You've prepared your home, I've marketed it to prospective buyers, and we have some people ready to take a look. Here's how to make the most of that moment:
- Be ready: Buyers request showings on as little as a few hours' notice, so it's important to stay on top of your cleaning and clutter-purging.
- Be somewhere else: It's almost never a good idea for the seller to be present when the buyer is looking through a home. The buyer will feel uncomfortable and inhibited, which makes them less likely to make an offer. You'll be uncomfortable, too, as these strangers come in and "judge" your home. The seller's disclosure and factsheet will answer the vast majority of buyer questions; I will make notes of any additional questions for you to answer later.
- Be patient: It can take a while for a buyer to look at your home - and it's a good sign when a buyer invests a lot of time in the process. It also can take two or more visits before even the most interested buyer makes an offer.
Some weekends, the signs seem to be everywhere: Open House Sunday, 2-5 p.m. With so many open houses, they must be a great way to sell homes, right?
Not necessarily. Open houses do have some advantages for sellers: They draw attention to your home and show it to many people at once in a more informal atmosphere.
However, only a small percentage of buyers actually find their homes through open houses. We'll take a look at your home's advantages and location, and determine whether an open house is a good way to market your home.
I call you on a Tuesday morning and tell you I have a very interested prospective buyer who wants to come by that afternoon. What do you do? As much of the following as you can:
- Tell your spouse we have a showing so he or she can stay away from the home.
- If you have kids, arrange for them to be elsewhere after school.
- Make beds.
- Do dishes and put away.
- Clean kitchen sink and de-clutter countertops.
- Wipe down all kitchen counters and appliances.
- Remove excess decoration/magnets from refrigerator.
- Sweep kitchen floor.
- Pick up clutter throughout house.
- Do a speed-cleaning pass through the home: Dust, knock down any cobwebs, wipe down doorknobs and switchplates.
- Leave all bedroom and bathroom doors open.
- Take out trash.
- Clean bathrooms.
- Make sure closets and garage are tidy.
- Air out home.
- Make sure home is a comfortable temperature.
- Tidy desks and make sure papers are put away (especially personal/confidential papers).
- Put away jewelry and accessories out of sight.
- Vacuum carpets, sweep floors.
- Turn on interior lighting.
- Sweep porch and turn on porch light.
- Secure pets.
- Make sure newspaper and mail have been brought in.
- Leave home fact-sheet in prominent place (kitchen or entryway table).
- Find something fun to do during the showing.