Preparing to Show Your House
Once you decide to put your house on the market, you will usually only have one chance to impress potential buyers. Before putting your house on the market, it's a good idea to take a closer look at its condition, and then prepare your house for showing. You may find yourself with a faster sale and a higher offer than might otherwise be expected.
Start with the Basics
- Start by eliminating any clutter. Put away small kitchen appliances and other items that are sitting out or on tables. Remove photographs from every location other than the walls. Organize every closet.
- The first thing buyers notice is the smell. Kill any offensive odors. Most houses have a specific smell, so if you don't smell yours, ask a friend or neighbor to give you an idea of what it smells like. It's a good idea to have extra room fresheners around, just in case you need to quickly refresh a room.
- Everything from floors to windows must be spotless. Remember to clean the oven and other major appliances. Skylights should be crystal-clear, too. Clean the oven and all major appliances. Floors and windows should be spotless. If you have skylights, those should be clear as well.
- Buyers often comment if gutters are full of leaves so clean the drain gutters. You don't want them questioning other maintenance issues based on something as simple as this.
- Organize the garage, shed, or any outdoor location. Leave the yard clutter free so it doesn't look messy.
- Spruce up your front entry. This is the first look the buyer really has at your home so you want them to find it attractive. If needed, paint or buy a new door.
Tips for Vacant Homes
- Vacant homes often greet agents and home buyers with a blast of stale or mildew-laden air. As soon as buyers smell mildew, they are out the door. Deal with the mildew before you list the house.
- During cold months, sometimes the interior of an empty house feels even colder than the outside. Be sure to leave the heat or air conditioning running while your house is on the market. This will make the house more inviting as well as reduce odors.
- Also be sure to deal with mildew or stale air so that it doesn't greet the buyers when they arrive. If possible, visit or have someone visit occasionally to air out rooms, etc.
- And even if you have to hire someone, make sure to keep the lawn and landscaping tidy.
Do what you can to help the buyer envision the house at its best.