#1. Make sure first impressions count
First impressions are vital when opening up your home for viewings. What buyers see from the moment they first set eyes on your property will have an impact on their overall impression, so it’s vital to make first impressions count from the moment they enter the street.
Tidying up the garden and attending to any external repairs are essential tasks; for the best results don’t be afraid of investing in some flowers, shrubbery and landscaping to really capture the imagination of visitors.
#2. Make the best use of light
A dark home can be extremely off-putting to people who are viewing your property for the first time. Harnessing natural light wherever possible will make your rooms feel more spacious and alive, so remove unnecessary blinds, drapes and curtains where possible and replace dark window dressings with lighter versions to allow light to flow freely into the home.
The careful and considered use of floor and spot lamps can make rooms look bigger and fresher, but be careful to choose lights of at least 100 watts, as dim lighting can have the opposite effect.
An effective strategy is to Leave The Lights On
We want to showcase your home at its best, so we will ensure that the lights are on when you leave the house. Everybody wants to live in a bright space and nobody wants to fumble in an unknown room for a light switch.
#3. Leave the House
Despite how tempting it is to want to “help” your sale by being home while Buyers tour your property, it’s actually really uncomfortable for the Buyers if you’re present. Nobody wants to see you making dinner, smell your clothes being laundered or have to awkwardly walk around your teenage son who’s napping on the couch.
Serious Buyers will want to explore: they’ll open closets and cabinets, check inside the kitchen appliances and lift your area rugs to check for scratches on your hardwood floor. They’ll want to take their time and not get distracted thinking about you.
The goal of every showing is to make the Buyer connect with your home and that starts with making it comfortable for them to explore. No connection = no offer.
Pro Tip: Trust us, you don’t really want to be home during a showing. Hearing people criticize your choice of paint colours and making plans to renovate the bathroom you renovated two years ago is just plain annoying.
So: make it a mission to discover all the coffee shops and parks in your neighbourhood or go to a movie.
#4. Clear the clutter
Buyers can be fickle creatures, and even some superficial clutter or mess can taint their view of your property. Remove anything that’s not required for daily living, and store it in an appropriate place.
Old magazines, books, bags, mail and anything that interferes with the look of your home should be stored out of view so that your buyers are free to visualise their own belongings in the property.
#5. Walk through your property
It’s always a good idea to walk through your property for an inspection from the point of view of potential buyers. Your real estate agent should work with you to ensure your property is clean, uncluttered and inviting.
Remove any items that make rooms appear smaller, but take care not to make your home look empty. Will your buyers be impressed by what they see? It’s important to be objective when conducting a walk-round. Remember, you are trying to appeal to the broadest range of tastes – not just your own.
#6. Keep your home versatile
If you have any particularly distinctive, niche items of furniture, it may be a good idea to replace them with something a little more neutral. Where you have very vivid, bright wall-coverings, consider something that will blend into the background.
#7. Utilise space effectively
Dark tones can actually make rooms appear smaller, so a quick lick of paint could pay dividends. Try to avoid the temptation of pushing furniture outwards and against walls. ‘Floating’ furniture centrally can actually make a room appear more spacious.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that large items of furniture are not blocking sight lines, and that floor rugs aren’t too big. If your rooms are particularly small, consider storing some of your furniture away until your property sells.
Remember Fewer interested Buyers = a lower selling price.
#8. Before Every Showing…
While your home is listed, it’s best to always leave things in top condition at all times! Before you leave, make sure to:
- Make the beds (yes, every day!)
- Clean up the kitchen – no dishes in the sink, items on the counter
- Tidy the bathroom – put away products, hang up towels, no clothes on the floor
- Take the garbage out
- Clean the litter box
- Sweep/vacuum/wash floors
- Put away cash and any valuables
- Leave all lights ON