When there is an appointment for a potential buyer to view your home, you want to make the most of your opportunity. Remember the saying “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” These tips are especially important when your Realtor is doing an open house and there is a possibility for multiple visitors. I have even provided a checklist for you.
Special Report : How To Show Your HomeOUTSIDE: Curb appeal is one of the key factors in your homes potential sale. If the buyer doesn’t like the outside, they may never attempt to see the inside. Trim all shrubs. Pull all weeds. Flowers planted. Leaves raked. Water lawn to keep green. Pick up and discard or store all implements, materials and debris that are not part of the lawn decor. All windows washed. Garage should be swept, neat and tidy. During the winter, all walks and drives should be shoveled and salted. LIGHTING: Open all shades and draperies during the daylight hours. Replace all burned out light bulbs with the maximum light producing bulbs. Turn on all lights throughout the house and basement prior to showing the house. STORAGE: All clothing, shoes, hats, accessories, tools, papers, magazines, books and personal items not contributing to the decor of the room should be stored in closets or dressers. All closets should be tidy, neat and clean. Basement storage areas should be neatly arranged. Kitchen counters should be clean and free of any articles not contributing to the decor of the room. All magazines, books, ashtrays, food, bottles, containers, boxes, cans, toys, hobby accessories, tools, dishes, cookware, etc. should be stored in the proper cupboards or closets or storage areas. CLOSETS: The interiors of all closets should present an organized, tidy and uncluttered appearance. All unneeded or unused items should be discarded. Display your storage and utility space by removing all unnecessary accumulations in attic, stairways, basement, closets and garage. WINDOWS: All windows should be spotlessly clean inside and out. All window sills, as well as any space between the window and storm window should be spotlessly clean and free of any flaking or loose paint. All windows should be in good repair with no cracks. Screens should be clean and in good condition, free of rust and holes. Any paint on glass should be removed with a razor blade prior to cleaning. FIXTURES: All bathroom and kitchen fixtures and counters should be sparkling clean. Polish chrome faucets and handles in the tub and sinks. All sinks, tubs, toilets and counters should be clean. FLOORS: All flooring should be clean and waxed if necessary. All carpeting should be very clean regardless of its age. If the carpeting has not been steam cleaned for more than two years, now is the time to do it. Basement floors should be swept and mopped. DOORS: All doors should be free of scotch tape, posters, decals, or stickers. All door handles should be clean and in good repair. CERAMIC TILE: All joints between tiles should be clean and white. Use DAP bathroom tile sealer to reseal the joint between bathtub and wall and floor. WALLS: All walls should be clean and free of gouges, scratches, smudges, scotch tape, posters, thumbtacks, etc. Walls should only have decorative items. Posters and paper pictures taped to walls should be removed and all evidence of the tape markings removed. ODOR: Nothing smells better than fresh air. On warm days, have your windows open and shades up. Make your home feel and smell bright, fresh and clean and you will have a faster sale. KEY POINT: Make very sure that there are absolutely no pet odors. Here is a checklist:
Checklist: How to Show Your HomeBefore You Show Your Home Remember, a buyer’s emotions are triggered by sensory experiences, especially touch, smell and sight . . .
- temperature check – cool in summer, toasty in winter
- fresh cut flowers (simple daisies in clean, clear glass jars look great)
- all lights on – even in daytime
- all window shades, drapes and blinds open
- background music – instrumental or easy listening; volume low
- television off
- fire lit in winter; fireplace full of lit candles in warm weather (nothing if it’s hot)
- scented votive candles lit in each room (same scent throughout the house – vanilla recommended) OR pot of simmering apple cider with cinnamon sticks on the stove – especially important if someone smokes or there’s a pet
- family pet out of the way or preferably at a friend’s or neighbor’s house
- valuables hidden, or in another location
- dining table set with four place settings of your best china and glassware