You need to squeeze every dime of equity out of the house you have for sale and whether you have a listing agent or are a FSBO, Showings are the most important part of the buyers experience. Without great showings things can fall apart. A bad showing can make minor flaws seem major and create an un-inviting atmosphere. Follow these ways to prepare your home for showings and you will be able to get the most on your return.
- Lights On: I don’t care that it costs $3 to light your home all day. I spend the first few minutes of a showing walking around quickly to turn all lights on. Many times my buyers will have wondered the entire first floor, unimpressed, because the house feels and seems dark and small. If you will be gone all day, turn all of your lights on before you leave and if you can’t take that waste, ask a neighbor to turn them off later. But, do not let people see your house dark.
- Love Letter: The best showings are sometimes accompanied by a letter from the owners that are selling. They will write a note and leave it on the kitchen counter, quickly explaining great improvements and why they love the home. Talk about neighborhood and amenities. Think about who your buyer may be and write it towards them. I had one seller ask me for a description of my buyers and I swear they wrote a personal letter to them.
- Get Out The Way: Don’t be leaving, cleaning, rushing around or pulling away as the buyers show up. The buyers need to be assessing and visualizing themselves pulling up to their future home. It is distracting for them as they are thinking about you as they miss the cute shutters out front or the friendly group of neighbors gathered next door. Prepare early and be gone. It will pay off.
- Stage: We all have an all-in-one printer laying on the floor somewhere in our house. But that does not look like an office to the buyers. If the rooms are not defined, a buyer will not see it either. Before you finish prepping the house for a showing, ask a neighbor to objectively walk your house and point of any strange areas of your home. If you house does not have a proper office, don’t act like it does. Working from the dining room table is fine but don’t expect them to buy into it.
- Tell Me Why: Realtors are sent an email many times asking for feedback but specifics are many times left out. After a showing, ask your listing agent to pass along specific questions that will help you prep better or understand why your home hasn’t sold yet. Examples are “What did you think of the new fixtures throughout?”, “Was the deck large and welcoming?” or “Did the home feel warm and inviting?”. All of these will get you the response you need to keep moving.
So when you prepare your home for showings you need to work hard and be proactive. Don’t expect others to look past the little and things and demand good feedback. You will sell your home smarter and will also feel more content after each showing.