Showing the House to Potential Home Buyers
Showing your house to potential buyers is a process. Buyers should have been pre-qualified by their Buyer's Agents before they tour your home. Their Agent should have checked their ability to purchase your home, whether through a lender or for cash. They then ask many questions, winnowing down the list of available homes to a select few that meet the buyers criteria. And once your home makes it on to this list, we want to be able to present it to the best of our ability as the home of their dreams. Your house should always be available for show, even though it may occasionally be inconvenient for you. The use of a lockbox is recommended, (see the article on Lockboxes for a full explanation on how they work) to allow the agents to show your property at the buyer's convenience. If this is not possible, homes can be shown on an appointment basis, but this does limit who will view the property. 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 may just skip your house. Even if they come back another time, it may be with different buyers and you may have just lost a chance to sell your home.
As a seller, your top priority is to have your home in tip-top shape for viewing. Be sure it is clean and tidy, with no unsightly debris in the kitchen or laundry room. Pretend you are a home buyer, what would you like to see when you walk into your home? Wipe out the sinks & bathtubs, make sure the kitchen counters are clear and clean. Splash a bit of bleach or pine cleaner down the sinks, it adds a fresh clean smell to the bathroom and kitchen.
A neat trick some home owners use, is to bake fresh cookies before an appointment. It will liven your home with the smell of comfort and is easy to do with ready to bake cookie dough available at the store. Do not have competing freshener smells withing the home, stick to one brand and odor if you use them, and make it only a couple at best. Too many and a buyer will wonder what you are covering up!
If you have pets in your home, be sure to secure them in a safe place like a kennel for the showing. Or better yet if you are home at the time, take them for a ride in the car or a walk at the park. (mind the hot day though, do not leave them in the car! Pets can die in a very short time on what may seem like a cool day in a car. Never leave them in a car, always keep them by your side) Home selling is stressful for them too, and a home shows much better without the barking protests of the family pet interrupting the presentation. After the Agent and her clients leave, be sure to let Carolyn know who was showing your property (if they do not use the lockbox) The Agent will leave his or her card for your reference. Carolyn or one of the Team will be contacting the Realtor for some feedback on the showing.