So, your home is now on the market and an agent calls to setup a showing appointment, what can you do before they come to showcase the home in such a way that they walk through, fall in love, and make an offer? If you've properly prepped your home to put it on the market, you are on the right track. But, following these simple "day of showing" suggestions will further prepare your home to appeal to an interested buyer.
Declutter and Tidy-Up: Making rooms clean, clutter-free, and picked up increases visible square footage and accents the spaciousness of your home. It is often hard for buyers to look past your "dirty laundry," so clean up shoes, toys, newspapers, etc. and make your house as warm and inviting as possible.
Create Ambiance: Create an inviting atmosphere by baking cookies or bread right before the showing or adding vanilla or other lightly scented candles to the home. Playing soft, recognizable, easy-listening music during the showing can also enhance the ambiance. If the season is right and you have a fireplace, turn it on or if you have a fountain or water feature, make sure it is running.
Open Blinds & Turn on Lights: Buyers are attracted to homes with bright rooms and natural light. Turn on every light in your house, including lamps, and make sure to replace any burnt out bulbs. Also, open the blinds and pull back the curtains in every room of the house. Let the natural light flow in and instantly increase the cheeriness of your home.
Mow the Lawn: There is nothing that says "welcome to my well kept home" like freshly cut grass. A well manicured lawn makes a great first impression.
Check Rooms: In the kitchen, make sure countertops are wiped, the trash is taken out, and the dishes are in the dishwasher or otherwise out of site. In the bedrooms, make sure clothes and toys are picked up and beds are made. In the bathrooms, make sure toilets are flushed and counter surfaces and mirrors are wiped clean.
Secure Valuables & Prescriptions: Although ill-intended buyers are few and far between, be safe and make sure your jewelry, money, prescription drugs, and other valuables are stored out of sight.
Remove Pets: Just because you love your pets doesn't mean the potential buyer will. If a person is not an animal lover, even the cutest of household pets can make them turn and run the other way.
Leave the House: While you may want to be present during the showing to meet potential buyers and point out all your favorite features of the home, DON'T. The presence of even the nicest and most inviting homeowner makes the majority of buyers uncomfortable. They feel like they are invading your space, so they don't look around as much as they would like and exit quickly so as not to impose.
In addition to these suggestions, anything else you can do to invite the buyers in and make them feel instantly at home will mean the difference between a sale and having them walk away.