Three Things to Do to Make Showings More Effective When Selling Your Home

I had a boss for about eight years who had a favorite saying,  “the proof is in the pudding.”   Her favorite time to say it was after we had exhausted all the possible outcomes for a taking a particular tactic in our daily operations.   She always liked to remind us that no matter how much talking we did, the end results would speak for themselves.  The statement is very applicable to the real estate business when selling your home.  You can plan and scheme all you want, but in the end if you house has not sold, you did not make good pudding.  The pudding was bad!   

With this in mind, you have to take the necessary steps to make sure you sell your home.  One step is making the showing experience as pleasant as possible for your potential buyers .   Like with everything else in life, presentation means everything and showings present your home to buyers.    Buyers like to be feel appreciated as much as any customer.  Buying a house for most people is how they feel about the property more than the logistics of the property.  A house could check off every item on a buyer’s list, but if that buyer does not feel the house is home, then they won’t be interested in buying it.     Realtors will be there to sell your house for you, but it is a team effort to continue to make the home as presentable as possible.  Here are three things you can do to make showings more effective when selling your home. 

1.  Clean up the Clutter– Clutter around a house does not sell a house.  It always amazes me when I show a house to a buyer who can’t seem to get over how much clutter is in the house.  Even the most experience home buyers have a difficult time seeing through clutter to the potential of the house.   One of the worst aspects of selling a home to most people is having to keep their homes looking like model homes.   You never know when a buyer might have time to stop by the home so you have to keep the clothes off the floor, dishes out of the sick and all the beds made.  You have to be diligent and do this all the time, every singe day.  You don’t want to get lazy one day and have the buyer who will buy your house pass on it because you didn’t clean the clutter that day.  It helps to have a routine in place so you do the same chorus every day.  For those quick showings, you might have a laundry basket handy to quickly scoop up the clutter and place it in your garage.  Buyers are lot more forgiving of clutter in the garage.    If you are moving, do not leave the packed boxes in the various rooms.   This makes the rooms look smaller and the buyers won’t be able to visualize how it would look with their stuff in the room.    

2.  Eliminate all odors – One would think that this is something you would not have to explicitly tell people, but I go into homes all the time that have odors that are mind numbing, asthma inducing, bad!   There is a reason that realtors tell people to bake cookies right before a showing.  Pleasant odors put people in a great pleasant frame of mind. Pleasant people will come away from the house feeling good about the home.  If you are not a baker, try getting some odor enhancers from the store.  Be warned though that one odor can be attractive to you, but a disaster for others.  Please make sure to pick out the milder of the odors that will not chase people away coughing and wheezing.     What bad odors do you need to avoid?  All of them would be my answer.  We tend to get used to odors in our own home so it might be best to ask your realtor to give you a honest appraisal of the different smells around the house.   The three odors that have put buyers off  are common every day ones to you so the realtor can tell you if have a ominous one in your house.  Cigarette smoke can invade all parts of your house including the paint in the walls.  If you don’t do anything to eliminate this odor, then many buyers will just be overwhelmed by it and can’t get past it to see the house for what it is.  Pet odors are the same way as does moldy odors from stained carpets and other wet features like ceilings.   There are plenty of ways to eliminate odors in the house.  I would just go to google and see what tips you can find.   

3.  Make it easy for buyers to your home as their home – Buyers also don’t like to work at seeing the home as their own.  They want to be able to walk into a home and instantly know that the Kitchen and Master Bedroom are the right fits for them.   One way to make this more difficult for the buyer is by leaving personal items in place around the house.   Personal photos and signs should be taken down and replaced with something more generic from a local retail store.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your house more presentable to the buyers coming into the house.   If you do leave personal items on the walls, most buyers will spend most of the time trying to figure out who you are and how your reached this moment in your life.   Buyers will see it as a challenge to figure you out.   You want them to be focused on the home and not you.    Theft is another good reason to take down personal items.  Some people coming into your home will not hesitate to take things so why even give them the temptation, just take it down and put it away. Finally, if you really want to increase your chances of a buyer seeing a home as their own, hire a professional stager.  These experts will be able to arrange your furniture (or rent some to you) that will give you the best possible layout to sell your home.  Studies have shown that staging a house will sell it up to 90 times faster.   

When selling your home, you really need to work at it.  The realtor is there to assist you but when it comes to presenting your home to sell, the daily work falls to you.   You can increase your chances of selling your home by cleaning up clutter on a daily basis.  You need to work with your Realtor to eliminate any strong odors.  You can also work at staging your home to help the buyers see your home as their own.