A Dozen Ways To Make A Great First Impression…
Ever notice how little things can make a big difference? This holds especially true when your home is on the market, competing against other properties for those coveted buyers.
Paying careful attention to the details can actually put dollars back into your pockets! In previous articles, I’ve shared (1) the financial merits of staging and (2) my favorite value-conscientious ways to refresh your home’s finishes *before* putting it on the market.
So let’s fast forward…
Imagine for a moment that you’re my client. Your home is refreshed, staged to perfection and it’s actively listed for sale. I’ve just called to share the good news that Glenn would like to show your home at 11:00am this Saturday. Yay! It fits your schedule, so we’re all confirmed for the appointment.
Understandably, you might be a little nervous, wanting to be sure your home shows beautifully. Rest easy, using my time-proven suggestions:
(3) first and foremost, please plan to be somewhere else during the showing. (Ouch.) Many sellers don’t realize how incredibly awkward it is for buyers, when they tour a home with the owner anywhere around. It makes this agent nervous, too. Did you know the other side of our negotiation would love to engage you in casual conversation, quite possibly to determine your selling motivation for their advantage (remember: loose lips sink ships!). Why not use showing times to run a few errands or simply enjoy a little recreation. Leave at least 30 minutes early and plan to return at least 30 minutes late, as buyers or their agents may not be running on schedule that day.
(4) but how will the buyer know all of the wonderful features of your home, if you aren’t there to tell them? Simply set out the gorgeous marketing materials and high-quality brochures I’ve given you! Buyers love to take a copy as they go, to remind them of the unique qualities of your home. These materials are helpful talking points when discussing their options with their agent, loved ones and friends after the showing. Let me know if you ever run low, I’ll bring more right away!
(5) buy a new doormat and freshly paint the front door. It’s amazing simple, but what a wonderful difference it can make!
(6) have a pet plan. Lower the stress for your pets and the buyers, by not having them meet. I know it isn’t easy, but it really makes a difference. (My yellow lab would have agreed with me on this one and the grandkittens, too!)
(7) avoid cooking before a showing. Our sense of smell can be a powerful thing. Try to air out the house whenever possible and avoid flowery scented candles. One person’s “yummy” is another person’s “yucky.” Neutral scents work best and I’ve found that Pureayre is pretty remarkable for deodorizing!
(8) clean, clean, clean, clean, clean. We’re talking Q-Tip clean. And yes, they will look in there. Believe me.
(9) cut the grass, weed, trim bushes, rake the leaves and sweep the walkways. Add colorful flowers in pots when possible. Curb appeal sets an important first impression about the overall care and condition of your home.
(10) turn interior lights on… all of them. Shades up, curtains open. Light, bright and airy, that’s what buyers are seeking.
(11) set the mood. One client of mine wisely takes advantage of their surround sound system, showcasing it by playing light jazz music during showings. They also put up the umbrella, to draw attention to the pool area. It almost looks like they stepped away to take a phone call during the showing. Buyers notice these special touches, however and wherever they may apply in your home.
(12) know when you should expect to learn the buyer’s remarks. You’ve worked hard and you’re anxious to know what they thought. Will there be an offer or should we just say “next” and move on? It can take time for me to track down that buyer’s agent to get their feedback. Reduce the stress by managing expectations ahead of time.
Next time your home has a showing coming up, we’ll take these ideas under consideration and put on a GREAT showing!
Tammy Thrift, Realtor
Serving Your Real Estate Needs, From Colonial Williamsburg To The Chesapeake Bay!
Actively licensed with Long & Foster in the Commonwealth of Virginia (USA)