Under the looking glass
Imagine the home buyer walking into your home with a large magnifying glass ready to examine every nook and cranny. Even if the magnifying glass is not physically visible, it is present to every prospective home buyer. That’s why it is up to you, the home seller, to present your home in the most appealing way possible in order to gain that competitive edge. Look at it like this: the prospect is not there to buy your home – the prospect is there to eliminate it. They buy the home they can’t eliminate. This information may help you in passing each critical examination by your prospective buyers.
This period of your real estate experience can be stressful and frustrating at times. There are many aspects you can be aware of and consider in order to ensure a smoother home showing.
Put on a good show
As a home seller, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” At all times, you must put your best foot forward because “even the little things mean a lot”. There are many steps you can take to help your home pass the prospect’s scrutiny and put on a good show. You will find the time, effort and “elbow grease” you put into each home showing will be well worth it. It will help you portray a feeling of pride in ownership, which is one of the main features prospective buyers are seeking.
Always remember to take an inspection tour of your home before each showing. This easy-to-use checklist should help you get ready for an effective home showing.
___ Make sure the lawn was cut and shrubs and bushes were trimmed.
___ In winter, make sure snow and ice are removed.
___ Make certain kitchens and bathrooms sparkle.
___ Remove debris laying on floors, etc. (the less clutter, the better, and the roomier your home will look).
___ Straighten closets and cabinets, and be sure windows and other visible areas are clean.
___ Be sure the front door and foyer are clean.
___ Keep pets and children out of the way – preferably out of the house.
___ Make certain bedrooms are clean, and beds were made.
___ Do not be home. Your presence restricts the prospect in sharing their reactions with the agent.
___ Keep the home bright and cheery (drapes open by day and closed at night. All lights on daytime or nighttime.)
___ Play “easy listening” music softly.
___ Thin your furniture and accessories if necessary.
___ Remove the source of unpleasant odors and air out the house. A strategically placed mild unscented candle may help.
By improving the appearance of your home, you improve its salability. You will find the time and effort you invest will be well worth the energy.
Here are some aspects of home showing of which we feel you should be aware. This additional knowledge and understanding could cut down on the strain that can accompany home showings.
Cases of theft and breakage are extremely rare, but we are aware that they can occur. We suggest that you not “tempt” anyone and be sure to put cash, valuables and heirlooms away either while the home is for sale or before each showing.
A lockbox is a metal container that the agent uses to keep the key to your home at your home. Locking the key on the premises cuts down on the possibility of losing your house key, and allows the agent to show your home more often and conveniently. The agent will always try to reach you before showing your home unless otherwise arranged. Although recommended, the use of a lockbox is not mandatory. Your agent should review the pros and cons of various approaches to providing keys for showings.
Discuss a showing strategy at the time of the seller’s listing. The agent should always try to give you enough notice, so your home will be prepared. We recommend 24 hours. Occasionally, the agent may decide to take a calculated risk and give a potential buyer a short notice showing. The agent will explain the advantages to you and give you the option of showing your home to the prospect in this fashion.
We know you have gone to a great deal of trouble in preparing your home, and it can be very frustrating for the party to appear at the wrong time or not at all. Although this doesn’t happen too often, when it does there is, usually, a legitimate reason. Most potential buyers realize you have taken the time to get ready and have the courtesy to adhere to the appointment times. Remember, most showings will be conducted by someone other than your listing agent.
Our experience has shown that first impressions, whether positive or negative, are lasting. You have already invested time and money toward a clean up, paint up, and fix up to position your home for sale. Now we hope this information is helpful in making each first impression your home receives a positive one. It is our belief that a clean, comfortable home-showing may just make the difference and tip the scale in your favor.