If you’re considering putting your home on the market soon, there are a few things you can do to contribute to successful buyer showings. The following tips won’t require a large monetary investment, but could help steer potential buyers toward an offer.
- First and foremost, make sure your home has great curb appeal. The front exterior is the first thing a buyer sees when they arrive at your house. Their perception here can set the tone for the whole showing. Make sure the lawn is mowed and the bushes are trimmed. Consider putting fresh mulch in the flowerbeds and planting a variety of colorful flowers. It’s helpful to have your house numbers very visible near the front door, so make sure nearby foliage isn’t overgrown and blocking them from view. If you don’t have any house numbers affixed to your front facade, it would be a cheap and useful addition. Check around your porch and front door and make sure there are no bee or wasp nests, or any other insect infestations. If you have a painted front door, make sure the paint is fresh and free of scuffs and dings. Lastly, place a new and welcoming door mat out front.
- Pets are common in many homes, but buyers don’t want to feel like they’ll be living with YOUR pets once they buy the house! It’s best to remove pets during showings, especially if you happen to have one that likes to be loud and/or aggressive when strangers are in the house. Many pet owners don’t realize their pets have odors, so make sure litter boxes aren’t present in any indoor areas and consider getting your carpets steam cleaned. Pet food, bedding, and toys should be stored out of sight. Remove pet waste from the backyard so buyers can move around safely.
- Buyers want to be able to move freely throughout a house and like to envision what their furnishings will look like in each space. They have a hard time doing that when there is too much furniture, too much decor on the walls, and too many things on shelves. De-cluttering is hugely important before listing your house. One way to do that is to remove unnecessary and/or bulky furniture. Examples would be exercise equipment in a bedroom or bulky dressers or night stands. You want to be able to see as much of the floor as possible in each room. You also want to ensure that buyers can walk around easily and that all doors can be opened without bumping into anything. Take note of your decor in each room and make sure it’s not too busy. There should only be a few pieces of art or table decorations throughout the house. Pack away additional items, especially the majority of your family pictures. You don’t want your house to look like it’s only made for you – a buyer has to be able to see himself living there! Make sure desks and counter tops are clear. Don’t forget to pay attention to closets, cabinets and the kitchen pantry. You can’t hide things in those areas, because you have to expect a buyer to open every door. Make sure they’re organized and not about to burst at the seams. Clear out what you don’t use on a daily basis. If you strip each room down to the bare minimum, you should definitely have accumulated a lot of things needing storing. Remember that the garage is not necessarily the best place for that. Buyers want to gauge if their automobiles will fit in there and also want to assess its condition. If they can’t walk into it or see the floor, walls, or ceiling, they will have some doubt as to its suitability for their situation. The most ideal place for all your clutter is offsite. Consider renting a nearby storage unit or asking a family member to store things for you.
- When walking into a clean house, you might not necessarily notice how clean it is or make a remark about it. On the contrary, when walking into a dirty house, you most certainly notice and will probably remember that aspect, even after leaving. Sellers make a major mistake by not having their house cleaned before showings begin. Maid services are not exorbitant, and they are well worth the cost. Buyers appreciate seeing clean shower doors, toilets with no rings in the bowls, fan blades clear of dust, a gleaming kitchen sink, etc. If your house is dirty, it will deter them from wanting to picture themselves in it, and it may even make them wonder if the major systems of the home aren’t being maintained. Consider having a deep clean performed, and make sure your house gets routinely cleaned if showings continue for multiple weeks. Your best bet is to get in the habit of making sure your house is show-ready every time you leave it. Don’t leave dishes in the sink or laundry on the floor. You never know when an appointment request will happen!
- Make sure bulbs aren’t burned out and that they match the rest of the bulbs in the fixture. Don’t have bulbs of different shades near each other! Good lighting will help the listing pictures turn out better and give off a good impression during showings.
- You know how that dripping faucet and running toilet stopped bothering you after a few months? Unfortunately a buyer won’t feel the same way. There’s probably something around your house that could stand to be fixed, even though you’ve grown accustomed to it. Look for little things that you or a handyman could improve, because small issues make buyers wonder about bigger issues. You’ll thank yourself when fewer items show up on the home inspection the buyer performs.