Your house is freshly listed and you are getting your first showings. This post is to share with you some of the ups and downs and some of the things to keep you prepared in our market for showing your home. You can make cookies if you want but this is really not about having the home smell of cookies it is the other things.
Depending on the season your home is being sold in is also going to determine some of the things that you need to do to keep your house welcoming.
Right now as I write this we are cleaning up from the effects of winter. So we still have snow, ice and lots of moisture. So with this climate your going to want to make sure that the path to your front door is clear of ice and snow. We don’t want anyone falling on there way to your front door.
Another area you want to have clear is if your agent put your lockbox somewhere other than the front door ( water or gas meter) have that path free of snow and ice also.
Just a tidbit from a rural showing I had this winter as I had to tromp thru a foot of snow to get to the lockbox. My buyers knew it hadn’t snowed in a couple of weeks so since I was walking thru snow to get to the lockbox they noticed there were no tracks to the lockbox. And they immediately put it together that the home had not been getting any showings. Hard to build urgency if they can see no one has been there!
The other seasons are easier.
My biggest note for them is to try to run your sprinklers early morning or evening so that people are not tracking water thru your home. You also want them to be able to walk around your home and enjoy the feel of it. So try to plan the watering around showings a little.
Once we get people to your front door. The next thing to consider is if your home is a shoe on or off home.
If its a shoe off home a kindness is to provide people a spot to take their shoes off. Sometimes people have a very hard time taking their shoes on or off so someplace they can sit down that is good and solid is a great help. Booties are a nice touch here. Also, make sure that they don’t have to walk thru wet to get into your house with there socks or booties on. I also recommend leaving a towel by the front door if it is really wet out. Leave it with a note that says if you track water in please wipe it up and leave the towel on the washing machine or something of that nature. If its a large group seeing your home or your entry is small sometimes its hard to not track anything in. I have shown a lot of homes I wish I could have wiped the floor for the homeowner when we left.
Any special features in your home.
A nicely typed out note left on the counter is a great way to let the buyers know some of the key features of your home. Make sure you type it up in a larger font as quite often people don’t come in with there reading glasses. If you have rural property a note of where the property corners are is always a nice touch. Flagged is even better if you can.
If your property has additional buildings make sure that they are accessible for the buyers to view. Keys to shops, how to access the barn or anything else that is special to your property. Nothing hurts a sale more than having a great big beautiful shop and not letting the buyers in to see it. If you have special needs of how something should be closed up you can usually add that to the note or leave it with the keys agents are usually really good about honoring those type of requests if they know about them. Or ask your list agent to follow up and make sure things got closed up right.
Just a special note here if you need things locked a specific way make sure that it is easily done. Nothing worse than fighting with a door that needs a 500 lb gorilla to close. If it needs a repair money well spent!
I’m all about removing roadblocks for people to get done what they want and need to do as efficiently as possible. So never give up the chance to show all of your property. You never know if this is the only time someone can look at something or if they want to make a decision tonight. Provide every opportunity!
Of course, the house should be as clean as you can keep it. Most Important is kitchen and bathrooms. Counters cleaned, Toilet seats down.
One other note here is in the house make sure your door locks are easy to use. If they need an adjustment give them one prior to listing. Nothing worse than fighting with a door that barely opens. And it changes the perspective of your homes first impression immediately.
People may open cupboards, pantries, closets etc. So make sure that those are clean and organized. Make the beds. Depersonalize as much as you can and make sure that all prescription drugs, money etc is not left out to be accessible. No firearms left accessible either.
Open curtains/ blinds as much as you can to let the natural light in. Your house shows so much better if they can see it. Plus if you have amazing views you want to show them off! Leave lights on if you can. If you need them shut off leave a note for the showing agent they are usually good about that.
Temperature attempt to make sure the house is a comfortable temperature also. I realize on a hot day in the summer if you have no AC that it is out of your control. But winter time nothing worse than seeing a house that is too cold to be in. Rushes them right out the door. Not what you want. Cold houses are for foreclosures that people want great deals on! Not your typical pleasant nice house!
Other Special Notes
I know it is getting fairly common of late to have surveillance in your home.
My huge suggestion to you is don’t do it! Its creepy and makes people very uncomfortable if they spot a camera watching them. And I tell you listening in to the comments people have about your home is going to drive you crazy! And its just unnecessary drama in your life. You have no idea what major goals a buyer has or their special needs when they walk thru your home.
I speak from experience when I tell you it will make you crazy by the end of the transaction.
We all love our fur family but pets are a huge distraction when showing a home.
If at all possible they should not be home for showings. A cat that hides under the bed is probably fine to leave home but the dog that wants to play ball with everyone who walks in or worse yet the one that is crated that won’t quit barking is just torture. You want folks to pay attention to your house not play with your dog or worse yet feel sorry for your crated one and feel like they need to get out of the house quickly. So if you have a place for them to go it sure helps! I know that is a pain when your working etc but its one of the touches that make a difference. And I can’t begin to tell you how fast a pet can drive someone out of your house if its noisy or the buyer doesn’t like pets.
Should You be Home for Showings?
And most Important! Don’t be home for Showings.
It is very hard for people to feel comfortable talking about your home with you nearby. And frankly, you want them to talk about your home. You want them to discuss where they are putting the furniture etc. That is how they start the process in their head of making your home their own.
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