Last minute showings do happen. In fact, many motivated buyers will add your home to their list that day right at the last minute. It can sometimes be an inconvenience and it’s easy to decline and ask them to reschedule. The problem with this is they may very likely find a home on that list that day or evening to write an offer on. You definitely want yours to be in the mix. Sometimes people relocating are only in town for a day or weekend. Here’s a quick way to get your home ready to make its best impression.
Here’s a quick way to get your home ready to make its best impression.
Curb appeal – Make sure the lawn, bushes and flowerbeds look their best at all times if you can. Remember, many buyers will first drive by your house and judge it before even adding it to their list of must sees. If the outside is always clean and looking its best, your chances of getting buyers in the home increases. Do a quick walk through the yard. Stand on the sidewalk or street and view it in the eyes of someone else. Toys, garbage, branches and clutter on the porch, should be avoided at all times.
Lighting – Lighting plays a huge roll in the home. It even helps a buyer’s mood to shift towards “home”. Try to avoid fluorescent and very bright lights if possible. You want the home to be well lit and not dreary but too much light can make the home feel cold. Lamps in a bedroom add a very cozy feel. If you have recessed lighting, make sure the buyer can see it. Many times, creatively placed lighting fixtures in places like the kitchen and family room/recreation room, are attractive to prospective buyers.
Kitchen – Obviously it’s one of the most looked at rooms in the home. Make sure the kitchen is in prime showing condition. Even if you don’t have time to wash the dishes, place them in the dishwasher for later. Make sure sinks and counter tops are cleared. Floors, tables and appliances should also be clean. Your goal with all rooms including the kitchen is making it a clutter free environment.
Bathrooms – They will be carefully looked at. Prospective buyers WILL peek inside your shower, linen closet and medicine cabinet. A quick clean up of the bathroom is necessary. Make sure the toilet seat is down, and remove all personals from the shelves and sink.
Living areas – Make sure all personals are put away. A quick dusting will help make things sparkle. Remember, less is more. If you have lots of collectables or family photos, that you just can’t part with, try putting them in a closet or hiding them for showings. You want the buyers to view themselves living in your home. The less personal the home is, the better chances that buyer will feel attached instantly.
Bedrooms – Yes, it’s your own personal place for your items. However, to a buyer, it should be almost as cleared out as a model home. Try if you can to keep dressers clear of all personal items and closets as clutter free as possible. Make the beds and remove any unneeded items from nightstands. They won’t typically look under the bed, so this may be a great place to store a plastic storage bin and fill it as needed for showings.
Homeowners – Make sure if you possibly can to NOT be around while the buyer and their agent are there. This includes pets, children, and the people on the television. Nobody should ideally be in the home. This can make buyers feel rushed and uncomfortable while walking through your home. You want them to take their time and start instantly envisioning where their furniture will go and actually living there. Take a quick walk around the block, a drive, or if you MUST be there, stay outside and out of the way.
Smells – You may be a gourmet chef but once your masterpiece is done, there’s sure to be a lasting scent. You may not always have a cooperating seasons for opening the windows. Try boiling a cinnamon stick or vanilla for at least 15 minutes in the kitchen. Pets can also leave an odor that is most always offensive to prospective buyers. Quickly empty the litter box and try if you can to sprinkle the carpets with a pet powder or baking soda and do a quick vacuum. The smell of laundry and fragrant candles are usually good to the senses. Don’t overdo it and keep any floral scents to a minimal.
If you don’t have that much time to prepare, do the most important things first such as removing personal items and giving the kitchen a quick clean up. Details will have to wait if necessary, but at least if the main things are done, and the home is in overall good showing condition, the chances of a good impression are much more likely. It’s hard to always have children’s bedrooms in top showing condition. Have a plan in action for these times. Have one large toy box or designated area to put things away quickly.