How to Prepare Your Home for a Showing
Preparing your home before coordinating visits from potential buyers can really maximize returns and speed up the process of selling your home. A few tweaks can make a big difference in making a good impression on potential buyers.
First, go through every room in your home as a buyer would and consider what you could repair, clean, replace, or get rid of. You should focus on:
1. Smells: Make sure to get rid of persisting pet and food odors. After you neutralize or eliminate the smells try adding a nice aroma in the house. A good idea is to bake cookies before an open house to have a more inviting atmosphere. Just make sure not to burn them!
2. Trash Cans: Make sure that your trash cans are not overflowing. Also, if you have smaller trash cans place them around the entrances and common areas. Baking soda is a good neutralizer for bad odors for a quick fix.
3. Clutter: Get rid of objects that block passages and make your home look messy, especially on stairs, entrances, and cabinets. The goal is to highlight the advantages of your property, not to attract attention because it's messy, or dirty.
4. Paint: Neutral colors, like white, are best. This allows potential buyers to focus on the spaces of your home instead of the colors.
5. Personal Belongings: Remove family photos, artwork your children created, etc. from walls and appliances so that potential buyers can see themselves living in your home.
6. Lighting: Open the curtains and drapes to let in natural light. Add floor and table lamps, when possible, to soften the areas and make the house feel wider and more spacious.
7. Furniture: Remove bulky furniture. Large pieces make spaces seem smaller. Adding mirrors will help create a larger feel to the home.
8. Organization: Arranging the closets and investing in organizers will help you make these spaces appear spacious and comfortable. Also hide any valuable items that you own. You won’t know everyone who enters your home when showing it.
9. Bathrooms: Pay special attention to the bathrooms and try to create a clean, pleasant, and relaxing environment. Add scented candles, artificial plants, a set of white towels, bathmats, etc. Make sure that the toilet, sink, and shower space are clean and presentable.
10. Pets: A lot of people love pets, but pets may be more of a liability in the case of an open house. Pets might not like random people coming into your home and might attack. Or they might love them and jump on them. Ask your neighbors or a family member to take care of your pets for a couple of hours.
11. Prepare for Rain: Have doormats outside and a bucket for umbrellas in case of rain. Don’t pull out the bucket unless absolutely necessary. Have a couple of rags in case mud is tracked in.