Besides the need for staging (which will be address in another blog), it’s important that you, as the homeowner, maintain a clean and neat home during the showing season. This can partly be addressed by making sure your agent works with you on how much time of preparedness you may need before a showing.
Here are a few handy tips to get your house reading for a showing!
1. Have a Garage Sale
When in doubt, throw it out. Or have a garage sale!
Preparing to list your house is a great time to take stock of all the material objects you have acquired over the years. It may very well be time to throw away, put away, and sell. It can be time consuming, so get help. Ask your agent. We can be really aggressive about this because we know that the more you have cluttering your house, the less a potential buyer can see of themselves in it.
Suggestion: Invest in a P.O.D., and have a garage sale.
2. Remove Personal Objects
Sometimes this can be hard to swallow, but buyers do not need to know everything about you. Sure, your personality is beautiful and bright, but we don’t want it to get in the way of potential buyers picturing themselves (and their big personalities) in your space.
3. Deep Clean!
Spend a few dollars from the multiple garage sales you’ve just had on hiring a professional cleaner to do a deep cleaning of your entire home. You live in your home day in and day out, so getting an outside (and professional) perspective will help get areas clean you’d never think about. You’d be amazed at the difference, even if you keep a tidy house already. Of course, then it’s up to you to maintain it, but it will be MUCH easier with a strong, clean foundation.
4. For Pet Owners
I’m a pet owner too! In fact I have multiple pets, and I love them dearly. But here’s the deal.
There is nothing that turns off a new prospective buyer then the smell of Kitty or Fido. Even if you have cleaned, having pet paraphernalia around will arouse a buyer’s senses.
It’s also important to remove your pets during the showing. This again may be contingent to your work schedule and could also reflect in your house’s availability for showing.
Personal experience time: The owners of a beautiful downtown mansion did not make us aware that they had left their cat in the house. Upon making it to the third floor of their huge, impressive home, my client and I were greeted by their huge, friendly cat. My client immediately started sneezing (even though I am sure that this cat had not been sequestered to the third floor for all its life) and promptly left. Had the cat remained hidden would my client begun his sneezing fit? Who knows? But after the incident, all the praise the client had for the house went right out of the window.
5. It’s The Simple Things
Simple things like keeping the kitchen sink clean and clearing the counter top of excess appliances (makes the space look smaller) can have a HUGE impact. It’s also nice to have scented candles or plug-ins going (vanilla in the kitchen is still number 1). And for heaven’s sake, keep the toilet seat down!
Keeping the Routine
After your first few showings, these simple tasks will become a routine. Nail them, and I’m sure we’ll have a buyer for your home in no time!