Showing Your Home
First impressions are lasting impressions! The importance of making a good first impression cannot be overstated.
Most people buy a home on their first impressions - like it or not. Amazingly, a potential buyer visiting your home makes a first emotional impression within the first 5 to 10 seconds of seeing it and this impression is solidified within the first 5 minutes. And when selling a home, it's the first impression that counts. The emotional impact they receive in the first few moments can be critical to the way they enter into contract negotiations, or make an offer for your property.
No matter how long a buyer spends in the home and no matter how many wonderful qualities the home may have, if your house has left a poor first impression, the odds of your home selling to that person drops to almost zero. Remember, a potential buyer starts forming their opinion as they pull into the driveway and has pretty much make up their mind after ten seconds inside the front door. This doesn't leave much room for errors and faults! Let Rich Realty prepare you so that you can make your very best impression.
To prepare your home for viewing, try these suggestions:
- Pull the drapes back, make it as light and cheerful and serene as possible.
- Light lamps.
- There are three important smells to know about: fresh bread, cinnamon and coffee: choose one, and leave that smell in your house.
- Light your fireplace, be sure it is safely secure during showings.
- Set the dining room or kitchen table if you have particularly nice linen or china.
- Put fresh towels in the bathroom.
- Leave the house so your agent is free to deal with prospective buyers in a professional manner and the buyer is comfortable asking questions as they go through your home. It goes without saying that your children and pets should not be on the premises either.
If you have a bit of extra time before the first showing, you may want to look into some additional little "touch ups" that can lead to a better first impression. It's incredible how much of a difference the little things can make.
Outside your home:
- Look at the trim, the downspout, the gutters, the doors and anywhere else that has paint. None of these should be cracked or peeling. If they are, re-paint.
- Make sure that your mailbox and other accessories are in good condition. Replace, remove or re-paint anything damaged or falling apart.
- If your siding is made of wood, aluminum or vinyl, have it cleaned, or clean it yourself. It will do wonders for the building's exterior appearance.
- Check gutters and roof. Make sure they are clean and in good condition
- Polish the hardware on your doors. Make sure your doorbell works. Make sure all of the exterior locks are clean and functional.
- Rake up leaves and other rubbish littering your yard and sweep your walk and hose down your driveway. Wash oil stains from the driveway. This will give the yard a much neater look.
- Keep your lawn cut.
- Trim your bushes and put fresh mulch or peat moss around the planting areas. Remove any dead plants or shrubs. Keep plants and bushes from blocking windows.
- If the season allows, plant fresh flowers. They don't have to be expensive or showy, just something pretty and colourful. A few hastily planted flowering shrubs can also make a big difference and a nice looking garden shed or greenhouse can be the clincher.
- Clear patio or deck of all small items, such as small planters, flower pots, barbecues, charcoal, bicycles, toys, etc. Put them in the garage or shed. (Don't worry about garages and sheds being too full, people expect that!)
- If you have a shed or garage, get them looking organized. They can be as full as they have to be, as long as they don't look messy or too cluttered. Even if it means putting many things into boxes (you're moving and you'll have to do it eventually anyway!). Make sure any oil, rust or any other stains have been washed away
- If you have a pool, the water in it must be perfect. Buy a bottle of water polish from your pool shop - it gives the pool a wonderful, sparkling, translucent look.
Inside your home:
In general, you're seeking to have a bright, uncluttered and clean home.
- If you have a fireplace, always ready the fireplace with fresh logs and pine cones - no matter if its summer or winter - as though it's ready to be lit at the touch of a match. If it is cool enough, you may wish to light it. Make sure the rest of the fireplace and surrounding area is very clean. A house with a fireplace or two is a deeply warming experience for most people.
- Smell is a crucial factor. Homes that smell of animals (particularly cats), can cost you thousands of dollars. Just as important as taking the smell out though, is putting better smell back in. There are three important smells to know about: fresh bread, cinnamon and coffee.
- Flowers are always a wonderful touch, but don't over-do it. They should only be where flowers are normally expected.
- Turn off stereos, TVs and other noisemaking devices. Try to make your home seem as soothing and calm as possible.
- Clear out any non-essential furniture. Don't over-do it, but less furniture means the appearance of a brighter, larger, more "open" room.
- Objects such as paintings, knick-knacks, photos and other objects that are technically clutter or that are very personal to you and only you should be removed. Remember, you're trying to give the buyer the feeling that this is a house that they belong in. They won't get that feeling if they feel different, awkward or distracted. This applies not only to rooms, but to halls, stairways and other areas that should appear open and welcoming.
- Make your house sparkle. Shampoo any carpets, wash and polish and wax floors, wash the windows (and their shades and blinds), dust all surfaces, and clean the furnace.
- Walk around the house looking for anything that looks messy or dirty. Glue down any flooring that is coming up, glue loose wallpaper and remove it altogether if it's dirty. Replace any burnt out or missing light bulbs. Replace or at least touch up any cracked or peeling paint.
- Walk around the house to make sure everything is functional. Be sure that all doors and windows work smoothly and squeak-free. Also, tighten any door knobs and fasteners. Repair any leaky taps, pipes or toilets.
- Put anything that doesn't need to be out, into the closet and make sure the closets are organized.