Preparing Your Home for a Showing

EXTERIOR

A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION IS CRITICAL

1.      Keep the lawn clean and edged. Weed and cultivate flower gardens. Trim shrubs and eliminate dead trees or branches. Pick up debris, toys and lawn equipment.

2.      Repair any fences and gates. Give them a fresh coat of paint if necessary.

3.      Is the exterior well painted; are the roof gutters and down spouts in good repair?

4.      Wash down driveways and sidewalks and remove oil stain. Check them for cracking and crumbling.

5.      Replace any cracked windows and torn screens.

6.      The entrance should be clean and in good repair. The doorbell and front light must be in good working order.

INTERIOR

Start with a full housecleaning from top to bottom. Discard unused and unnecessary items in storage areas and closets.

1.      Walls should be clean and free of smudges, fingerprints and dents. Consider a fresh coat of paint if a good washing doesnít do the trick. Inspect woodwork and wallpaper for problem areas.

2.      Arrange or remove furniture to make each appear more spacious and attractive. If a piece of furniture is badly worn, store it temporarily in the attic or at a neighborís.

3.      Wash windows and sills until sparkling clean. Curtains and drapes should be freshly laundered.

4.      Shampoo rugs and carpets and wax floors.

5.      Repair loose doorknobs and sticking doors.

6.      Fix leaky Faucets and eliminate discoloration in sinks.

7.      Tighten loose stair banisters and be sure the steps are free of objects.

8.      Clean out closets to display their roominess. Be sure clothes are hung neatly and shoes and other objects are tidily arranged.

9.      Light fixtures should be in good repair. Replace discolored or cracked switch plates.

10.  Bathrooms should be sparkling clean. Repair calking in tubs and showers.

11.  Bedrooms should appear neat with attractive spreads and curtains.

12.  Clean and organize the basements, attic and garage.

DONíT OVER-IMPROVE

MANY families tend to learn to live with a broken door-knob and a cracked window. All those little things should be fixed because no prospective buyer wants to do those things you have let stack up.

Use caution in planning major improvements that you think will enable you to get more for your house than you paid for. Of course an investment where it is obviously needed will be well worth the cost. The same is true with carpeting that is shabby enough to be a turnoff.

Most people shopping for a house would rather plan their own major changes. Be wise and sell them the potential at a price they can afford.

SHOWING THE HOUSE

1.      The television and radio should be turned off. Let the salesperson and buyer talk free of disturbances.

2.      During showing send children and pets outdoors to play. This will eliminate confusion and keep the prospects attention focused on your house.

3.      Leave drapes open for natural light. If it is evening, all lights should be turned on to give the rooms a larger appearance and a cheerful effect.

4.      Be sure the kitchen sink is free of dishes and rooms are uncluttered.

5.      Potential buyers want to inspect your house, not pay a social call.

6.      Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all it has been lived in. Let the trained salesperson handle any objections.

7.      The salesperson knows the buyers requirements and can better explain the features of your home. Donít tag along. You will be called if needed.

8.      Let the realtor discuss price, terms possession and other factors with customer. Your Realtor is better qualified to bring negations to a favorable conclusion.

9.      Your Realtor is an experienced professional who will be able to view your home objectively and make suggestions that will improve the appearance of your home and its sale ability.