1. MAKE THE MOST OF THAT FIRST IMPRESSION – Welcome prospects with a well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs, attractive flower beds, a clutter-free front porch and a freshly painted or freshly-scrubbed front door. If it’s autumn, rake the leaves. If it’s winter, make sure there’s no ice on the sidewalk or steps. Try to eliminate any obstacles between the prospect’s impression and the true appeal of your home.
2. INVEST IN A FEW HOURS FOR FUTURE DIVIDENDS – Here’s your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up in the bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen. If your woodwork or walls are scuffed or dirty, consider a fresh coat of paint. In today’s market, wallpaper is passé. Get rid of it. Fresh, neutral-color paint adds appeal and value to your property. Prospects would rather see how great your home looks than hear how great it could look with a little work.
3. CHECK FAUCETS AND BULBS – Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned-out bulbs leave prospects in the dark. Don’t let little problems detract from what is right about your home.
4. DON’T SHUT OUT A SALE – If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in the prospect’s mind. Don’t ignore sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort can smooth the way to a successful closing.
5. THINK SAFETY – Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby-traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low-hanging overhead lights. Make your home as non-perilous as possible for visitors.
6. MAKE ROOM FOR SPACE – Remember potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They are also looking for storage space. Make sure your attic, garage and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.
7. CONSIDER YOUR CLOSETS – The better-organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now is the time to box those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity. Other items can be placed in baskets or decorative boxes for a nice clutter-free appearance.
8. MAKE YOUR BATHROOM SPARKLE – Bathrooms sell homes, so make them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, use your best towels, mats and shower curtains. A few spa items can make the bathroom feel luxurious. If light fixtures are old or out of date, replace them.
9. CREATE DREAM BEDROOMS – Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedroom. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads, pillows and fresh curtains are a must. If carpets need to be cleaned, have them shampooed. This goes for the whole house.
10. OPEN UP IN THE DAYTIME – Let the sun shine in. Pull back your curtains and draperies so your prospects can see how bright and cheery your home really is. Be sure your windows are sparkling clean too. Buyers look for lots of light – give it to them.
11. LIGHTEN UP AT NIGHT – Turn on the excitement! Turn on all your light bulbs inside and out, when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome. Note: You may like to go “green” or just save a few pennies per day by using CFL bulbs, but now is not the time. Incandescent bulbs are brighter and produce a much more pleasant light and feel. Without knowing why, potential buyers will like your home better.
12. WATCH YOUR PETS – Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when your home is being shown. Pets have a talent for getting in the way and may be more anxious when strangers are in the home. Do everyone a favor – remove your pet if you can, or at least crate your dog. Also, be sure your home does not have any pet odor that could make the buyer feel uncomfortable. Speaking of odors, a pleasant, fresh smell throughout your home is a good thing. But too much deodorizing actually bothers some people’s breathing and also makes buyers wonder what you’re trying to cover up.
13. RUN AWAY FROM HOME (Just Kidding!) – Potential buyers often feel like intruders when the owner is present in the home. Rather than giving your home the attention it deserves, they are likely to hurry through – unwilling to examine the home closely. Always leave before the showing.
14. THINK VOLUME – Rock ‘n roll will never die, but it might kill a real estate transaction. When it’s time to show your home, it’s time to lower the volume on the stereo. Give them soft and soothing music – or silence.
15. SHOWING PROCEDURES – Your home’s showings will be scheduled through our RE/MAX office. Most showings are scheduled the next day or several hours later. We try to give you adequate lead-time to have your home ready to show. However, sometimes buyer’s agents will call asking to show your home on short notice. Please try to say “Yes” when you get the call. Buyers will appreciate your accommodation.
Special Note: Occasionally, you may be contacted by someone interested in seeing your home “right now.” A drive-by buyer may knock on your door and ask if they can please come in for a few minutes to “just take a peek” while they are in the neighborhood. They may engage you in talk about price, terms, conditions or other real estate matters.
DO NOT LET THEM ENTER!
In today’s world, you never know who is knocking on your door. Maybe they are legitimate…maybe they are not. ALWAYS refer them to your Realtor, Pamela Young. Better yet, take their phone number and call her yourself. Pam has the experience to handle such situations. If they are legitimate, she will set up a showing for them through her office. Let her earn her pay by putting her skills to work for you.