A large part of selling your home is having it look great when it's shown to prospective buyers. But, what do you do when an agent calls to say they have a buyer and will be dropping by in a few minutes?
There may be times when an agent will stop by on short notice. To prepare for this have a plan for quick pick-ups. Assign each member of the family a room to tidy. Also, decide ahead of time where you will go to allow the agent and buyer some time alone in your home. The park, library, grocery store or long walk are all good options.
•Brighten It Up
Turn on all the lights, open curtains and blinds to let in the natural light. Rooms look larger and more appealing when they’re bright. Opening window curtains also allows the potential buyer to see the outside views from the inside.
Avoid having dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter. While selling your home, consider using paper plates. This will allow you to clean up quickly. If a showing should happen around dinner time, quickly wipe down counters and shine faucets. Everyone likes a sparkling kitchen!
Throw dirty laundry in the washing machine to hide messy piles. Put clean laundry in a basket and move it into a closet to get it out of the way.
If your children have toys all over the house, invest in under the bed drawers. When you’re in a hurry, toys can be put out-of-sight quickly. Under the bed drawers will also work for books, dirty socks or whatever else is lying around the house during a last minute pick-up. Bikes, in-line skates, scooters and skateboards should be made as inconspicuous as possible.
Be certain to remove valuables such as jewelry and other items from view. It might be wise to put these items in a safe deposit box before listing your home.
•Conceal the Critters
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog or cat lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It may give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. Take pets outdoors when your home is being shown. If your realtor is planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day or take them with you when you’re away for the day.
•Sounds and Smells
Keep TVs, radios, and stereos off with the exception of the low sounds of soft music playing in the background. Spray air freshener to eliminate musty, unpleasant pet or cooking odors. The soft sounds of music and a great smelling house will relax the potential buyer.
•Make a “Run-through”
At the last minute, make a dash through your house to ensure nothing is left out that shouldn't be. Make sure your home is in the best possible shape. Also, make sure your garage door is closed.
•When Your Home is Being Shown
Avoid having too many people present during the buyer's visit. The potential buyer will feel like an intruder and will hurry through the house. Be courteous but don’t force conversation with potential buyers. They want to inspect your house, not pay a social call. Let the Realtor® show your house and don’t tag along. The agent knows the buyers’ requirements and can better emphasize the features of your home when you don’t tag along. You will be called, if needed. Let the Realtor® discuss the price, terms, possession and other factors with the buyers. The Realtor® is qualified to bring negotiations to a favorable conclusion. Don’t mention furniture or furnishings you may want to sell unless asked. Trying to dispose of such items to a potential buyer before they have written an offer to purchase your house, may lose the sale.