Tips for Showing Your Home

Tips for Showing Your Home

When it comes to Tips for Showing Your Home, curb appeal is a big deal! First impressions are everything and you only get one chance to make your home stand out. You want to engage the buyer emotionally because let’s face it, many times the decision to buy is based more on emotions and less on logic. You always want people looking at your home to start seeing themselves living there, but to do this, you’ll need to pull out all the stops when it comes to how your show your home. These Tips for Showing Your Home will help you accentuate your home’s positive attributes and take attention away from any negative aspects.
Tips for Showing Your Home

1. Make The Exterior Of Your Home As Presentable As Possible

When potential buyers drive by your home or are ready to take a tour of it, the first thing they are going to see is the outside. How does your yard look? Is the grass cut and raked? Make sure you go the extra mile by doing the following, as well:
  • Keep the driveway clean and passable. It may even be time for a seal coat to help your driveway hide its age.
  • Make sure the shrubs and plantings around your home are in good order and trimmed up.
  • Plant some seasonal flowers near the entry to add color and warmth to your outdoor area.
  • Is your walkway presentable? It may be time for a quick power wash to have everything look its best.
  • Same goes for the siding and windows. Do you need to spend some time cleaning or power washing the exterior of your home to get it back to its former luster?
  • Make sure your door and entry way sparkle! Buyers will notice this area the most when they enter their home.
You will also want to make sure you are keeping these things up in the yard during the process of selling your house. A well-maintained yard will add to the curb appeal and help people envision their own lives there when they arrive.

2. Brighten Up Your Home

As a general rule, it’s a great idea to go through the house and turn on every light you have before a showing. Even appliance and closet lights. This helps buyers see everything in your home and they also won’t have to search all over for light switches. You also don’t want to make them suspicious of any areas that are left in the dark.
If you have areas in your home that are a little dark, think about brightening them up by placing some new spot lights on the floor in dark rooms with little light. And generally, you’ll want to make sure all the lights are on, even during the day, for a showing.
Even better? Let the natural light shine in! Open up the blinds and curtains and let the sunshine in to show off your windows. It can make your rooms feel bigger, which can make a great impression. Just use common sense and make sure you take a peek outside to see what your potential buyer will see. If your view is less than amazing, feel free to keep some curtains closed to downplay that ugly fence outside.
The best news? This tip costs you next to nothing!
Tips for Showing Your Home

3. Don’t Turn Away Showings

While it may be inconvenient, you want to make sure you stay flexible when it comes to showing your home. Make it work! While there may be instances where it is necessary to ask for another time, you should generally be prepared to leave the home at any time, whether it is convenient or not. That means it’s important to keep everything clean and in order on a daily basis while your home is on the market!
Remember, you will make things awfully hard on yourself and your agent if your potential buyers can’t get into your home when they want to. Many buyers like to look at multiple houses in one day and if they happen to see yours while they are out and about, they will want to try to get in! Therefore, try to keep showing restrictions to a minimum. It may be a missed opportunity to sell your home!

4. Offer Snacks and Refreshments

What better way to get potential buyers to stay and look around than by providing snacks and refreshments at your home?!
Leaving refreshments is a nice gesture that could influence a potential buyer in a positive way. Even if you just leave a bowl of wrapped candy or another easy treat near the front door with a small note thanking them for coming to see your home, you will leave a positive impression.
If you want to entice them to linger and notice more amazing details about your home, offer more food! Finger sandwiches, cookies, soft drinks, water and desserts are all great ideas. Buyers who are nibbling on snacks aren’t as eager to leave and they may notice something they previously missed that they love.
Just don’t forget to set out plates, napkins, cups and silverware, too! Also, provide a waste receptacle in plain sight for people to throw away their trash.

5. Leave The House

Stay away! You may be tempted to follow buyers around and explain different upgrades and amenities that your home provides, but don’t! Buyers don’t want to talk about the house in front of you. They need the opportunity to talk about the home and be free to speak their minds. Let your real estate agent do their job and just go away!
If for some reason you are unable to leave, at least go outside on the porch or in the yard, or take a walk in the neighborhood. Let your home speak for itself. Don’t create an awkward encounter!
A good rule of thumb is to plan on being out 20 minutes before the scheduled showing. But, make sure you do a quick once-over through the house as you’re about to leave in case you missed something small. You don’t want to leave out your valuables, jewelry, financial information or other personal items!
Tips for Showing Your Home

6. Encourage Buyer Feedback

Near the area where you provide snacks and refreshments, it’s a great idea to leave pens and a stack of pre-printed questionnaire cards for buyers to fill out. They may feel more obligated to respond to your request after being fed. And that showing feedback you receive could prove invaluable!
Don’t you want to know what they are thinking when they walk through your home? Are there things you could easily improve to make the showing process better?
Your real estate agent should have a system down for being able to allow potential buyers to allow feedback, but you should double check what it may be. It is something that you should insist on when hiring an agent!
Just make sure you allow buyer anonymity.
You may also want to print cards that buyers can take that will provide further information that they may have missed as they were passing through. There is so little time to make an impression, make sure they leave with something that highlights the great things they may have missed. Like that antique chandelier or what appliances are included.

7. Provide a Comfortable Environment

Don’t worry about saving money when it comes time to showing your house. If it’s hot outside, make sure the air conditioning is on and your home is at a comfortable temperature when you have a showing. Same for in the winter months. Turn on the heat so that it is warm and inviting.
As an unexpected bonus, it may make buyers stick around a little longer than they usually would on days when the weather is particularly warm or cold. The longer they can find shelter from the outdoor elements, the more likely they are to see additional great aspects of your home!

8. Play Down Any Scents In Your Home

While you want to make sure your home smells fresh and inviting, you don’t want to go overboard. Throwing on multiple scented candles or other aromatherapy products might seem like a great idea, but that particular smell may be a huge turnoff to some buyers. You also don’t want people thinking you are trying to cover up something, either.
Some people are even allergic to certain scents and deodorizers, so don’t spray the air with constant air freshener or spray perfume in the bedroom for the same reason.
If weather permits, it’s a great idea to open the windows to bring in the fresh air. However, if you live in a noisy area or the wind is whipping through your home, think twice about having the windows open.
You also don’t want to cook anything with too strong of a scent when you are in the middle of selling your home. The last thing someone wants to smell is the strong odor of garlic, onion or fish when they walk in! Bad odors can easily kill your home sale!
Remember, though, that if you are going to bake cookies or simmer spices such as cinnamon in water on the stove for a good scent, you better have that food out for buyers! You don’t want people coming in smelling delicious baking smells, only to be disappointed that there aren’t actually any baked goods to nibble on!

9. Have a Plan for Pets and Children

Showing a home when you have pets and children can make life a bit more challenging, but it’s not impossible. If you have indoor pets, you’ll want to make sure that during your listing period, you are particularly tuned in to cleaning up after them. Ask a friend, neighbor or your agent to do the sniff test. Can they tell you have a pet in the home?
You may want to purchase a few air purifiers to add to your home for buyers that may have pet allergies. It’s so important to be diligent in keeping things clean around the home (and yard) when you have pets.
Also, don’t leave your pets home when you have a showing. Buyers may have allergies, they may be afraid of animals, or your pet may just be a major distraction while you have a buyer in the home. Make sure you have a plan on what to do with your pets so they are out of the house for all home showings.
Same goes for children. Parents know just how many toys and accessories accumulate on the floor when kids live in the home, so it will be important to have a daily cleaning ritual in place to keep the clutter at bay. Consider buying multiple storage bins for toys and items that may otherwise be out and about during a showing.
Tips for Showing Your Home

10. Accentuate the Positive

Have a fireplace? Light it up, no matter the season! It can really add to the homey atmosphere in a room, as well as throughout the whole house. Keep it small and make sure you adjust the thermostat accordingly, but this will be a great selling point for your home!
If you want to play music, make sure it’s pleasant and at a low volume. Pick something that sets a quiet and comfortable mood and isn’t distracting. Keep the volume low enough that people can hear each other when speaking and it will be a lovely homey addition to their experience. And if you have a speaker system in your home, it’s a great way to show it off!
If you have anything else in your home that you want to highlight, make sure you do something to get buyers to linger in that area a little longer! Have a stunning view from the kitchen? Built-in bookshelves or an amazing staircase? Accentuate the positive!
You’ve likely put a lot of effort into getting ready to sell your home. You are creating an atmosphere and mood that can be felt and enjoyed by everyone walking through the door, so don’t let it fall apart after those first couple of showings! Keep coming back to our Tips For Showing Your Home!
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About the Author

David Haug is a Madison WI real estate agent. He is passionate about helping clients, customers, and friends succeed in residential real estate. He is also a raging Badger fan. #OnWisconsin Baby! Connect with David on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidnhaug/