July 21, 2010

Show your home better

When you put your home on the market you will go through the motions of staging your house, cleaning every nook and cranny and interviewing agents to find the best one for the job. But what about the actual showing itself? Have you done enough to ensure your home stands apart from the competition? Here are some tips to improve the odds of selling your home:

Caged dogs should go in a back room or the garage.

Pets are a touchy subject for homeowners. Unfortunately, an ill conceived idea on where to house a pet during your showings could be a deal breaker for a potential buyer. If you're going to cage your pet, especially a dog, make sure it's in a back room or in the garage. Leaving your dog in plain view during a tour will ensure endless amounts of barking and coversely will rush your potential buyers showing. Remember, you want your buyers to spend a lot of time in your home. You want them to sit on your couch and visualize the space as their own.

Turn on all the Lights.

During cloudy or sunny days leave them all on. Especially the ones in the basement. Nothing kills buyers excitement more than walking into a house that would have Indiana Jones searching for a lantern.

Don't leave a car parked in the driveway.

This isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things you need to do while showing your home but its important. When a REALTOR arrives with their client they're most likely in two separate cars. If you have a short or circular driveway with your car in it then you may turn off both the agent and buyers with the perceived lack of space for cars.

Avoid cooking high odor foods if you have a showing that day.

Not something that you can control if you get a last minute showing but high odor foods can be a kiss of death for your home's saleability. I can't even count on all fingers and toes how many times a buyer has run out of a house after walking into a stinky kitchen.

Move bulky furniture out of potential walking paths.

While showing homes recently I saw every seller's worst nightmare: an irritated buyer. Because each buyer has a different set of circumstances (some are pregnant, some have trouble walking etc.) you should do your best to remove any obstructions like folded up treadmills and toys so a buyer can move through your home with ease.


The best advise to show your home is to show every aspect of your home as large as possible.
Simplify bookshelves by removing most of the books.
Remove all pictures and papers off the refrigerator.
Clean off almost everything on the counter. Key items should still remain in order to stage the home. You want your potential buyer to understand the function of the space, but still conceive it as being a large room.
Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
Thin out closets to give the illusion of more space.
Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.

The best tip I can give you to show your home is to go see some local show homes done by builders. This small investment in time will hopefully point you in the right direction to show your home to the best of its ability.

Good Luck!

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