Showing your home is essential in the real estate business. After all, who would purchase a property sight unseen? When a potential buyer stops in, here are 10 recommended tips to follow when showing your home:
Tip # 1: Welcome Your Buyers
If you are still living in the home while it's being shown, graciously greet your potential home buyers and invite them to look around. Make sure that you instruct them to take their time and to ask any questions that they may have. It is ideal if you leave the home for a showing time to allow the buyer to look without feeling restricted by your presence. A potential buyer is less likely to voice any concerns in front of the current owner, which is why it's better to leave your buyers with the agent and then return once the showing time is over. This should allow plenty of time for your potential buyer to speak candidly with their agent and really look over the home.
Tip # 2: Be Flexible
Many home buyers are on a tight schedule, whether it be work, school or other commitments. Time is tough to come by, so try to be flexible about allowing potential buyers to tour your home. If you are still living on the premises, it's especially important that you be ready for last-minute visits. This sometimes can mean showings that are after "business hours" and definitely on the weekend. The more flexible you are when allowing showings the more opportunity that the right buyer will get to view your home and make an offer.
Tip # 3: Climate Control
When a buyer comes into your home, they do not want to feel cold in the winter or overly stuffy in the summer. If you know that an real estate professional is bringing a potential buyer to tour the home, make sure that the temperature is comfortable. Otherwise, your buyer may not spend as much time in the home as necessary in order to form an accurate opinion. The last thing you want is a buyer who's in a hurry to leave.
Tip # 4: Quick Cleaning
If you have enough time before the buyer shows up, run the vacuum over the floors and make sure that any clutter is cleaned up. A clean home appears larger, while a cluttered one gives the appearance of being too small. If you really want to impress your potential buyers, place a plate of freshly baked cookies on the dining room table. When they walk into your home, they will be greeted by the wonderful smell. If you only have time to create that home baked cookie smell have a few scented candles to help entice the senses.
Tip # 5: Animal Control
If you have pets, remove them from the home temporarily or place them in a contained space, such as a kennel, exercise pen or carrier. This will allow buyers to tour the home without being distracted by a nervous animal which could result in a nervous buyer. In addition, it is best to remove all of of your beloved pets "things" from the viewing space, such as beds, toys and bowls.
Tip # 6: Light The Way
Your home should appear open and bright, even if it's a winter day, so open the curtains and turn on the lights throughout the home. Buyers will not likely be drawn to a dark, dimly-lit house. While we are turning on the lights don't forget the porch light so that they can see as they enter your beautiful home.
Tip # 7: Educate Your Buyers
When someone is looking for a home, they are looking for more than the perfect floor plan. If you have recently had the home appraised or inspected, place copies of each report on the dining room table. Purchasing a home is a big step, and buyers will be drawn to a home that has everything out on the table, so to speak.
Tip # 8: Communicate With Your REALTOR®
If you want certain aspects to be pointed out during the home tour, tell your REALTOR® what they are. For instance, good neighbors are a big plus to any home, but it's not something that potential home buyers will see simply by looking at the rooms in your house. If you have wonderful neighbors, ask your REALTOR® to point this out. If you live in a family-oriented neighborhood, let it be known. If you know of certain features that are special or original to your home make sure that your agent highlights them either in the description or with placards throughout the home.
Tip # 9: Curb Appeal
An important part of showing your home is making sure that the outside looks just as appealing as the inside. When a potential buyer drives up, you want them to be eager to see what else is in store for them. You can do this by paying close attention to your curb appeal. In addition to having a freshly cut lawn and properly maintained flower beds (if applicable), the outside of your home should be free of any clutter and any shrubs should be groomed. You would be surprised how a little effort and a few flowers will change the face of your home, creating an inviting appeal to the home.
Tip # 10: Ask For Feedback
Once the potential buyer has completed their tour, invite their feedback by placing comment cards in the home. The information provided could be potentially helpful during your next home showing, and it will make the potential buyer feel as though you value their opinion. I personally send the feedback directly to my sellers. This can give an idea of how your home is perceived and can give you insight on how to make it more appealing to potential buyers.