You’ve followed all of the recommendations to create that all important “buyer appeal”. The For Sale signs are up, the ads are in the paper and you’re receiving calls for appointments to visit your home.
Nine important things to do before every showing appointment
1. “Tidy up” the outside.
Put away the bicycles, children’s toys, lawn chairs, garden hoses, etc. Sweep the walk, park cars in the garage or down the street, close the garage door. Don’t leave cars parked in the driveway.
2. “Tidy up” the inside.
Make the beds, wash the dishes, take out the garbage, put away the children’s toys and the adult “things”, clear the kitchen and bathroom counters of all clutter.
3. Keep pets out of the house.
1/3 - 1/2 of all people are: a) irrationally afraid of animals b) allergic to animals or c) just don’t like animals. This is a significant portion of potential buyers that may not consider your home just because of the presence of a pet.
4. Light up the house.
Turn on ALL the lights. Open the drapes and blinds. Make sure all light bulbs and light fixtures are plugged in and working.
5. Freshen up the house.
Open the doors and windows for a brief period before scheduled showings. Make sure the bathrooms, laundry, and basement are aired out and don’t feel or smell damp.
6. Warm or cool the house.
Set the thermostat to a comfortable level. Warm up the house in winter and cool it down in the summer. It’s all part of creating the perception of a “comfortable home”. Buyers won’t spend much time in a house where the temperature is uncomfortable.
7. “Quiet” the house.
If you are home during the appointment, turn off all noisy appliances. NO television, radio, video games, loud music, dishwashers, clothes washers or dryers, etc.
8. Open the doors.
Doors to all rooms and closets should be unlocked and open.
9. Leave the house.
If possible, try not to be in the house during showing appointments. Buyers are uncomfortable thoroughly inspecting and critiquing a home while the home owner is around. Peeking in cabinets and closets, airing objections, criticizing the house, stating their concerns, asking questions etc. are all important parts of the decision making process that will be inhibited if the owner is home. An environment that encourages candid open discussion, while at the property, is important.
1. No one ever buys a house without first looking in the closets.
2. When the homeowner is home, buyers are reluctant to look in the closets.
3. Therefore: If the owner is home (& the buyers don’t look in the closets), they will NOT be buying the home.
The recommendations above are common sense ideas designed to reduce distractions and create a positive feeling about the home.
A home is supposed to be a quiet, comfortable, private refuge from the outside world. If your home is perceived to be noisy, disorderly and uncomfortable, you will be chasing buyers away as quickly as Realtors can bring them to the home.
These suggestions are absolutely FREE to implement. Your home is “the single largest investment of your lifetime”, it’s worth the effort and inconvenience required to implement these suggestions a few minutes before the buyer arrives.