A wise agent once said “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” And that statement is never truer than when showing a home for the first time to potential buyers. When your house is up for sale, keeping it in a “ready to show” state at all times is important. Yes, it can be inconvenient to always have your home looking spiffy and clean – especially for a family with young children or active pets, but the time and effort invested will almost always result in more money in your pocket!
Follow the below checklist for additional ways to prepare your listing for showings. Sticking to the plan will make it easier in the long run – and could end up making the “long run” a lot shorter in terms of less time on market!
- Turn on all interior lights, even during the day, and exterior lights at night.
- Make the temperature comfortable – approximately 68 degrees.
- Keep pets in a separate area, and change litter boxes daily.
- Put money and other valuables away and out of sight.
- Keep curtains, drapes and shades open.
- Open all doors inside the home, except closets.
- Make sure the lawn is freshly cut and walkways are clear. After a storm, take the time to do the tidying-up required.
- Make sure that stairs and entryways are clutter-free, and organize closets so they look roomy and well organized. Keep personal items and mail out of sight.
- Make sure kitchen floors are not sticky, counters are clean and shiny and clutter-free. Dishes need to be done and the sink clean.
- Make sure all the fixtures sparkle in the bathroom. Are the towels clean and hanging where they should be? Is the bathmat spiffy? Is all laundry stowed in a bin?
- Unpleasant odors are a huge turn-off for buyers. Avoid cooking strong-smelling foods such as fish when your home is listed. Open some windows when you are home to keep the air from smelling stale.
- In the bedrooms, are the beds made? Are there decorative items in place, like pillows and pretty throw blankets, to give that cozy feel? Again, check for wayward laundry or personal items that you may not want others to see.
- We’ve already talked about making sure the kitchen floors are clean – and that goes for all the floors throughout the house. Do a quick mop-up of wood or tile floors, and fresh vacuum of carpeted floors.
- Go the extra mile by going through each room of the house checking that lights are on and window coverings are open. If there’s a gas fireplace for heat and the weather warrants it, turn it on! Those little touches can go a long way into making your house feel like a home.And when a potential buyer and their agent comes in, clear out if possible. A buyer will likely spend more time previewing your home if you’re not there. If you can’t leave the home, try to stay out of the way, and keep children quiet and out of the way. Don’t precede or follow potential buyers through your home. Let the sales associate show and sell your home.