minute showing while I’m on the other side of town, a buyer would be able to see my home with some lights on. Key lights may be: accent lights under or in cabinets, fireplace lighting, table lamps at bedside or in a dining room or entry way, or hall lights in a dark area. If you’re home and able to turn on more lights before the showing time, do so in entry ways, kitchen and all living spaces. I typically leave closet doors open so buyers can feel welcome to take a peek, but I rarely leave those lights on. If you have a great view, pull open the curtains and pull up the shades. Daylight is key to showing off your space!
5. Appeal to the Senses: buyers are visual, but just as equally sensitive to sound and smell. My most recent showing trick is to time up a pot of coffee for midday, whether I have a showing or not. That way if I’m not home and the home gets shown, the fresh, “coffee shop” aroma will fill the air. If you’re able to prepare the home, the smell of fresh popcorn, baked cookies, coffee, or scented plug ins are always nice as well.
Additionally, if you leave near a busy road or area loud sounds, make sure to keep windows closed and minimize the buyer’s ability to notice something that could keep them from showing serious interest in the home. It’s not that you’re trying to hide anything, but you also want to play up a home’s positives and minimize the negatives.
These are just a few of our showing tips for getting your home ready for a buyer. When listing with Realtor Dan Irish, a staging walk and talk with Mindy is included in his listing package. We walk room by room and discuss all the above and more so you can be ready to list and sell!
The market is really heating up and now is a great time to sell and buy. To start that process, or for a complimentary market analysis on your property, contact Dan at 317.910.4293 or firstname.lastname@example.org! Visit our websites, real estate blog, facebook page and community websites by visiting www.dmirish.com!