The following Tips assume you are working with
a Real Estate Agent,
or that the potential Buyers are
represented by a Real Estate Agent.
The principals are the same if
you are selling it yourself.
House To Potential Buyers
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.
You Should Not Be Home
Homebuyers will feel like intruders if you are home when they visit,
and they might not be as receptive toward viewing your home. Visit the
local coffee house, yogurt shop, or take the kids to the local park.
If you absolutely cannot leave, try to remain in an out of the way area
of the house and do not move from room to room. Do not volunteer any
information, but answer any questions the agent may ask.
Lighting, Fragrances, Pet Control and MoreLighting
When you know someone is coming by to tour your home, turn on all the
indoor and outdoor lights – even during the day. At night, a lit
house gives a "homey" impression when viewed from the street.
During the daytime, turning on the lights prevents harsh shadows from
sunlight and it brightens up any dim areas. Your house looks more homey
and cheerful with the lights on.
Do not use scented sprays to prepare for visitors. It is too obvious
and many people find the smells of those sprays offensive, not to mention
that some may be allergic. If you want to have a pleasant aroma in your
house, have a potpourri pot or something natural. Or turn on a stove
burner for a moment and put a drop of vanilla extract on it. It will
smell like you have been cooking.
If you have pets, make sure your listing agent puts a notice with your
listing in the multiple listing service. The last thing you want is
to have your pet running out the front door and getting lost. If you
know someone is coming, it would be best to try to take the pets with
you while the homebuyers tour your home. If you cannot do that, It is
best to keep dogs in a penned area in the back yard. Try to keep indoor
cats in a specific room when you expect visitors, and put a sign on
the door. Most of the time, an indoor cat will hide when buyers come
to view your property, but they may panic and try to escape.
The Kitchen Trash
Especially if your kitchen trash can does not have a lid, make sure
you empty it every time someone comes to look at your home – even
if your trash can is kept under the kitchen sink. Remember that you
want to send a positive image about every aspect of your home. Kitchen
trash does not send a positive message. You may go through more plastic
bags than usual, but it will be worth it.