Showing Your Home
First Impressions are Lasting Impressions.
Here are some suggestions to help you make sure your home is show ready for every buyer that walks through the door.
FIRST STOP...THE EXTERIOR...
The exterior of your home often determines how buyers will view the interior, so:
- Make sure your front entrance is clean and inviting. Consider adding a new front door mat and some potted plants.
- Clean exterior lights and make sure all bulbs work and are the highest wattage possible.
- Paint or replace your front door if it's faded or worn. Also inspect the door hardware.
- Add some paint to shutters, trim and any other outside features showing signs of wear. Don’t forget to clean house numbers, mailboxes and doorbells.
- Check the deck and fencing for the need to repair, stain or paint.
- Make sure your lawn is manicured and freshly mowed. Use an edger along sidewalks and driveways. Fertilize when seasonally appropriate.
- Trim shrubbery, bushes, and trees removing all dead limbs and debris. Add fresh mulch.
- Remove all weeds from flowerbeds, rocks and cracks in the concrete.
- Power wash driveway, sidewalk, patios, and vinyl siding.
- Arrange outdoor furniture neatly.
- Put away all lawn equipment, bikes and toys. Keep trash cans out of sight from the front.
- Inspect the roof, gutters, downspouts, siding, windows and screens for any needed repairs.
NOW IT'S TIME TO MOVE INSIDE...
"How we live in a home and how we sell a home are often two different things." Try to see your home with a fresh perspective and arrange each room to bring out its best attributes, including:
- Wash windows and sills. Don’t forget the blinds!
- Steam clean carpeting or replace it, if necessary.
- Repair worn woodwork, doors, and trim.
- Repaint scarred or dirty walls in a neutral color. Our stagers and listing coordinators are glad to suggest colors that are universally appealing.
- Clean ceiling fans.
- Repair loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers, broken light switches and other minor flaws.
- Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers
- Clean grout and tiles. Consider steam cleaning and repair, if necessary.
- Put away small appliances to open up counter space.
- Never leave anything in your sink during showings.
- Clear off vanity countertops, showers, and baths and store all personal care items neatly in closets or cabinets.
- Close toilet lids for showings.
- Empty all trash cans before showings.
- Clean ventilating hood and exhaust fans.
- Make stainless steel spotless and clean the inside of the oven and the range top. Leave nothing hanging on the refrigerator front or sides.
- Remove all unnecessary clutter from your attic, basement, laundry room, cabinets, and all closets to give the impression of plentiful storage in the house. It is okay to store boxes neatly on one side of the garage.
- Begin packing up out of season clothing for the move.
- Try to keep the closet floors clear. Move storage up to shelves instead.
- Arrange all your rooms neatly and remove excess furniture.
- Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Keep decorative objects on the furniture restricted to groups of 1, 3, or 5 items.
- Keep fresh, clean towels in the bathroom. Fluffy, white towels and white shower curtains are best.
- If you like air fresheners, keep it simple. We recommend vanilla, as it is a universally appealing and subtle scent.
- If you have pets, take them with you for showings and remove all evidence of pets in the home (beds, crates, toys, food and water bowls). If pets must stay in the home, notify your listing coordinator so the buyers and agents are aware and not surprised.
- Lock up or remove all valuables, medicine, jewelry guns and money.
PUT YOUR HOME IN THE BEST POSSIBLE LIGHT...
Strategically lighting your home, even during daytime showings, can create a cozy mood and highlight positive attributes of each room, so:
- Remove heavy draperies and open curtains and blinds to allow lots of warm, natural light.
- Make sure all light bulbs work and match, and use the highest wattage possible.
- Add table lamps to rooms without overhead lighting, especially when there are dark corners.
- Turn ceiling fans on low to keep air moving and make the room feel inviting.
- If you have time to turn on all lights, run the fireplace (if appropriate to the season) and play soft music for showings (easy listening, adult contemporary or jazz is best), it really sets the tone for a welcoming buyer experience.
Try to look at your house "through the buyer's eyes" as though you've never seen it or been there before. Any time or money spent on these items will bring you back more money in return, and hopefully a faster sale.