If you are getting ready to list your home, it is important to remember that preparing your home for showings is a very critical step in selling. Don’t fall into the trap that many homeowners do in a sellers market. A flawed line of thinking is that the market is so great that someone will buy my home and I don’t have to keep it in pristine condition. However, just because it is a hot sellers market, you should still make every effort to always have your home in show ready condition.
Buyers are aware that prices are near record levels, which means that when they are about to spend top dollar or pay over list price, they want to be certain they are getting a home that is perfect for them. While the home itself may be in good condition, when buyers walk in the door it should look and feel like a model home. First impressions are everything and a properly staged home could help you fetch a higher price.
Kitchens are often one of the greatest selling points of a home. Buyers typically heavily scrutinize a kitchen, as they may spend a lot of time there. When preparing your home for showings, there are several things you can do in the kitchen to help with the appeal. Removing all clutter off counters is the first step. Make sure counters are wiped clean and the dinner table is clear as well. Remove clutter that is on the fridge as it causes more distraction. Hand towels should be put away, no dirty dishes left in the sink or food left out.
Along with kitchens, bathrooms are an important selling feature to buyers. Bathrooms can easily get dirty, but with some cleanup can look much better. Make sure floors and mirrors are cleaned and the sink and tub are not dirty. Also, if you have several bottles of shampoo or baby toys in the bathrooms remove those and store them for showings. Any clutter is going to distract the buyer. Leave toilet seats down and ensure shower curtains, if any, are clean. Mirrors and glass doors should be wiped clean with no stains.
The exterior of the home and curb appeal will be the first thing a buyer notices. Especially in the spring and summer months you should make sure all landscaping is fresh, grass is cut, and yard is neat. In the winter it is tougher to show a nice yard, but you will still want to ensure walkways are shoveled and free of ice. Make sure lawn equipment, tools and toys are cleaned up and put away. Last, if you have pets, make sure you pick up after them.
It is easy to accumulate items when you have lived in a home and can be difficult to store everything for showings. Following a few guidelines, you can live in your home and still keep it prepared for showings. Closets are often overlooked; however, buyers will want to look in closets to see how much room there is. Avoid piling clothes messily in closets and instead make sure they are organized and even remove items that do not need to be there. A buyer wants to picture their clothes in the closet, so you’ll want to show them what a clean and tidy space it is. Basement storage space is another area that is important. Just because you are using a space for storage, doesn’t mean it can’t be neat and organized. Shelving with containers can give a tidy appearance. You’ll also want to make sure buyers can easily see the mechanical equipment without piles or boxes blocking them.
Odors are a major turn off for buyers when looking at a home. When preparing your home for showings it is important that you don’t forget to address any foul odors. Pets can be a major cause of odor and while you may not notice it a buyer that doesn’t have pets or is allergic to them will certainly notice. A bad smelling home is very tough to show because it is distracting the buyer throughout the entire showing and gives them the impression that your home is not clean. You may want to consider having someone that doesn’t live in the home check for odor.
Hiring a home stager for a consultation and a reasonable fee can translate to more money in your pocket at closing. A home stager is very experienced in preparing homes for showings and can offer tips that will help your home look as great as it can. Often a stager can simply work with the items and furniture you have, remove clutter, and rearrange to create a more buyer friendly atmosphere and layout.