One of the difficult things about selling your home is opening it up to strangers. To minimize the impact on you, we’ll discuss appropriate showing times. That being said, access to your house is very important. Buyers have busy schedules and they want to be able to see your house at their convenience, so if you have a lot of children and/or pets, and you’re finding it hard to deal with the intrusions while keeping your home in perfect showing condition, you might want to consider taking a vacation or staying with friends during the listing period.
Obviously, I’ll try to limit the listing period to make things as easy as possible for you. Another way we do this is to offer other agents a chance to preview your home all at once, in a special Agents Open House that will be held before your home is open to the general public. Letting agents ‘vet’ your home first means those who return with their clients already think well of it.
During the listing period, your house should be ready to show at all times – meaning clean and clutter-free. And, those last minute touches before someone comes to look at your home can make all the difference:
- Turn on all the lights even during the day, and open all the drapes and blinds.
- Turn off the TV and play some classical or easy listening music
- If you can, ask friends to look after your pets or remove them for showings. Some people may be allergic, others may be afraid of all kinds of animals.
- You may have gotten used to cigarette smoke, pet odours or food odours over time; others walking into your home, haven’t! Smell is very important and odours should be aired out with fabrics and surfaces cleaned, not just sprayed.
- Leave windows and mirrors sparkling.
- Set out fresh flowers, hang decorative towels in the bathroom, and make sure couch cushions are straightened
- If possible, leave! Some buyers are uncomfortable when the owner is in the house. In their hurry to get away, they may miss important features, or fail to ask important questions. They want to be able to talk freely about what they don’t like and what they might want to change, or even if they love your home, either way they won’t want to say these things in front of you. If you must remain, be courteous, but try to stay in another part of the house and do not make conversation. The buyer’s Realtor knows what the buyer is looking for. He or she can discuss features and answer questions.