Open every window covering. All drapes, curtains and blinds should be positioned to let in maximum light. Buyers like a house to be "light and bright," so accommodate them! Turn on as many lights as possible.
Make sure the house smells good. Baking cookies, often recommended, may be overdoing it, but pet odors, smoke, or greasy cooking odors definitely will not work! Air out the house just before the scheduled showing, but close the windows (unless it is a perfect day) before they arrive.
Six very important words: no clutter, no clutter, no clutter!
Make sure that everything is spotless. Pay particular attention to the bathrooms and the kitchen. In the bathrooms, towels should be fresh and clean, sinks and baths scrubbed, and the floor freshly cleaned. In the kitchen, make sure all dishes are put away and countertops and sinks cleaned.
Preparing Your House-Interior
- Check the thermostat to make sure that the house is at a comfortable temperature.
- Remove pets from the house, or at least, keep them outside. Pets under foot will quickly put a damper on an otherwise positive showing.
- Make sure that the Fact Sheets are available and easily accessible. (The dining room table is an ideal place for them).
- If you are using an Agent, leave! If this is not possible, make yourself as inconspicuous as possible. If it is comfortable outside, go there until the buyers leave. If you are selling on your own, of course, you don't have this luxury. If this is the case, be as helpful as you can but don't crowd the buyers.
If you get the buyer into the house, it is important to make their visit as pleasant as possible--and that means having the whole house ready. You want them to be as comfortable as possible, and to linger in the home. A "turn off" will send them scurrying quickly to the next house on their list!
Room by Room
Entry Must be especially inviting for your guests (your potential buyers). Make certain it is well lit, clean and has nothing laying around either inside or outside. Paint the front door if it even remotely needs it.
If you normally use a back or side entrance to your house, pay particular attention to the front entry. You rarely see it but this is where the buyers will enter!
Living Room or Great Room
Family Room or Den
- If possible, keep furniture at a bare minimum so that traffic flow is easier and the room does not appear smaller than it actually is.
- If bookshelves, curio cabinets, and the like are overflowing with books and knick-knacks, remove some of them.
If this is the room you live in the most, make it look inviting but not overly lived in.
Keep furniture at a minimum but make the room look like a comfortable place to spend time.
- Clean the exterior of all appliances.
- Clean the oven interior.
- Clean or replace the stove hood filter. This is often overlooked, usually dirty and greasy, and looked at by a lot of buyers.
- Clean cabinet faces. Make them shine!
- Remove all clutter and unnecessary items from countertops and clean all countertops and backsplashes thoroughly.
- Clean vinyl or ceramic floor.
- If you have ceramic tile elsewhere in the kitchen, pay particular attention to the grout--make sure that it's clean. If it is discolored, there are "grout whitening" products that are available.
Remove all clutter. If you don't need it, store it or pitch it!
Arrange or remove furniture to maintain good traffic flow through rooms. Remember, there may be three or four people in each group that walk through your house.
Make sure all bulbs are working and have the highest wattage available and safe for each fixture. Brighter is better!
Clean all ceramic tile. Check the grout for cleanliness and deterioration.
If faucets drip, fix them.
Thoroughly clean sinks and tubs. If rust spots are on the porcelain, attempt to remove them.
Remove any evidence of mildew from the shower and bathtub. Products are available that spray on and quickly kill the mildew.
If the basement is damp or musty, consider a dehumidifier.
Give prospective buyers room to move around. Clutter...well, you know the drill!
Remove all junk: broken tools, old car parts, toys from the 1960's, etc.
If floor has oil marks, clean it (cleaning solutions are available at most home improvement stores and work with a normal garden hose).
Replace the furnace filter.
Your house has been checked, inspected, and cleaned from top to bottom. You have priced it at what you feel is a fair price. The marketing and advertising program is in full swing. Now it is time to put all of the preparation into action: showings! All of the work that you have done up to this point will only have an effect when a buyer walks into your house for the first time.
Showing Your House To Maximum Advantage
Give all family members assigned jobs in advance that will go into action when a short-notice showing is scheduled. Everyone must know their duties and carry them out, so that you don't end up banging into one another trying to get everything done quickly.
Buy Sell and Rent Real Estate in CANADA
Century21 Elite Estates Limited (Brokerage)
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