It's a very exciting time. Your agent has just lined up a prospective buyer. A deal can be made or broken, however, during the showing. How can you prepare your home to its best advantage?
The National Association of Realtors suggests that your first course of action should be removing clutter. The reasoning behind this is simple. Clutter distracts the mind and it distracts the imagination. A potential buyer needs to be able to see themselves and their own style in your home.
By banishing disorder and welcoming in neatness you can give your house an advantage over any competition who is lesser prepared.
2. After decluttering, the next step is to clean. In the same sense that decluttering is removing "you" from the potential home of another, cleaning is removing your grimy mark. Have carpets cleaned, wax the floors, and remove any odors of pets or smoking.
3. Luxurious bathrooms are a must. A bathroom that is clean and full of comfort is appealing to most every buyer. Arrange new towels and rugs, as well as burn fresh smelling candles. Consider adding rich decor, such as paintings.
4. Windows that shine. We can become desensitized to the finer details of our home, but buyers will hone in on each and every imperfection. Be sure that during your cleaning and decluttering, you don't forget to wash your windows. This way buyers will be able to focus their attentions on the beautiful grounds of your property, as opposed to the spots on the glass.
5. Let there by light. Burned out bulbs can make rooms look dark and dingy. Consider buying eco-friendly fluorescent or LED lights for use in your home.
6. Minor repairs are important. There are buyers who are turned off by even minor repairs. They see that loose cabinet door or that warped deck board as a two-fold evil. Either the house has been poorly cared for with bigger repairs waiting for discovery under the surface, or that the home may be too much work for them.
7. Don't neglect your yard. For many buyers, a yard is an extension of the home. Be sure that for each showing, your yard is freshly mowed and any debris, trash, or clutter (toys, tools, etc) are put away. A great way to make flower beds appear neat and well tended is to add mulch. Clean off sidewalks with a quick powerwash.
8. Add punches of seasonal color. Even if you aren't a garden guru, you can still plant low maintenance flowers in beds and pots. Some examples of low maintenance flowering plants are: petunias, pansies, and vincas.
9. A petless home. We all love our pets, sometimes like they're our own children. But they should be safely at a friend's house or kennel during showings. While you're at it, take your children and yourself out of the home during the showing as well!
10. Lock up your valuables. It would be nice to think that no potential buyer would steal from your home, but it could happen. Be sure that anything easily removed is locked away for safe keeping. And be sure that your real estate agent gets anyone's contact information before they are allowed into your home.
Published: May 3, 2010