For Sale by Owner News and Articles
Before The Showing: A Few Tips for Turning 'Maybe' to 'Yes'
- Clean behind your appliances, removing dust bunnies.
- Clean your carpets, either yourself or professionally, if you're willing to assume the expense.
- Dust and/or clean your light fixtures.
- Clean your windows and window coverings.
- Wash baseboards and walls and touch up scuffs with extra paint.
- Clean your furniture.
- Clean your closets. Unless you bolt them shut, those prospective buyers will open every door. And besides, you want those closets to be inspected; extra storage space is what helps sell your home.
- Clean your kitchen pantry and any cabinet space. Buyers and Realtors open those doors, too.
- Dust and vacuum your home thoroughly before each showing.
- Purchase soap scum and mildew removers for your bathrooms, and use them liberally to help your bathrooms shine. Don't clean them right before a showing, however; you don't want your prospective buyers to be overwhelmed by chemical odors. Put an air freshener in a discreet place in each bathroom, and add a decorative element to each vanity. If you don't have presentable towels to drape over the rods in your bathrooms, purchase some inexpensive but coordinating hand towels.
- Clear as much clutter as you can from every counter surface; for example, in the bathroom, remove personal items (toothbrushes, combs and grooming supplies, all of which are turn-offs) from vanities. Store appliances you typically keep out on the kitchen counter. De-cluttering creates the illusion of more space (i.e., more counter space).
- If you have excess furniture in any room, either sell it or store it. Your goal should be to create as much open space as possible, throughout every room in your house.
- If you'd painted your walls in an "experimental" color (deep burgundy, for example), paint them white or neutral. Those two shades not only open up rooms and make them appear larger; they also appeal to prospective buyers for their versatility.
- Open up drapes and blinds to invite natural light into your home. If a room tends to be dark, purchase light bulbs with brighter wattage (not too bright, however).
I can't help but wonder if that seller whose unkempt townhome I viewed ever received an offer. It's as true in real estate as it is in any other facet of life: Humans make instant judgments. The impression a home makes in the first few seconds after a prospective buyer's entry will determine the likelihood of an offer.
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