Five Tips For Having Your Home Make A Good First Impression At Showings
1. Get Rid Of The Stink
We’ve all walked into someone else’s home and smelled it – the stale cigarette odor, what they had for dinner last night, the stinky cat box or maybe it even smells like a dog kennel. The problem, however, is that we are so acclimated to our own homes that we typically can’t determine if they stink or not. If you have kids, pets and smokers in the house, however, it’s a safe bet that it does.
Cooking odors tend to cling to anything upholstered, so clean and deodorize the carpets and wash the curtains.
If you don’t want to bring in a pro to dry-clean the furniture, pick up some Febreze Fabric Spray and delicately neutralize the smell yourself. If the food odor still lingers, make sure and clean the filter in the range hood. If you have pets ensure that the cat box is cleaned daily and the dog is bathed frequently while the home is on the market. If your dog sheds, give them regular bushings outside with a de-shedding brush and make sure to do a quick vacuum before a showing!
Other Tips To Consider…
Washing indoor trash containers thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Then, take the trash out before showings. Bathrooms can get smelly, so Better Homes & Gardens suggests filling a decorative dish with cotton balls that you’ve dabbed with essential oils. This is a great way to make sure that any pleasant smell is not too overpowering.
Just like bad odors, if your home smells too strongly of that pumpkin spice candle that you blew out 5 minutes before leaving you house, buyer’s attention is going to be drawn to the strong smell rather than the features of the home.
Additionally, if your home smells too strongly of candles and deodorizing fragrances, buyers are likely to wonder what unpleasant smells you may be trying hard to cover up.
Ready for a pro tip? Pickup some pre-made cookie dough from the refrigerated or frozen section of your local grocery store. Pop some cookie dough in the oven 30 minutes before your showing. Your home will take on the warm familiar scent of fresh bake cookies and you will have a tasty treat to lure the kids into the car with!
2. Stop The Noise
Have you ever lived close to an airport or, even worse, railroad tracks? The noise may have been deafening for the first month or two. Then, you got used to it. Potential buyers touring your home are in the early stages of noise sensitivity and they will most definitely hear the neighbor’s yappy dog or nearby highway.
If noise pollution is a problem in your neighborhood, mask it. Here are some tips:
- Leave music playing, softly, during showings.
- Purchase a white noise machine.
- Leave a tv on with a family friendly channel (dare we suggest HGTV!)
3. Lighten Up
There’s a reason that real estate agents tell their clients to open all the window coverings and turn on all the lights before showings. Light and bright rooms are far more appealing than those that are dark. In fact, as a Real Estate Agent in Fort Smith, I often work with buyers who specifically ask for a home with lots of natural light.
Consider the following tips to make your home appear brighter. Use higher wattage light bulbs while the home is on the market. Don’t forget the closet lights – turn those on as well. And, use a lighter-weight fabric for drapes during the marketing period.
4. Sell The Lifestyle
Model home decorators know exactly who they are trying to appeal to and sell that potential buyer on the lifestyle the home offers. You can do the same with some strategic staging.
A vignette in home staging is a small grouping of several objects. Vignettes can help convey the story of your home and the lifestyle it provides. Set the dining room table, create a front porch or deck vignette with a table and chairs and potted plants. You can get tons of ideas on Pinterest or by visiting a local home décor store.
Easy solutions include adding fresh flowers throughout the home which will help add color and freshen the air. You can also stage the kitchen and bathroom to make them more appealing. Rid the counters of clutter and glam it up with fresh towels and rugs.
5. Guard Your Privacy
Homeowners are told to skedaddle before home showings and open houses. Before you go, lock up valuables or take them with you. This includes jewelry, cash, small, high-value collectibles, weapons and prescription drugs.
Home showings are critical to the sale of your home. Doing all you can to make the home appear ready to move into will make yours the queen of the neighborhood real estate market.
I cannot tell you how many family photo mural walls and framed graduation diplomas buyers get lost looking at during home showings. Rather than looking at your living room, they get lost staring at a cheerleading team photo wondering if their kids are on the same squad as yours. Guard your own privacy and keep the buyer focused on your home by removing most of the family photos and personalized items. This helps your home look more like a move-in-ready model home and less like somebody else’s home!
I wish you success!