DE-PERSONALIZE Your Home: This is perhaps the most important step in preparing your home to be viewed by strangers. While everyone’s standards and values are different, it’s important to remove items which may cause buyers to focus on things other than the home’s natural features. You want people to walk into your home and feel an inviting difference they won’t soon forget.
* Put away your family photos and leave your walls bare.
* If you must decorate, use large, single pieces of non-cultural art. Nature scenes, flowers, and abstract paintings are good. Put one piece of art on the most exposed wall in each room.
* Remove other decor which may indicate religion, or social organizations. These might be opposite of the buyers likes and preferences and they might be, momentarily, influenced by the presence of these things.
REMOVE CLUTTER: While this is a common-sense concept, many people still believe that a bed full of stuffed animals or a wall covered in different visual effects may be impressive. The less clutter in your home on viewing day, the more opportunity you allow buyers to focus on the home’s real textures and special features.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN: There is no doubt that selling one’s home can be terribly inconvenient. However, a clean home always gets the best reviews. A good, experienced Realtor will tell you this truth. If you ignore this piece of advice from the beginning, your home could remain on the market longer than necessary. Have your family and friends come over one day to help you clean, store away unnecessary items, and do paint touch ups if needed.
* Make beds each day just in case there’s an unexpected showing.
* Keep a habit of picking things up off the floor as much as possible.
* Put beauty products under the bathroom counter or somewhere out of sight.
* Keep your jewelry or expensive items locked away or in a hard to find place.
AVE A PLAN OF ACTION: During the listing appointment, ask your Realtor to state in the listing that a two to three-hour notice is required before the home may be viewed. This will give you and your family time to straighten up from the day’s activities, get a bite to eat, and leave the house for a walk or a trip to the mall.
PREPARE FLYERS with one large picture of your home’s best looking feature or room. Put the address, the Realtor’s contact information, and list a few nearby points of interest or neighborhood amenities on the flyer. Let your agent know that you would like the flyers given to each prospect. Home buyers tend to hold on to visual aides, such as a pretty flyer, so that they can revisit the showing in their minds each time they take a look.
OPEN HOUSE: Allow your Realtor to hold Open Houses at least once each month your home is on the market. Serious buyers are elated when they spot an Open House on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Also, it’s wise to leave the house during those hours so that potential buyers can feel comfortable walking though your house. A 3-4 hour open from 1pm to 4pm is typical and should do the trick. Ask the Realtor to advertise ahead of time, or you can announce the open on Craigslist a day before the event. Your flyers should be placed in the hands of everyone who comes to the Open House.
USE YOUR JUDGMENT: Think about things that would turn you off if you arrived at someone’s home for a visit. Consider the things that made you feel welcomed and try to do the same thing with your home.
Keep in mind that there are so many homes on the market, a WOW factor in your home may help it stand out above the rest.