First impressions are everything, especially when you are selling a home. You often only get one chance to put your best foot forward. Potential buyers will either be drawn to the home, be ambivalent, or be pushed away.
1. Make sure your exterior is presentable.
- Grass should be cut, raked and branches/debris removed. Keep the lawn maintenance contract.
- Keep the driveway clean. A beautiful seal coat always does wonders for those driveways that are showing their age.
- Make sure the walkway is presentable and clean. Powerwash stones.
- The shrubs and plantings should be maintained and trimmed.
- If you have mold or mildew on the siding or deck have it power washed.
- Plant some seasonal flowers to add some color near your entry.
- Your door and entryway need to sparkle. Buyers will really notice this area.
2. Offer a warm welcome.
You have been to homes where you feel welcome. You have also been to homes where you don’t. When showing, you want buyers to feel like they belong—better yet, you want them to feel like this could be their home. There are some things you can do to encourage a welcome feeling, including:
- Give them as much time as they need.
- Do not be present for showings.. 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.
3. Create an inviting environment.
One of the keys to effective home staging is creating a mood that can be felt and enjoyed by everyone who walks through the door. There are several things you can do to enhance this:
- Light a fire in the fireplace. 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.
- Turn on your fountains. Water fountains are great for white noise and relaxation. Whether you have a large fountain in the yard, a tiny desk fountain, or something in between, turn it on so buyers can associate relaxation with your home.
- 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.
- Make sure the home is clean and decluttered. There is no excuse for not making sure the house is spotless.
4. Pay attention to odors.
Some risks come with relying too heavily on scents when showing a home. What smells good to one person may be unpleasant, or even harmful, to another. If the weather is nice, open a window. Cookies or pie in the oven is better than the artificial vanilla or candle scents, which make odors worse. If you are baking cookies that smell real good, make sure to have them on the counter. Buyers can grab on the way out to see the yard, so they don’t get crumbs in the house.
5. Let there be light!!
Turn on all lights and Open up the blinds and letting the sunshine in. (Unless you have old original windows or an unpleasant view) Rooms look better in the light.
6. Take pets with you and clean up after them in the yard.
Noone wants to step in poop. You want the buyers to spend time in the yard and get a feel for it without stepping in unpleasant stuff.
7. Quality Feedback on showings.
Do they like my home? Did they hate it? Is there something I can do to improve the showing experience? Before choosing your real estate agent, you should discuss communication and feedback on every showing. Real feedback, not “it’s not for my buyer” but a plan for good quality feedback. (ie, what didn’t the buyer like, what did they like, what did they feel about price, condition, lighting, etc.) Detail Showing Feedback should always be in a real estate marketing plan.