Showing the House
Your house should always be
available for show, even though it may occasionally be inconvenient for
you. Let your listing agent put a lock box in a convenient place, to
make it easy for other agents to show your home to homebuyers.
Otherwise, agents will have to schedule appointments, which is an
inconvenience. Most will just skip your home to show the house of
someone else who is more cooperative.
Most agents will call and give you at least a couple of hours notice
before showing your property. If you refuse to let them show it at that
time, they will just skip your house. Even if they come back another
time, it will probably be with different buyers and you may have just
lost a chance to sell your home. Try Not to be Home
Getting the House Ready to
De-Personalize the Property
The reason you want to "de-personalize" your home is because
you want buyers to view it as their potential home. When a potential
homebuyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own
brand on the home and momentarily shatters their illusions about owning
the house. Therefore, put away family photos, sports trophies,
collectible items, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. Put them in a box. Rent
a storage area for a few months and put the box in the storage unit.
Un-cluttering the House
This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are
emotionally attached to everything in the house.
Plumbing and Fixtures
All your sink fixtures should look shiny and new. If this cannot be
accomplished by cleaning, buy new ones where needed.
Ceilings, Walls and Painting
Check all the ceilings and walls for water stains. Sometimes old leaks
leave stains, even after you have repaired the leak. Of course, if you
do have a leak, you will have to get it repaired, whether it is a
plumbing problem or the roof leaks.
Carpet and Flooring
Unless your carpet appears old and worn, or it is definitely an outdated
style or color, you probably should do nothing more than hire a good
carpet cleaner. If you do choose to replace it, do so with something
inexpensive in a fairly neutral color.
Windows and Doors
Check all of your windows to make sure they open and close easily. If
not, a spray of WD40 often helps. Make sure there are no cracked or
broken windowpanes. If there are, replace them before you begin showing
Odor Control, Pets and Tobacco are main ones
For those who smoke, you might want to minimize smoking indoors while
trying to sell your home. You could also purchase an ozone spray that
helps to remove odors without creating a masking odor.
Costs of Repairs
Do not do anything expensive, such as remodeling.
The Exterior of the House
Most real estate advice tells you to work on the outside of the house
first, but unless there is a major project involved, we believe it is
best to do it last.
Is your landscaping at least average for the neighborhood? If it is not,
buy a few bushes and plant them. Do not put in trees. Mature trees are
expensive, and you will not get back your investment. Also, immature
trees do not really add much to the appearance value of the home.
The big decision is whether to paint or not to paint. When you look at
your house from across the street, does it look tired and faded? If so,
a paint job may be in order. It is often a very good investment and
really spruces up the appearance of a house, adding dollars to offers
from potential homebuyers.
The Back Yard
The back yard should be tidy. If you have a pool or spa, keep it freshly
maintained and constantly cleaned. For those that have dogs, be sure to
constantly keep the area clear of "debris."
The Front Door & Entryway
The front door should be especially sharp, since it is the entryway into
the house. Polish the door fixture so it gleams. If the door needs
refinishing or repainting, make sure to get that done.