Below are some expert tips for preparing your home for showings.
The instructions are divided into two sections:
Things To Do Before Your First Showing
- Store all unused, unneeded or out-of-season items.
Remember, most prospective homebuyers are looking for more space. If it looks like you have run out of space, it will be very easy for them to imagine themselves running out of space, too. So, be sure to store all unneeded or seasonal items in closets, drawers, etc. If you cannot store the unneeded items, stack them as neatly and appropriately as possible. Making more room apparent is the most important thing to do, by far!
- Remove as many items from the kitchen counters, drawers and pantry as possible.
Many potential home sales have slipped away simply because the kitchen was perceived to be too small or inadequate. Therefore, be sure to remove as many items from the counters, drawers and pantry as possible. There is no such thing as too big a kitchen!!!
- Reposition or remove furniture to make the home look as large and plentiful as possible.
Buyers will not enter or feel comfortable in a room that is overcrowded with unnecessary furniture.
- Replace wire hangars in closets with plastic or wood hangars.
Wire hangars dress down a home while plastic and wood dress it up. The modest expense of replacing wire hangars with plastic can dramatically improve the appearance of a home. Any recently dry cleaned/laundered clothes hanging on wire hangars is OK.
- Remove any unnecessary items from the master closet.
Store any and all items you won’t need for a while because they are out of style, out of season, don’t fit, etc. Master closet space is one of the most important requirements buyers have! For those items remaining in the closet, make sure they are neat and orderly. Closet organizers will also help maximize floor to ceiling space. Finally, make sure all closet rods are visible and clothes are spaced neatly apart.
- Dress up the master bathroom to the maximum extent possible.
Remove or upgrade accessories so that the appearance of the master bathroom is maximized. When people come into a house, they are fantasizing. Putting designer towels, potpourri bowls, and other high-end items in the master bathroom will feed their fantasies. Later, you can use the same items in your new home.
- Apply touch-up paint to any external or internal areas requiring it.
Understand that the condition of your home will be consciously and subconsciously compared to other homes on the market. The last thing a homebuyer wants to do is spend time matching and applying paint. The better the condition of your home, the better price you are apt to get.
- Clean or re-caulk all discolored or deteriorating caulk.
This is particularly important in the kitchen and master bathroom!
- Repair any items that need to be repaired now.
If an inspector finds any items in need of repair, and they almost always do, a buyer could get spooked and walk away from the deal.
- Protect your valuables.
If you have any valuables inside your home that cannot be replaced, store them in an appropriately secured place. Although showings by REALTORS® are generally safe, you should consider purchasing appropriate insurance for your home and valuables.
- Glue down any wallpaper that may have curled up with a hot glue gun.
- Clean and/or polish all brass and chrome knobs, faucets, drains etc.
- Clean any carpets requiring cleaning.
- Make sure your lawn and shrubbery are neatly trimmed, weeded, watered and fertilized.
Things To Do Every Day – Before You Leave the House!
Making sure your home is kept “show ready” at all times is of paramount importance. Although it is always tough to keep a home clean “all the time,” once you are used to it, you will find that it is easier than you think. You never know when someone is going to call and want to see the home on short notice.
So, from the exterior to the interior, do as much as you can to give your home the reputation that it “shows great.” Doing so will help ensure that REALTORS® continue to aggressively show your home. Oftentimes, appointments are made on the spur of the moment, so BE READY!
- Open up all the blinds.
Doing so increases the curb appeal of your home and makes it appear bigger and brighter on the inside.
- Make all the beds.
- Make sure that no dishes remain in the sink and the kitchen is clean.
- Make sure that the bathrooms (especially the master) are spotless and all personal care items (particularly unsightly items) are stored in drawers or under the counter.
- Make sure that all paper towel and toilet paper rolls are filled.
- Make sure that no messes or odors exist in the house.
- Make sure the thermostat is set so that your home’s temperature is very comfortable.
While your home is on the market, your utility bills may be a little higher, but it is crucial that the prospective buyers feel as comfortable as possible.
- If you have an intercom system, play soft jazz (elevator) music at low volume levels.
- Turn on the lights in all of the living areas, bedrooms and kitchen.
The first impression is the most important one – nobody likes dark and gloomy!