Things a Seller Can Do to Showcase their Home
It begins at the front door
When you know you are going to have a showing sweep away the dust bunnies and cob webs! Make sure the door, trim and molding are clean and the paint is in good shape. A pot of plants, a wreath or some sort of decoration that says you don’t just reside here but that you “live” here. This means curb appeal too! The lawn should be green, trimmed and cared for. If you have a stone driveway order a truckload of stones to top it off and if the driveway is paved…is it clean and well swept? If it is winter and there is snow…clear a pathway! Your mother was right: first impressions have always mattered!
What is that I am smelling?
Take a moment and walk into your own home…what does it smell like? Stale air, cat or dog odors or last nights dinner are really a no-no! If rug odors prevail get them steam cleaned. Burn a candle, potpourri, hide essential oils, or bake cookies (you’re Realtor and guests will love them!).
How does your woodwork look?
Doorways? Use Chlorox Clean Up and wash away handprints around door knobs and frequently used cabinets. Consider touching up trim paint around corners or where the kids, dogs and vacuum cleaner have nicked and chipped away paint. The cleaner and neater your home looks the happier your buyers will be! This hour’s worth of effort pays dividends!
It’s in the details:
Leaking and dripping faucets are not big deal items…repair them! Misaligned cabinet doors take a moment to readjust them. Sticking drawers, drawers that don’t open or doors that don’t close…quick fixes that show a seller has paid attention to details and helps a buyer relax knowing the house has been cared for and there will not be huge (high ticket!) surprises later.
Prevent accidents (i.e., lawsuits)
In the winter eliminate icy walkways, remove dangerously placed icicles and make sure access to the door is safe for your Realtor and buyers. Inside, be watchful of slippery area rugs, long extension cords and children’s toys.
Remember, you are marketing square footage
Remove furniture that is blocking doorways. Figure that each showing has at least 3 people attending and plan accordingly as they will often be standing in rooms together. Closets should not have clothing and boxes falling when the door opens, rather, they should appear spacious with room for more. This is a great opportunity to go to the landfill with the never used treadmill, boxes from your last move and the lawn tractor that no longer works. This means attics, basements and garages too!
Kitchen and baths
Talk about prime real estate….these are often your #1 selling features and should be treated as such. Make that sink sparkle, and yes, that would mean that there should not be dishes in there! Re-caulk the tub! It only takes a second and makes the tub look like new. Clean the fan and any ceiling lights and rid them of any dead bugs! De-clutter the countertops! This does not mean make it look like nobody lives here…this is a happy home: make it look like one!
All sellers must leave for showings
This really is not debatable, sorry. We are trying to sell your home and that is really hard to do when the owner is present. Buyers do not feel comfortable opening up closets, cupboards or taking too long to really look at each room. The goal here is for the Realtor to help your buyer to feel what it would be like to live here and if the seller is present this transition cannot be made. Also, conversations ensue and inevitably the seller says something that they should not have. It is just not a good idea. Period!
As for your pets
I know you love them but your buyers might not! Ideally, they should follow you out the door for every showing. Cats are a bit easier to deal with but all dogs must go: and this is coming from a dog person! Your buyer may be afraid of dogs and thus so focused on the dog potentially biting them or barking on them that the easy going showing becomes a tense nightmare! Then the home just does not feel good to the buyer and the house is dismissed!
Let the sun shine in
Natural sunlight is often a high priority item for most buyers so push those heavy drapes and curtains aside and let natural light in. Shades should all be up as well as buyers want to check out all the windows for cracks, shot seals and the like. Lights should be on in rooms that are dark.
Bedrooms: A place to dream
Beds should be made and look inviting. Think spacious and get rid of furniture that makes the room smaller. Consider purchasing a new bedspread and accessorizing with new pillows. De-clutter dressers and bedside tables.