Getting Your Home Ready for Showings
You LOVE your home ... now let someone else; Get Ready to Share the LOVE for Your Home During Showings.
The key to a great showing - Always say ‘Yes’ to Showing Requests!
In a perfect world, you would have an endless amount of time to accommodate each showing request and prepare for them accordingly. The reality is, unfortunately, that a lot of showing requests are last minute, at the very best! Buyers run on very high emotions; and if they see something they like, then they want to see it now or as soon as possible! Learning to be flexible and accommodate a short notice request, is part of the game.
Emotional buyers may cause you some grief up front to scramble and meet their request, but in the end, these are buyers that usually will offer more because they're emotionally invested. Buyers however, are also very vulnerable and they want to feel like their new home is somehow meant to be. Remember, if their short notice request is at first met with rejection, they may take it personally, see it as 'a sign' and quickly cross your home off their list.
What’s the best thing that you can do for any buyer? – Don’t hover and leave them alone.
One of the best things that any homeowner or tenant can do during a showing, is to not be there although that is not always possible. Even the most well-intentioned, proud homeowner, can seem to be hovering or lurking which in turn can intimidate and cramp a buyer’s style and make them feel uneasy. Leaving the home when there is a showing, allows the buyer the freedom to really explore the home, get a feel for the home, let their imagination run wild and, most importantly, see their future there.
If you can see yourself in your home - Then your potential buyers can’t!
It is so important to remove all personal pictures, knickknacks, religious and politically associated memorabilia in your house. This may seem cold or impersonal to you, but remember that buyers are looking for a fresh space to make their own. If your home is bursting at the seams with pictures, sayings and decor that is reflective of you, your family and your goals, a buyer might not have the ability or the imagination to see past these distractions and they won’t be able to envision their future living there. Keep in mind it’s all psychological, and you want to reduce the number of objections that a buyer can come up with.
Embody the saying “Less IS more!!” - Time to get rid of the clutter.
Our homes are usually a reflection of our personality. Too much stuff laying, however, can be a huge turn-off for buyers. Your furniture, decor, and toys, while comforting to you, might seem overwhelming to a potential buyer. Take a good look around and ask for my advice and/or home stager for their professional suggestions. A few simple pieces in each room is usually all that is necessary to make a space inviting and cozy. Think of how a Show Home is staged, the less items around the more open and spacious a room looks and feels.
Let the light shine - How to set the right mood every time.
Our rational side tells us to turn off the lights when we leave the room. Keeping your house cloaked in darkness, however, is not a great idea when trying to create a good first impression. Remember to open all the blinds in each room for daytime showings; the natural light helps to make a space appear larger. And for evening showings, turn the lights on in each room or accent lighting to help create an inviting and relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, temperature of the home is very important. Make sure that the thermostat is set to the perfect degree when you leave the house before a showing; you want people to linger longer whenever possible. Remember, a cold home will make buyers not want to stay and talk, or allow them to really envision them living in their home.
Pets and Smells - How not to get caught in the middle.
Even the most beautiful home can be overlooked, if the buyer senses unwelcome smells and sounds. Smells that you might have become accustomed to, can hit visitors in the face like a ton of bricks when they first enter your home. If you have family pets, smoke, cook spicy or fragrant foods or have simply been in your home for a long time, a deep cleaning of your house might not be out of the question. Getting the carpets professional shampooed is always a good idea to rid tough pet odors, but also gives your carpet a vibrant less tired look. Having an efficient, fool-proof game plan to evacuate pets on short notice for showing requests is always a bonus. Nothing can spoil a buyers’ focus like the repetitive barking of an anxious dog, or an over-friendly cat. Especially if they are allergic to or have a fear of them.
Cleanliness: The BEST step to selling quickly and for more money!
You know what it’s like to go into someone else’s house and see two days’ worth of dirty dishes piled in the sink, beds are unmade and unfolded laundry is left on the floor. It may seem like a small thing to you, but if your home is on the market, ensure that your home is impeccable every time you leave it, in case there is a short notice showing request. Set aside a few extra minutes the night before, take out trash, wash the dirty dishes in the sink, get rid of the crumbs on the kitchen table, vacuum and make sure that your home is pristine. Without consciously realizing it buyers can easily associate a messy house with a careless owner. If the small things are left in disarray it makes them wonder about the big-ticket items that could also have been overlooked; a leaky faucet, a burner that no longer works, etc. Your pride in your home will easily win buyers over!
People are naturally nosey, buyers are no different; It’s time to hide all your personal items.
Some buyers might spend less than 5 minutes in your home, others might have a hard time leaving. If this is the home for them, they are going to want to get to know it, intimately! Closets should be neat, tidy and ready for inspection. Your cupboard organization should put Martha Stewart to shame, and the front and back entry ways, should be free of shoes and seasonal effects or at least tidy and organized.Make a great 1st impression, before the front door opens; maximize curb appeal!
How you stack up to the other homes on your street is very important. When driving down your street, does your eye naturally drift to your property for all the right reasons? You may not have the biggest or best lot on the street, but you can still wow them with your pride of ownership.Make sure that your property is seasonally up-to-date. For the summer months, make sure grass is cut, flower beds or shrubs are neatly maintained; weed control is very important. For the winter months, make sure your driveway is shovelled and your walkways and stairs are clean and ice free. It’s important to make sure your home is safe ready to receive guests.
You really want to give your buyers the impression that you love living here and they should too!