Potential buyers can view your property for sale in multiple ways, from seeing photos or videos of your home online to virtual and in-person showings. Whether you are looking forward to showing off your house for sale or dreading the multiple house showings that come with listing your home, following these tips will help you prepare.
Tips for Preparing Your Home Before the First Showing
After choosing your real estate agent and signing the paperwork to list your home for sale, your property must look its best before photos are scheduled, and the first potential buyers walk through the front door. You may even want to start some of these tasks after you decide to sell, so it’ll be ready to show as soon as possible after signing with a real estate agent.
- Declutter: Remove items that make spaces look smaller and clutter the room.
- Depersonalize: To help buyers picture themselves living in the home, you should remove some personalized decor and photos.
- Thoroughly Clean: Deep clean your home by mopping hardwood and tile floors, vacuuming and steaming the carpets, cleaning windows, wiping down and polishing appliances, and focusing on making the bathrooms shine.
- Rearrange Furniture: As needed, remove furniture to make rooms appear bigger and swap our furniture pieces to give each room an obvious purpose. If you have a bonus room or extra bedroom, try adding a desk and chair to show it as a home office.
- Keep Storage Spaces Tidy: Don’t shove extra belongings into closets when decluttering because buyers will be opening closets, pantries, and garages to see the amount of storage space. Instead, organize your storage spaces to impress buyers with all the storage.
- Increase Curb Appeal: Don’t forget the outside of your home because it will be the first impression buyers have of your property. While the outside to-do list varies by season, typical tasks may include pressure washing, adding flowers, mowing, raking, and shoveling snow.
- Highlight Your Home’s Best Features: What makes your home desirable, or what do you love most? Focus on these features and ensure you show them off to potential buyers, such as removing oversized rugs covering beautiful hardwood floors.
- Secure Your Belongings: While an agent will accompany buyers when showing your house, it’s always a good idea to lock away any valuables and items containing private information.
- Make a Plan for Pets and Kids: Typically, house showings go more smoothly without pets or young family members staying home during showings. Therefore, plan ahead to ensure you can take your furry friends or children out during home showings.
Preparing for Ongoing Home Showings
Avoiding house showings isn’t really an option if you want to allow multiple potential buyers to view your home. If your agent schedules an open house, you’ll have plenty of notice to prepare for the showings. However, many private showings may happen with little notice. Therefore, following these tips will help keep your home show-ready.
- Do Daily Cleanings: Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, crumbs on the table, or toothpaste drips in the bathroom. Keeping your home well-cleaned will show potential buyers that you care about the small things and will help ease their minds that you took care of larger maintenance tasks as needed.
- Avoid Strong-Smelling Foods: As much as you love a seafood dinner, save it for a celebration after selling your home. Instead, keep your meal prep simple without any foods that could leave lasting odors while your house is listed.
- Empty Trash Cans: Speaking of odors, help avoid any potential bad odors by regularly taking out the trash in every room.
- Keep Pet Areas Clean: Since everyone is not a dog or cat person, it’s ideal to make it look like you don’t have any pets as much as possible. Be sure to clean up after them immediately and regularly wash their bedding. During showings, keep any food, water, or litter boxes out of sight.
- Let in Natural Light: Keep blinds and curtains open to let in as much natural light as possible. Also, leave lights on when leaving for showings to ensure the space is light and bright to welcome potential buyers.
- Think about Seasonal Ambience: Add nice seasonal touches, such as freshly cut flowers in the spring and summer or lighting the fireplace in cooler weather.
- Keep the Thermostat at a Comfortable Temperature: You’ll likely be at work when showings happen, so set your thermostat to an ideal temperature to keep buyers comfortable while viewing your property. Keep the heat on your normal setting when away during the winter or the A/C during the summer.
- Keep Family Members in the Loop: Ensure everyone living in the house knows when there are scheduled showings so they can keep their spaces tidy and not be home during that time. The same goes if you have guests staying with you for the holidays.
Home Showing Mistakes to Avoid
A big part of a homebuyer’s decision weighs on seeing a house in person. Therefore, try avoiding these home-showing mistakes that could negatively impact potential homebuyers.
- Not Being Flexible with Showings: While showings can be stressful to prepare for, it’s important to be accommodating, even for those scheduled at the last minute. It’s ideal to be flexible with potential buyers’ schedules as much as possible because they may not come back to look at your home if it’s not available to see at a convenient time.
- Attending Showings: The sellers being present at home showings can make some buyers feel uncomfortable. Therefore, you should leave your home during showings to allow potential buyers and their agents to explore the ins and outs of the space freely. If you must be present during house showings, remember not to hover and let buyers view the house on their own.
- Using Too Many Air Fresheners or Candles: Air fresheners and candles can have strong fragrances that some people dislike or are allergic to. Strong scents can also be a red flag to buyers because they may think you’re trying to cover up bad odors.
- Asking Buyers to Remove Their Shoes: Nobody likes to have mud and dirt tracked through their home. However, asking buyers to take off their shoes can make them feel unwelcome. If you are concerned about keeping your floor free from debris, consider leaving a basket of disposable booties out for visitors to put on and ensure you have a welcome mat at your front door.
- Taking Feedback Personally: While it can be difficult to hear criticism about your home, it can be helpful to know what an unbiased party thinks about your property. Although some feedback may be things you can’t change, such as the floor plan, others, like dirty carpet or pet odors, are things you can address before the next showing.
Preparing for showings can be overwhelming if you don’t plan, but following these tips can help make your home showings go as smoothly as possible. If you’ve been thinking about putting your Southwest Virginia or Northeast Tennessee home on the market, our agents are here to help get your property ready and guide you through the home selling process.