Dear Claire: What Should I Do Before Buyers View My Property?
Mastering the Art of Preparing Your Home for Showings: A Seller’s Guide
Today on Dear Claire, we talk about how to prepare your house to sell.
What do I do right before a buyers coming to look at my house? You’re a seller, we finally got you a couple of showings scheduled, and what happens next? First off, you’re going to have a lockbox on your property, which holds your house key. That lockbox is going to allow that buyer’s agent to access your property. If you’re still living at the house, we will have arranged a showing time, ideally.
Let’s say it’s Tuesday at three o’clock, the buyers and the buyer’s agent will show up to your property, they’ll access it from that lockbox will have a key inside, they’ll open the door they’ll check it out. They usually spend, if they really love the property, 45 minutes there. Most showings are going to be between 15 and 30 minutes, and it might not have anything to do with your particular property. It might be the first house the buyer seen so they have no concept of what’s in the market right now. Or it might be, they’re simply looking for a bigger bedroom, and this one isn’t big enough. There are all kinds of specific things that a buyer is looking for, so don’t take it personally if they’re not in house for very long. You need to be out of the house, because buyers cannot visually picture themselves in the property unless you’re gone. That also means all of your personal photos, like that adorable picture of your dog, or that great picture of the kids on grandpa’s lap, should be taken down. I know it’s not fun, and it’s a little frustrating, but you’re going to be packing because you’re moving any way. You’re just doing an early packing to clear that all out. Then the buyers can actually picture themselves in the house, which can be a huge benefit to selling your house quickly.
You’re also going to want to de-clutter the house. Most people live in a kitchen with a bunch of appliances on the countertops, because it’s way more convenient than pulling the stuff out of the pantry every day to make your protein shake in the morning, etc. Put all of that stuff away. I don’t care if it has to be in the basement boxed up, or if it needs to be in the pantry and you have to pull it out every day when you use it. As much as possible create space and just clean surfaces for the buyer’s eyes to settle on. Lots of stuff in a room, or lots of stuff on surfaces, distracts the eye and makes them not really be able to see what house actually looks like. Next clean it – and I mean clean it. Clean that fan how it has a bunch of crap on it from swirling around. Exhaust fans in bathroom, baseboards, etc. All of those tiny little details make a difference and it makes the house feel better taken care of. It makes it appear just more beautiful and at the end of the day is what the buyer is looking for.
Do whatever what else you think would make the house look/feel better. Some people might throw some cookies in the oven, you might light a candle, or use a Glad plugin, but I don’t really recommend that since because a lot of buyers are sensitive to smell and that can actually work in the opposite direction of what you were hoping for. Just keep it clean on a regular. Turn on all the lights, as you want it to be bright and beautiful in there. Sometimes I’ve seen people leave a radio on but that can be a little spooky because you’re not sure if people are in the house. However, if you’re trying to mask some noise, like freeway noise for instance, you might consider doing that.
Lights on, smells out, you’re out, kids out, dogs out, and keep it clean, clean, clean. Those details make a big difference.
As always feel free to follow up with any question. I’m happy to sit down and talk about your particular property. I hope you’re enjoying this cooler nesting weather and have a wonderful next week. Take care
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