Many sellers don’t think and aren’t advised by their estate agent that a little effort and time preparing for a scheduled showing can help tremendously in the sale of a home. 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!
So where do you start? Never hesitate on asking for our advice. You should know what is important to buyers in your local market. It’s smart to start from the outside and simulate a potential buyers walk through. Keep in mind the importance of a buyers first impression. Generally, paying close attention to the following 10 Tips from YK DAILY for Preparing Your Home for Showings, will help your home sell quicker and for more money!
Check the Exterior/Curb Appeal
As mentioned above, the first impressions are extremely important. The saying “You’ll never have a second chance to create a good first impression” is very true when it comes to a prospective buyer looking at a home. The first impression that a buyer will gather of a home is the exterior and the homes “curb appeal.” Depending on the season, make sure that the lawn is freshly cut, leaves racked, or driveway shoveled. There is nothing pleasant to a buyer that has to walk through two feet of snow to get to the front door! If it’s not winter, make sure the lawn tools and toys are picked up. In addition to the tools and toys, if you have pets, please pick up after them.
Check For Clutter
Check your home for clutter prior to a showing can make a difference in the prospective buyers impression!One of the most noticeable things to a prospective buyer is clutter. Some areas that often collect clutter that should be checked are stairs, entry ways, and closets. Make sure the stairs are clear and that all shoes, coats, hats, and mail is put out of sight.
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 kitchen counter tops free and clear? Making sure those granite or quartz counter tops are not only free and clear but also “clean enough to eat on.” Is the refrigerator door clear? Some buyers have a very difficult time looking past “personal” belongings. It’s great to show off your child’s “A+” on their spelling exam, but not when your home is on the market. The exterior of the refrigerator should have virtually nothing on it. Is the kitchen floor clean? Making sure that it is clean is also very important. A potential buyer is not going to be impressed when they “stick to the floor” when they step onto a spot where something was spilled earlier.
Check the Bathroom
Bathrooms are often times the second biggest selling feature of homes. Many things that have been addressed in the kitchen should be considered in the bathroom as well. Is the vanity top clean and clear of clutter? Is the floor clean? Another area to look at before a showing is the bath or shower. Is this tub or shower clean? Most prospective buyers are going to look inside the tub and/or shower and a dirty tub and/or shower, is not pleasant. Also, inspect the linen closet. Make sure the linen closet and the items inside are organized neatly. Take a couple new bath towels out of the linen closet and make sure they are hanging nice and neat. A clean bathroom appearance can go a long way with a potential buyer.
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. There are a few things to inspect before a showing. Are the beds made and decorated with some nice pillows or a throw? A messy and unmade bed most often is a negative impression on a prospective buyer. Are all personal items and valuables away in a safe location? While it is uncommon for personal belonging to be missing after a showing, it certainly can happen. Make sure any personal belongings and valuables are stored in a secure location or removed during a showing. Are the closets organized? A prospective buyer is almost always going to open the closets in the bedroom. They want to see how much storage room they will have for their “stuff.” An unorganized and messy closet is going to take away from the true space of the closets!
Check the Floors
Like mentioned above with the kitchen and bathroom floors, all floors throughout a home should be checked before a showing. If there are carpeted rooms, are they vacuumed and free from stains? A great real estate professional should recommend prior to listing a home that if the carpets are heavily damaged or severely stained, to get them replaced or cleaned. Replacing and/or cleaning of damaged/dirty carpet is aquick, easy, and cheap home selling tip that should be strongly considered.
Check the Windows
Drapes and blinds are often a part of a home that is neglected for general cleaning and maintenance. Make sure the blinds and drapes are clean but also that they are functioning. A buyer is often concerned with the quality of the windows in a potential home and will be inspecting them so make certain the windows are clean and sparkling! Finally, if weather allows, crack a window to allow some nice refreshing air to flow through the home.
Check the Temperature
This applies for any home located any where. Depending on the time of the year, make sure your homes temperature is comfortable. While it’s hot outside, set the thermostat between 70-74 degrees. You want the buyer to feel instant relief from the heat once they enter your home. While 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 Odours
A foul odor in a home maybe the largest turn-off for a potential buyer. Like the importance of replacement or cleaning of carpet before listing a home, if possible, it can be very helpful to remove odors prior to listing. It’s common that an overwhelmed buyer who walks into a home with an overwhelming odor will turn back around and walk out of the home. Whether it’s an odor from pets, smoking, cooking, or others, make sure to check for odors! Often it is a good idea to have an opinion from a person who is not living in the home. Homeowners often become “immune” to odours within their own homes.
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 or TV and set it to a classical or jazz music station.
Preparing for a showing the correct way can make a major difference on whether a home sells or not and also the time it takes for the sale. It can also effect the price a seller receives for their home. The above tips for preparing a home for showings should not be taken lightly. Again, ask a real estate professional for their input and tips for preparing a home for showings.
Prepare & dress the following for viewings...
* Sweep paths and mow lawns.
* Clear away dustbins, garden rubbish and tools out of sight.
* Flowers and pots always look lovely, but please rememberto take away old disused plastic pots or tubs, especially if they are broken (greenhouses and shed interiors are not generally shot, but they may appear in view).
* Ensure water features are turned on.
* Garden furniture sets the scene so have these out and a parasol ready.
* Uncover your swimming pool, even if it is winter.
* Ensure mats are straight and fringes brushed.
* Place shoes, dog leads and extra coats/hats or out of sight.
* Clear window sills of general clutter - we want to see through into garden spaces.
* Place compost bins, kitchen roll holders, tea towels and washing up
cloths/brushes out of sight.
* Clear work surfaces of bottles, jars and extra utensil holders as well as cereal boxes or Tupperware.
* Tidy cookbooks/paperwork on shelving.
* Ensure all cupboard doors shut properly and any items in glass cabinets are neat.
* Flowers and fruit bowls always help to make the room look fresh and homely.
* Remove items from inside the oven if it can be seen through the door.
* Bedding should be neatly placed and smoothed.
* Throws and cushions in a matching colour always help.
* Try and help your photographer by ensuring you have a suitable number of pillows (just 1 pillow on a double bed usually look odd) and that they are even in height and properly fluffed.
* Ensure shower screens and mirrors are clean (as they help reflect the light, so shouldn’t be dusty or smeared).
* Remove toothbrushes and excess shampoo/lotion bottles.
* A few nice lotions should be left for effect so the photographer can use if necessary.
* Remove cleaning bottles, bins and toilet brushes.
* Remove bathroom mats and toilet mats.
* Place fresh plain towels.
Shut all windows to be shut ready for exterior photos, and move handles down in the correct position. Declutter windowsills for anything visible from outside.
* Cars, vans, trailers and caravans
Arrange for these to be moved at the time of the appointment as they can block the view and can cause delay in moving during the appointment.
Open fires always look nice when lit and with basket of logs full to the brim. Please ask your photographer when they are ready to have the fire lit, but a bit of paper normally does the trick.
Remove extra books if they do not sit neatly in the row or are personal.
Use tie-backs where possible and ensure blinds are at the same height/angle from the outside.
Ensure fringes are straight.
From lamps, televisions, chargers and general tech. As much as we will try to not get wires in a shot, please tuck away as many as you can.
* Hooks on the back of doors
The photographer may need to stand in the doorway to take a shot, so where possible in bathrooms and bedrooms, please move any dressing gowns and towels from the back of the doors, so they may be opened fully.
Ensure all doors are closed properly and remove additional items such as suitcases and boxes being stored on top.
Ensure all lamps, ceiling and wall lights, including spotlights in bathrooms and kitchens, are in working order. We do not carry lightbulbs so please ensure you have a spare for in case. If one light in a set is not working, it will look odd in your photographs and may mean your photographer cannot put your lights on.
* Garages and store rooms
We do not expect these to be cleared but please remember your photographer may need to gain access for measuring floor plans so do try and leave some space to walk through and get a measurement from the side of one wall for width purposes.
* Animals owners and children
As much as we love to meet your pets and children, we unfortunately can’t have them in the shot. Please try to keep your pets away from the photographer during shooting. Stay away from windows when we’re outside and please remove extra toy clutter and pet beds/bowls for the time we are there.