These days, most people view listings online and gather some recommendations from their agent. But when it comes to actually giving serious consideration to a property, buyers are going to request a showing. As a homeowner, how you prepare your home for these showings will – to a large degree – determine how people feel about your house.
Here Are 11 Things You Need to Do
From the moment you decide to put your home on the market until the day the papers are signed at the closing table, you should have your home in tip-top shape. However, in the midst of the sales process, you still have to live in your house and it’s not practical to keep it looking immaculate around the clock.
Having said that, it’s important that you spend a few minutes touching up your house on the day of a showing. Here are some specific things you should do:
- Get Rid of Clutter
The first thing you should do is go through the house and get rid of any clutter that’s accumulated. This includes things like mail, newspapers and magazines, dirty clothes, dishes in the sink, shoes in the hallway, and anything else that is out of place. These may seem like small things, but eliminating clutter helps buyers see the house clearly.
- Clean the Kitchen
The kitchen is probably the first room buyers are going to look at. Not only should it be free of clutter, but it also needs to be spotless. Take the time to unload the dishwasher, polish fixtures, wipe down countertops, and sweep the floors. Nothing should be out of place in the entire kitchen.
- Address the Bathrooms
Bathrooms – particularly the master bathroom – are also very important. In addition to taking out the trash and making sure floors are swept, spend some time wiping down mirrors, cleaning fixtures, and freshening up the room with a candle. The bathroom should be a priority – not an afterthought.
- Check the Kids’ Rooms
Kids rooms are often a sticking point for homeowners when preparing a house for a showing. You may have gone in last night and cleaned up as much as possible, but you never know what’s going to happen when you leave the room. Always check to make sure it’s still clean before heading out the door. As you’re well aware, kids often have a different definition of what “clean” entails.
- Vacuum Carpets
There doesn’t have to be visible dirt or filth on carpets and rugs in order to justify vacuuming them. In fact, you should always vacuum right before a showing. The lines left behind by the vacuum make carpet look a lot fresher and more appealing. (Just make sure your vacuum doesn’t leave behind an unappealing smell, as many do.)
- Pay Attention to Smells
Speaking of smells, it’s important that you pay attention to any unusual or unappealing scents that may be in the house. A lot of real estate agents like to bake cookies before an open house, but you don’t have to do this. You should, however, light a candle or run a diffuser with essential oils. You don’t want anything overpowering, but it should be strong enough to neutralize any undesirable smells.
- Open the Blinds
Natural light is your friend. While you may keep the blinds closed most of the time when you’re home, it’s a good idea to open them when there’s a showing. Not only does the natural light make the house appear bigger, but it also gives prospective buyers the chance to see things like the backyard.
- Turn on the Lights
Another piece of advice is to go around and turn on all of the lights in the house, regardless of whether the showing is during the day or at night. You don’t have to turn on overhead lighting if you don’t want to, but all floor and table lamps should be switched on. This brightens up the house and helps buyers see it at its best.
- Get the Temperature Right
You want people to be comfortable when you’re showing your house. If they’re too hot, that’s all they’ll be able to think about. The same goes if they’re shivering cold.
While you can’t make everyone happy, you can make your home as comfortable as possible by setting it a little higher than you would in the winter and a little lower in the summer. For example, if you’re usually comfortable at 68 degrees in the winter, setting the thermostat to 69 or 70 is ideal. If you like the AC set at 73 in the summer, a temperature setting of 71 or 72 is good.
- Take Fido to the Spa
Under absolutely no circumstances should pets be in the house when you have a showing. It doesn’t matter how quiet or good your pets are, this is a big no-no. Regardless of what you typically do when you leave the house, your pets have to go. Take them to the doggy daycare center, drop them off at a friend’s house, bring them with you to the park – whatever it takes to get them out of the house.
- Double-Check the Yard
After you’re sure the inside of the home is ready to go, stand on the curb and look at your house from the street. Does the yard need any last minute attention?
Assuming the yard has been taken care of for the most part, a simple sweeping of the porch and sidewalk should do. You may also want to pull a couple of weeds and blow off the driveway.
Let Green Residential Sell Your Home
At Green Residential, we know what it takes to sell a home for top dollar in the Houston real estate market. Whether you have a townhome in the heart of downtown or a single-family home in The Woodlands, we understand this market and know how to get you the maximum return on investment.
You should also know that we operate on a flat-rate fee, which means you could potentially save thousands of dollars in commission when you work with Green Residential. Contact us today to learn more!