How to Rock A Short Notice Showing
First Impressions Matter - A Lot
Anyone that has sold a home before will tell you that it can be an intense and stressful experience. Strangers coming through and looking in your closets, judging your décor and housekeeping habits is an invasion of privacy. Not to mention that at times you will get those requests that fly in the face of that 24-hour notice you want.
Both as a Realtor and a former home seller myself believe me I feel your pain. With 4 active young boys and a dog, I am aware of the personal challenges families face to keep their homes ready to show when on the market. But when that short notice request from an out-of-towner pops up, it’s hard to take a pass because you know an eager buyer when you see one.
Because you get one shot at making an excellent first impression, I put together this list of quick, easy pre-showing tips for sellers. These tips have proven successful personally and for many of my clients over the years. Make your home shine and put a gleam in the eye of the most critical buyer by following my simple checklist.
√ Pick Up Clutter in Every Room
Get those size 12 Air Jordan’s off the floor and into the closet. Dirty laundry should go straight into the washer. Get the kiddos toys into the storage bin and don’t forget about newspapers and magazines. Any stray dishes or glasses hanging around should go directly to the dishwasher.
√ Make the Beds
If there is one thing that goes a long way towards pulling your bedroom together, it is a well-made bed. Be particular and smooth out the comforter or bedspread and don’t forget to fluff the decorator pillows and throw if you use one.
√ Tidy the Bathrooms
Put away any bottles or jars that are cluttering the countertop or bath area. Quick spray and clean the shower doors, mirror, vanity top, sink, and faucet. Pick up any used linens and put them in the washer. Straighten out the shower curtain and put out fresh towels on the bars. Last but not least, give the toilet a quick clean and don’t forget to put the seat and lid down.
√ Kitchen Tips
Make sure the counters are clutter free and sparkle from a wipe-down. Dirty dishes go in the dishwasher. The stovetop should be clean and the surface of the dishwasher and refrigerator. Clean the sink and make the faucet sparkle. Throw a stick of cinnamon or some cloves in a small pot of water and simmer on the stove while you complete the rest of your tasks.
√ Take Out the Trash
Remove all the garbage and empty all the wastebaskets. That will eliminate what can sometimes be the source of unpleasant odors. Which reminds me, don’t forget to clean the kitty commode and hide any bed dishes, beds and toys.
√ Dust and Sweep
Quickly pass a dust cloth over the furniture making the living room or family areas a priority if you are short on time. Get out the cordless floor sweeper or mop and run it over the hard surface flooring.
√ Vacuum Like a Pro
Bring out your inner “Maids are Us” when you vacuum your carpets and leave those professional lines that people seem to like. I recommend doing this last, so you don’t have to walk over the carpets once they get the fluff up treatment.
√ Let the Light Shine In
Pull up the shades and blinds. Draw the drapes and let in as much natural light as possible. A bright home is an excellent selling point. Excellent natural light exposure is a must-have for many buyers.
√ Set the Temperature
If it is winter set your thermostat a little warmer than usual and if it’s summer set it a few degrees cooler. In summer, if your air conditioner is noisy, lowering the temp about 5 degrees below the thermostat setting should avoid having it turn on during the showing.
Yes, I know energy is expensive but when you are selling your home look at the big picture and don’t stress out over a few more dollars on your utility bill. Remember you want to make it as comfortable in your home as possible so buyers will linger. Take a tip from Goldilocks and make it just right or prospects will be looking eagerly at the exit.
√ Switch On the Lights
A dark home is not welcoming and will have buyers wondering if you are trying to hide something. Shine a light into all the dark corners by turning on all the lights.
√ Do Not Forget About Curb Appeal
Think again about first impressions. Tidy the foyer. If you have a porch give it the same treatment as the indoor space outlined above. Be sure lawn and garden equipment and children’s outdoor toys are not cluttering the yard. Sweep the walkway. Close the garage doors.
Congratulations, you’re finished! Well done! Another word of advice, engage the entire family in this process and do a practice drill before you put the house on the market. When you consider that homes that present well sell faster and generally get higher priced offers, it’s a good investment of your time.
As always, thanks for reading.
You know where to find me – Joe Houghton