How to Prepare Your Home for Showings
Now that you have decided to sell your home, there are several things you should do to properly prepare your home for the showings that your real estate agent will schedule. Not only can the correct preparation reduce the amount of time it takes for a home to sell but also can lead to more money in your pocket. Following are a few tips that will help your home sell quicker and for more money.
Check the exterior and curb appeal: First impressions are extremely important. Depending on the season, make sure that the lawn is freshly mowed, leaves racked, or driveway shoveled. There is nothing pleasant to a buyer who has to walk through a foot or two of snow to get to the front door. If it’s not winter, make sure the lawn tools and toys are picked up. If you have pets, pick up after them.
Check for clutter: One of the most noticeable things to a prospective buyer is clutter. Some areas that often collect clutter should be checked, such as stairs, entryways, and closets. Make sure the stairs are clear and that all shoes, coats, hats, and mail is put out of sight. If you have a home office, put your desk in order, file any documents laying around, and generally present the office as a top executive would.
Check the kitchen: A homes’ kitchen is traditionally the biggest selling feature. Ensuring that the kitchen is prepared for a showing is extremely important. Take a general look at the kitchen…are the countertops free and clear? Making sure those granite or quartz countertops are not only free of clutter, but also clean enough to eat on. Clear your refrigerator of any personal items (family photos, a child’s grade card, greeting cards). The exterior of the refrigerator should have virtually nothing on it. Make sure the floor is clean. A buyer who sticks to the floor will not be impressed.
Check the bathrooms: Bathrooms are often the second biggest selling feature of homes. Many things that have been addressed in the kitchen should be considered in the baths as well. The vanity top should be clean and free of clutter. Clean the floor, scrub the tub and shower, and clean the mirrors. Make sure the linen closet and items inside are neatly organized. Place clean bath towels on the racks or vanity and use a scented candle or incense with a soft, pleasant smell.
Check the bedrooms: Bedrooms can be a deal breaker for a buyer. If a homes’ bedrooms are on the smaller side, it’s critical that a buyer can see that they are practical and someone is able to comfortably fit their belongings in the room. Make sure the beds are made and decorated with some nice pillows. A messy and unmade bed most often is a negative impression on a prospective buyer. Make sure all personal items and valuables are stored in a safe location. Make sure the closets are organized. Buyers want to see how much storage room they will have for their clothes and accessories. An unorganized or overstuffed closet is going to take away from the true space of the closets.
Check the floors: All floors throughout the home should be spotless. Have the carpets professionally cleaned. Replace any damaged carpeting. This expense will pay dividends when you sell. Clean hardwood floors with a name brand cleaner that makes them glisten.
Check the windows: Drapes and blinds are often a part of the home that is neglected for general cleaning and maintenance. Make sure drapes and blinds are clean and functional. Wash all windows inside and out. If weather allows, crack a window to allow some nice refreshing air to flow through the home.
Check the temperature: This applies to any home located anywhere. Depending on the time of year, make sure your homes’ temperature is comfortable. When it’s hot outside, set the thermostat between 73-76 degrees. You want the buyer to feel instant relief from the heat once they enter your home. When it’s cold out, set the thermostat to 72-76 degrees. You want the buyer to feel they are entering a nice warm and cozy home.
Check for odors: A foul odor in a home may be the largest turn-off for a potential buyer. It’s common that an overwhelmed buyer who walks into a home with a very fowl smell will turn around and walk out the door. Whether it’s an odor from pets, smoking, cooking, or other things, make the necessary remedy before each showing. Ask a friend or neighbor if they can smell anything bad because the owners can sometimes get used to an odor and not realize that it stinks.
Set the mood: First and foremost, crack or open the blinds and turn on every light in the home. A dark room can be a turn-off to a prospective buyer. Before the showing, if you have time, brew a fresh pot of coffee or bake a fresh batch of cookies so that the aroma is permeating the home. Boiling cinnamon sticks can also provide a nice aroma as well. Turn on the radio to some light music, such as James Taylor or cool jazz.
These tips for preparing a home for showings are very important and they should be adhered too if you want top dollar for your residence.