How to prepare your house for a showing
The importance of a buyer’s first impression cannot be overstated. Your Real Estate Agent can be a massive help when deciding how best to showcase your home. Paying close attention to the following tips may help your home sell quicker and for a higher price.
1. Do a curbside check
Because first impressions are extremely important, a prospective buyer looking at a home from the outside will be where you should begin. The first sight that a buyer will gather of a home is the exterior, generally from the road. Many people have driven past homes for sale and refused to go in to view because the wall paint is peeling and the grass is overgrown or dead. Depending on the season, make sure that the lawn is freshly cut, leaves raked, and the driveway swept of all debris. You will never get a second opportunity to make a good first impression.
2. Invest in deep cleaning
Before you start showing your house it may be necessary to remove deep-seated dirt from your home that you may not even know is there. Make sure everything gleams from the floors and windows to the kitchen countertops and toilets. The smaller details matter too, such as taking out all the trash, doing a final dusting of the mantles, and ensuring all toiletries are tucked away. Every detail counts.
One of the most noticeable things to a prospective buyer is clutter. Some areas that often collect the most clutter are unused tabletops, bookshelves, communal closets, and kitchen counters. Make sure the stairs are clear and that all shoes, coats, hats, and mail are put out of sight. It can be difficult to set up your home like you’re a professional homemaker, especially if you have pets or young children or both, just keep it tidy.
4. What’s cooking in the kitchen
The kitchen is a big selling feature. Many people centre their home on food or entertaining so keep this as one of the focus points and make it feel inviting.
5. Closets aren’t for stuffing things into
While it can be tempting to simply throw everything into the closets before a show day, it is sure to backfire. It does indeed declutter the home, but don’t think for a second that a prospective buyer may not ask to see the size of cupboards inside.
This doesn’t just mean spraying the air with air freshener. Be wary about what you cook the night before or morning of a showing as the lingering smells might turn off others. The same goes for candles or air fresheners. Try to be as neutral as possible and think ahead so you’re not scrambling to cover up a smell at the last minute – especially if you have pets. A foul smell coming from the most obscure place in a home can be the biggest turn-off for a potential buyer. Research has shown that a buyer who walks into a home that has an overwhelming smell will turn around and walk out. It is a good idea to ask the opinion of a person who is not living in the home, as residents of the home often become immune to odours within their own space.
7. Adjust the lighting and temperature
Set the mood for a house showing. A pleasant temperature and warm lighting can help to get this right. If your home is too hot, cold, or dark, it may turn potential buyers away. The best temperature is 22 Celsius but you can lower it to 20 on hot days and up to 24 on cold days. Buyers will feel the comfort levels unconsciously and will see that your heating/cooling system works well. Don’t be shy when it comes to turning on lights before a home showing. You should flip on all the recessed lights and lamps in your home, so it appears bright and welcoming, especially on overcast days. If you’re trying to showcase a dark home, be as calculated as possible about where you place your lighting and how it’s used on the show day. If you have a fireplace and your show day is in winter, light a fire and ask your Estate Agent to manage it, the lifestyle offered may be the reason a buyer makes an offer.
You don’t have to go out of your way but providing refreshments such as bottled water is a nice touch especially on a hot day. A few snacks are also appealing if potential purchasers are looking at a few homes, yours will be remembered for the refreshments too.
Do I need to have a professional do my home before showing?
No, but if you have the budget for it or some agreement with your estate agent, it won’t hurt. However, you don’t want to be clinically clean and have the home feel “unlived in”.
Must I do a deep clean before show day?
Not necessarily but clean intensively beforehand