What You Should Know Before You Show
Showings & Open House Checklist
- Eliminate Clutter: While we all have a bit of clutter somewhere in our house it can be very unattractive to potential buyers. This includes lots of furniture and furnishings. Buyer's need to be able to envision themselves and their things in the home. It creates a personal connection to the home that makes for the most motivated buyers. So if you have a lot of stuff, collections, furniture, or family mementos, you would be better off renting a small storage unit for a few months.
- Keep, donate, throw away: Go through your belongings and put them into one of these three baskets. You'll receive more tax benefits for your donations than pennies on the dollar at a garage sale. It's faster, more efficient and you'll help more people.
- Remove temptations: Take valuable jewelry and collectibles to a safety deposit box, a safe, or store them in a secure hidden location.
- Be hospitable: You want your home to look like a home. Stage it to show the possibilities, perhaps set the table, or put a throw on the chair by the fireplace with a bookmarked book on the table. If you are unsure how best to do this ask your agent for help!
- Have a family plan of action: Sometimes showings aren't convenient. You can always refuse a showing, but do you really want to? If you have a showing with little notice, get the family engaged. Everyone has a basket and picks up glasses, plates, newspapers, or anything left lying about.
- Get in the habit: Wash dishes immediately after meals. Clean off countertops. Make beds in the morning. Keep pet toys and beds washed and smelling fresh.
- Clean out the garage and closets: Buyers want to see what kind of storage there is.
- Put pets in daycare, sleep cages or take them with you: In the listing instructions, there should be a warning if there is a big dog on the premises. Buyers with allergies also may appreciate knowing in advance if you have pets.
- Turn on the lights: Open the drapes, turn on lights so buyers can really see.
- Keep the air fresh: Smell can evoke strong emotional reactions. If you don't normally use them in your house get some air fresheners to use before showings to give it that homey smell.
- Give the buyer privacy: The buyer can not gain access to your home without being accompanied by an agent. The buyer can assess your home more honestly without your presence. This goes for open houses as well!
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