Keys for a Successful Sale
You never have a second chance to make a first impression so it is incredibly important that your house look good from the outside. The front entrance should be clean and inviting. If there is a “for sale” sign in the yard, but the yard isn't mowed and the shrubs and flower beds are untended, people are less likely to schedule a showing. Buyers often look at the exterior photo of the house and then do a “drive by” before calling the Realtor®.
De-clutter and Minimize
Potential buyers want to look at the entire house, so it’s important to de-clutter and minimize everywhere; not only rooms, but closets, cabinets, drawers and storage spaces as well. Get rid of junk and neatly arrange what’s left. Every buyer is looking for storage and can never have enough of it. Remove half the stuff from your closets then neatly organize the remaining contents. Keep everything, including your cabinets, clean and tidy ensuring that each space looks larger and more appealing. If space is a problem for you, rent a storage unit for excess items while your home is on the market.
Remove Personal Items
Some agents say get rid of all personal items. We don't necessarily think everything has to go, but you do want your home to show well and attract serious offers. Put away personal items that detract from your home such as photos, toiletries, food, drinks, etc. - anything that makes the space seem cluttered. If you have family photos hung in a tasteful way on the wall, they don't necessarily need to come down, but you should always be thoughtful about your decorating decisions and keep the buyer in mind.
If you’ve decorated with unusual, bright colors in your home, it may be wise to tone things down both for the listing photos and for showings. When a house is decorated with neutral colors on the walls, floors, trim, cabinetry, potential buyers will not be distracted and can more easily envision their belongings fitting in. Of course, every situation and home is unique. Your agent can provide sound advice on this.
Although everyone has different tastes in decor and furnishings, most people want a home that is welcoming, functional, peaceful and organized. Tailor your house so that buyers will describe it in those terms rather than by your style. Maximize the full potential of your home by arranging furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.
Five Things to do Before a Showing
When you get the call that someone would like to view your home, try these tips for making the visit a pleasant and memorable experience for the potential buyer.
A Neat House Is Very Important
Even with only a few minutes before prospective buyers arrive, you have time to straighten up a bit. Make sure beds are made, empty all garbage cans and take the garbage outside, put up your “show” towels and close all toilet seats. Grab a laundry basket – throw all of the clutter into it and put the basket into your car. And finally, wipe down countertops and sinks with a damp cloth.
Your House Should Smell Fresh
You may want to bake a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies to add a wonderful and inviting scent.
Open Curtains and Blinds
Make your house bright and cheery by letting the sunshine in - especially if you have a nice view. Doing so will create a happy, light-filled space which will make any room look bigger and more desirable.
Turn On the Lights
You want to let natural light fill your rooms, but also remember to turn on the lights throughout your home. Overhead lights, lamps and even lighting in closets and the laundry room will make it easier for the agent to show your home and no one will have to search for a light switch.
Make the Temperature Comfortable
You want people to feel comfortable and confident that the house’s systems are in good working order so turn on that air conditioner when it’s hot outside. Now is not the time to worry about the utility bill. Same goes during the winter months. Turn up the heat and turn on the fireplace to make the room feel cozy.
Always, Always Leave
After you’ve worked hard making your home sellable and memorable, please leave and let the Realtor® do his or her job. If you, your kids or your pets are there potential buyers may feel uncomfortable. You don't want them wishing their way out the door instead of enjoying looking at your home.