Tips for Showing Your Home
When you’ve put your home up for sale, there can be a lot of pressure; finding the right buyer, handling the paperwork, figuring out how much you want for the house and how much you’re willing to compromise. Many of these things can be handled with the help of a real estate agent, but more and more people are opting to handle the selling of their homes on their own to save on commission. One of the most important elements of selling your home is showing it – the sales pitch, as it were. There are a lot of steps you can take to make sure your house has the maximum positive impact on potential buyers – material touches, aesthetic touches and personal touches.
Material touches are the pragmatic considerations of any buyer looking at new homes; when you ask yourself if your house is in a sellable state, and you make changes to things like plumbing or electricity to make it more attractive to buyers, you’re paying attention to material touches. The first thing to do before putting your home on the market is a home inspection; use a checklist, an online guide or a professional home inspector to look over everything from the foundation to the heating and cooling. You want to make sure everything is in good working order because potential buyers are sure to have a home inspector come in and do the same.
Go about any fixes you might need; this might be something as cheap as replacing leaky sink hardware or as costly as changing your furnace. More often than not, repairing things like your foundation and replacing old, dated appliances will cost you less than it will net you at the final sale; people are really discouraged when a house looks like it’s in disrepair. Bad home maintenance means work for a potential buyer and might make it hard for them to picture your house as a home.
Make sure all repairs and replacements are done before you start showing your home; obviously, it won’t do to be engaging in construction and renovation projects while strangers are showing up on your front porch to tour your house.
Aesthetic touches are the oomph factor – the little things you can do to make your home appealing at first glance. The most important thing to remember here is that clutter kills. Clean. Your. House. You want it to be absolutely sparkling; it might even do to remove some of your personal items so that prospective buyers can imagine their things in the home instead. Aesthetics start as soon as your property is within sight, so make sure to clean up the outside too. What that might entail depends on the time of the season; raking leaves, cutting grass, shovelling snow – whatever it takes.
Photo by Paper + Pate Photography
The level of cleanliness your house will need goes beyond what many folks bother within their day-to-day lives; most people are okay with a spot of dust or two, but prospective buyers are looking for anything to turn them off of a purchase. It can be useful to hire a cleaning service to do a deep clean of your home before you show it; getting a cleaning service to come in regularly as your showing your house can drastically reduce the overall stress associated with showing your home. Most of us don’t have the time to do the cleaning required before each show when we work 40+ hours a week.
You’ll want visual and aesthetic flourishes throughout your interior and exterior. Seasonally, flowers in a flower bed or potted plants near the front door can give a great impression before buyers have even reached the entryway. Old tricks like boiling cinnamon or fresh baking can warm guests up; having actual baking around is even better (more on that in personal touches). Make sure your rooms feel useful; if one has been a space for spare junk, stage it as an office or bedroom using the furniture you borrowed or got for cheap.
When using scents, remember that many folks are scent-averse; that is, they sneeze around perfumes and scent diffusers. Natural is best here. Pet odours can be particularly problematic, so make sure you’ve done a very deep clean, and use natural scents to change the smell of your home.
Playing a bit of soft music can help you create ambiance throughout the home; using tactically placed smart speakers can be a huge boon here. Those same smart speakers, coupled with smart lights, can help people imagine the house as a smart home – people love new technology, so use this to your advantage.
Your house might be painted bright, bold and eclectic colours that suit your style; that’s awesome, and more power to you for expressing yourself, but do remember that your style isn’t everyone – consider a repaint. There’s a reason home reno shows love grey-on-grey.
Photo by Kroiss Development, Inc.
The long and short of the aesthetic game is that decorative flourishes are appropriate, but you must be careful not to overwhelm. Have furniture adorned with an item or two, perhaps a flower in a vase, but not with clutter. Make sure all the lights are on, drape blankets and other soft, touchable materials on furniture; tantalize the senses.
These are the things that let prospective buyers know you’re a thoughtful person who cares about others, something that goes a long way in sales. The most important of these is to leave the house when someone is touring; they won’t feel like they can discuss your home with your present.
Leave a bowl of candies, or better yet, some fresh baked goods by the door; refreshments are a great way of warming people to your house. For when you’re feeling especially ritzy, put out a bottle of something tasty with a couple of glasses and a note letting buyers know to help themselves – make sure you have a waste bin visible (but empty) if you’re putting out refreshments.
Thoughtful notes placed throughout the house are of great use; selling points about the history of your home and the permanent items within it will inform buyers of important details you’re not around to tell them about.
Have a note near the exit thanking your prospective buyers for coming by. Leave note cards in the kitchen that buyers can write on to provide feedback, and next to the cards leave a basket with a thank you note. Be gracious, be grateful, and be thoughtful; soon enough, you’ll have a happy buyer signing papers.