You found an AGENT, they scheduled a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, your home has been STAGED and is listed for sale, and it’s being marketed to the masses. What do you do now?
A good real estate agent will take on 95% of the work when it comes to selling a home, leaving a mere 5% of ‘work’ to the homeowner. What does that 5% entail? What steps can a homeowner take towards selling their home once it’s on the market?
Don’t Restrict Access
One of the best things a home owner can do is be flexible. If buyers can’t get access to your home at a time that works for them- you run the risk of losing their interest.
Quite often, sellers will set showing restrictions, such as requiring a 6+ hour advanced notice. What these sellers fail to understand is that buyers often schedule to look at multiple homes on a given day. If your home is the only one with showings restrictions, the buyer may skip seeing your home altogether, rather than rearrange their day to accommodate the restriction.
A missed showing is a missed opportunity to sell your house. It’s that simple. If you don’t want to run that risk, your priority should be to get as many people through your door as possible.
Don’t Make Your Agent Attend the Showing
Buying a home is a HUGELY emotional decision. Buyers typically know within a few minutes of walking through a home whether they are interested or not. Having your real estate agent present pointing out that you just painted the bedrooms, installed granite counters in your bathroom and added a Nest thermostat isn’t going make them buy your home.
Buyers and their agents want to be able to speak freely about the house, and they can’t do that when the listing agent is hovering over them.
More importantly, when you require your agent to be there, you’re adding another level of difficulty in showing the home. Your agent will now have to match their schedule with the buyers and their agent.
Now that we have talked about what NOT to do, let’s talk about all the things you CAN do when it comes to showing your home. Let’s start with curb appeal. First impressions are everything, especially when you are selling a home, so making sure everything that influences a buyer’s first impression is taken care of- is paramount.
Make sure your exterior is presentable.
Often overlooked, is the exterior. So much time and care is spent making sure the interior is presentableGoing the extra mile with your home’s exterior appearance is important. Here are some tips for getting it in shape:
Make sure the grass is cut, leaves are raked and weeds are pulled. If the mulch in your flowerbeds leaves much to be desired, add a fresh layer!
Keep the driveway clean and passable.
Make sure the walkway is presentable – you might want to give it a good power wash.
The shrubs and plantings should not be overpowering – make sure there is a clear path around the home.
Plant some seasonal flowers to add some color near your entry.
Your door and entryway need to sparkle. Buyers will really notice this area. Sweep the porch, get rid of cobwebs, wipe down door trim.
These are all small improvements that will increase the value of your home.
Offer a warm welcome.
When showing, you want buyers to feel like they belong—better yet, you want them to feel like they are on the edge of living there themselves. There are some things you can do to encourage a welcome feeling, including:
Don’t skimp on heating or cooling. You should keep your home as comfortable as possible while you are showing it. In cooler weather, turn the heat up so that the house is warm and inviting, a soft cocoon where buyers can picture themselves with their families while winter storms rage. In warmer months, turn the air conditioner on and keep the house cool and pleasant. Buyers want to know that when the summer sun is beating down, they can depend on their new home to keep the sweat away. Besides making your home comfortable, generous heating or cooling can make buyers stick around for longer than they usually would on days where the weather is harsh. The longer they shelter from what is going on outside, the more likely they are to see the home as a great place to live.
Give them as much time as they need. Waiting for someone to explore your home is not always easy, but do your best to avoid hurrying buyers. Remember, they are deliberating on one of the most significant financial decisions of their lives.
Stay away. Buyers need the opportunity to talk about the home, but they are not going to feel free to speak their minds if you are hovering around. Do not ever attend the showing. Let the real estate agent do their job.
Cultivate an inviting atmosphere.
One of the keys to effective home staging is creating atmosphere, a mood that can be felt and enjoyed by everyone who walks through the door. There are several things you can do to enhance the mood in the home, including:
Light a fire in the fireplace. Summer or winter, spring or fall, a fire in the fireplace can really add to the homey atmosphere in a room and throughout the home. Most fireplaces are not particularly good at heating a room, so even in summer you probably do not have to worry about the fire being too warm. Keep it small, of course, and adjust the thermostat accordingly.
Play pleasant music at low volume. The music you pick should be something that sets the desired mood without distracting. Keep the volume low enough that people can speak without shouting, but high enough that the music is audible.
Make sure the home is clean. A freshly clean home is always inviting!
Brighten things up.
One of the best showing tips for selling a home is turning on all the lights prior to a showing. Buyers are there to see the home, which means they need light. With all the lights on, buyers are not going to be wandering around in search of light switches, and they are not going to be suspicious when they cannot view specific areas of the home.
Even better than indoor lights is opening up the blinds and letting the sunshine in. However, if you have certain things you want to avoid showcasing, like an ugly fence out back, you can keep some curtains drawn.
Offer snacks and refreshments.
You want potential buyers to stay and look around. You also want them to feel at home like they could live there. Providing snacks and refreshments helps you accomplish both of these goals. Leaving some refreshments is a nice gesture that could influence in a positive way how the buyer thinks about you even though you’ve never met. No one will have to leave because they are hungry or thirsty either.
Following these tips will help prepare you for successful showings and bring in potential buyers!
For tips on staging the interior of your home, CLICK HERE.
If you're just starting the process of selling your home, learn about the benefits of professional photography by CLICKING HERE.
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