Get Ready, Get Set to Show!

It’s time to look differently and unemotionally at your home. Look at it no longer as your home, but as a product to be marketed. Be aware of what you can and cannot change about your home. This knowledge will allow you to concentrate on those items that will bring the highest rewards

First Impressions

The first thing a potential buyer sees is your home from the street. They call that first impression “curb appeal.” Take care to:

  • Remove any junk or clutter from the yard.
  • Have a clean, crisp lawn, a bit of fertilizer makes for a greener lawn
  • Trim shrubbery and hedges.
  • Wash decks and porches make sure they stained or painted.
  • Clean and paint or stain your front door.
  • All exterior lights should be operational.
  • Exterior windows should be clean and operational.
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts.
  • Walkways should be swept and free of snow or ice during winter.
  • Make sure the garage door is closed.

Through Open Doors

Most buyers do not have vision. So help them. Present your home dressed in its best! Do not do anything expensive, such as remodeling. Here are some minor investments, which may have some major returns.

Paint – when it comes to preparing a house, painting gives you the best return for money spent.

Flooring – at the very least, all carpeting needs to be steam cleaned. Any worn, stained or foul smelling carpet should be replaced. Any flooring that is cracked or damaged, should be replaced, if possible.

Clutter -If something is not necessary for your day-to-day life, box it up and store it or throw it out!

Closets – Closets need to be neat, clean, and organized.

Cleaning – the cleaner, the better. Dusting, washing, waxing, polishing everything will always make a good impression.

Lights – clean the fixtures and make sure the bulbs work.

Windows – replace any cracked windows.

Pre-sale Home Inspection

Buyers are going to schedule a home inspection, a thorough examination of the property, before closing.  Scheduling an inspection before you put your home on the market allows you to take care of any problems beforehand.  You will have more time to plan for any resulting expenses and be able to better ensure the quality of your home.  If you choose not to fix the issues that come up in the inspection, you can adjust the selling price for those issues.  This can save you time during negotiation because the buyer knows the issues have already been identified and accounted for.  You are also less likely to overlook something you may be held liable for later.

Room to Room

Entry way: Clean and polish everything.
  • Make sure it’s well lit.
  • Make it clutter free.
Kitchens are under close scrutiny:
  • Clean the exterior of all appliances, including the stove hood filter.
  • Clean counter tops and cabinet faces, the shiner, the better.
  • Clutter free
  • Remove magnets and messages from the front of the refrigerator.
  • Clean floor, consider new if it is worn.
  • If you have ceramic tile, make sure the grout is clean, there are whitening products.
Bathrooms are also extremely important:
  • If faucets drip, repair or replace them.
  • Remove stains from all fixtures.
  • Make sure all lights have the highest wattage safe for each fixture.
  • Put out fresh, clean towels.
  • Check ceramic tile, make sure the grout is clean.
  • Remove any evidence of mildew.
  • Make sure drains are clog free.
  • Shower doors should sparkle.
  • Arrange the furniture for the flow of traffic.
    Make sure its clutter free.
Living room/Family Room/Den
  • Arrange the furniture for the flow of traffic, give the illusion of space.
  • Remove ashes from fireplaces and woodstoves.
  • Make sure all light switches work.
  • Clean the drapes
  • Polish, mop the floors
Storage Areas
  • Basement, Garage, Attic
  • Remove all junk and clutter (do you detect a theme?)
  • If the basement is damp or musty, try a dehumidifier.
  • Make sure these areas are well lit.

Finishing Touches

Most of the time you will be given at least a couple of hours notice before showing your home. Before you show your home add these small but important finishing touches. Your home will then put its best foot forward!

Light and Bright – whether day or night, a lit house gives a “welcome home” impression. So turn on all the lights, indoor and outdoor. Open all curtains and drapes to let in maximum light. Your home looks more cheerful and it also prevents harsh shadows.

Out of Sight – prospective buyers may feel like intruders if you are home during a showing. Allow the Realtor the opportunity to speak freely with buyers and put an emphasis your home’s best features. If possible, take a walk, visit the library, go shopping or take the kids to the park. If you cannot leave, try to remain out of sight and do not accompany the buyers from room to room.

The Scent of Success – Scented sprays are too obvious and may be found offensive. For a pleasing fragrance, add a few drops of vanilla extract on a stove burner or boil water and add some cinnamon. Refrigerator cookies are quick and easy to bake as well as lighting a scented candle prior to a showing, both will make your home more attractive.

Waste Not – Empty the trash in the kitchen and any other waste baskets before a showing. Garbage does not send a positive message, even in small amounts.

Comfort Counts– Make sure the thermostat is set such that the house is at a comfortable temperature. Turn off the television and turn soft, melodious music on.

Pets – It is best to try and take your pets with you while your home is being shown. If that is not possible, at least keep them outside. Animals under foot will put a damper on a showing.