Planned open houses & Agent showing appointments will allow you time to prepare. But oftentimes, the window of opportunity to expose your property to a motivated buyer can be small. So every time you leave your home, make sure it is ready for an unexpected showing. Here are some quick and easy tips to get your home “show ready” on a last minute appointment. Let’s start with the general preparation. When preparing your home, think about the techniques used to show builders model homes or what you might do to prepare for honored guests. Create as light, cheerful and serene an environment as possible. Make sure to open drapes and light lamps including those in closets, basement or attic. It is best if all lights throughout the whole house are turned on. Add a welcoming touch by filling candy dishes and putting out fresh flowers.
In the bedrooms make beds, put clothes and toys away, keep decorator pillows orderly. Try to make each room as least personal as possible so potential buyers are focused on your home not who lives in the home. In the bathrooms put out a clean hand towel, fresh soap and soap dish. Always make sure you put commode lid down, ensure tissue supply is adequate and I hate that I even have to remind some people of this but please make sure the commode is flushed. Unfortunately I have been to many showings where the commode was not flushed. Nobody needs to see that. Also a “Potpourri” dish or candles can provide a nice sight and scent.
Now let’s move to the kitchen and living areas. In the kitchen put away last minute dishes and conceal countertop articles. Wipe down all counters and cabinets. Also a fun fact; simmer a few drops of vanilla on the stove for a pretty scent and nice shine. In the dining room arrange inviting centerpiece. Consider setting the table with fine china and linen, almost like your home has been staged. If you have one, light the chandelier. Now in the living room/family room/den etc straighten pictures on walls. Adjust couch cushions and throw pillows. Dispose of newspapers and drink containers, and polish tabletops. Put away all extra nonsense. Lastly, lighting a fire in the fireplace adds a very welcoming, cozy feel to the house.
Now, when all is done and finished, and you’re leaving your home just before buyers arrive, turn around at the front door and see what the prospects first impression will be. What is the first thing you notice from that vantage point? Is it an asset? Doing this can help you see what others see when they first enter your home and you can fix or change anything you don’t like from that view. Also notify your neighbors of scheduled open house days, and assure them they’ll be welcome. Their eagerness to discover decorating ideas for their own homes may actually result in them turning up a buyer among their friends.
I hope with this list of helpful tips to get your home “show ready” you will have no problem the next time an unexpected Agent wants to show your home!
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900