You most likely did all the hard work before getting your house ready to sell, from deep cleaning to decluttering to completing basic repairs, but the work doesn’t stop there, you will need to maintain the “model home” look for open houses and showings. Here are some tips for getting and keeping your house in showing ready condition. We will even supply you with a check list you can hang in your cabinet as a reminder for all the things to do before walking out the door.
Secure your valuables. Have your jewelry and other small expensive items locked in a safe or keep in a tote that you can put in your car every time there is a showing. Most people don’t have any problems, but it is better to be safe than sorry. It is also a good idea to lock up all documents that may have sensitive info, don’t leave things like bank statements laying around.
If you have pets, pick up their beds and foods dishes and make sure their areas are clean of crumbs. If you can put them away in a bin or closet, so much the better. If your house has “pet odor” use a deodorizer to make their area (like the litter box) smells fresh. Also be sure to vacuum, some people have allergies, and you want to make sure you get some of the allergens out of the air. Do not leave your pets home during a showing or open house, if you keep your pet in a crate and they bark at potential buyers, this could be a turn off and get them out the door quicker, if you leave pets out (like cats) you run the risk of someone leaving a door open and letting them escape.
Put away the clutter away. It is easy for the clutter to build up, but if you get into the habit of putting everything away each night, this makes it easier when you get a showing request to put everything in order quickly. You want to make sure that counters are free of clutter and all toys are put away and the floor is clear.
Keep up on dishes, laundry, vacuuming and dusting, if you do a little every day, it won’t build up and you won’t be trying to do too much before a showing. Enlist those that live in the house with you to help.
Make sure your house smells good. Put a diffuser with some essential oils on or wax warmers (melts candles or fragrant wax without the flames); both make the house smell inviting and give people a good feeling. Just be sure whatever scent you pick is not overpowering and is in a wide-open area so the fragrance isn’t trapped. Too much of a good thing can give people a headache. When I bought my first house, I remember walking into the cozy family room and smelling cinnamon and having a connection with the house immediately, even though I was aware of the tactic, it left a positive impression.
Walk outside your front door and walk back in like a visitor and see if there is anything that stands out, most people use their garage door and don’t see things that need to be addressed near the front door. Maybe there are cobwebs or a buildup of leaves that need to be swept away. If you have winter showings and it is snowing, be sure to shovel and deice the walkway, you don’t want people to fall or track snow in your house. You want to make a good first impression as potential buyers walk up to your house so don’t neglect this area.
These important but manageable steps will keep your house in top shape for showings and help alleviate some stress getting your house ready. Check out the checklist that you should look at each time you have a showing!
By Carrie Ernst
Click here for your free checklist:
Preparing Your House for Showings
Lee Ernst Group, Reimagining your life with the Perfect Home or Property
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