When you show your Windsor home to prospective buyers, the key is to engage them emotionally from the minute they pull their car into the driveway. You want the buyers to immediately say to themselves: “Yes, I can live here!” It is imperative that you accentuate your home’s best qualities and keep attention away from the negative ones, as those issues will surely come up later. But if you grab the buyer immediately, then that first positive first impression will remain and at the very least, have your home on their short list.
1. Welcome Your Guests:
But that doesn’t mean you personally. While the buyer is certainly a guest in your home, you want them to imagine being the owner. You don’t want them to walk into your home and immediately feel ill at ease.
Leave the house: Make sure you are gone before the buyers arrive as no one feels comfortable talking about the negatives in front of the owners.
Don’t ask buyers to remove shoes: Most buyers simply feel uncomfortable taking off their shoes and again, they are reminded that this is someone else’s home.
Don’t pressure the buyer: If a buyer feels they need to rush through your home, then they can’t look at a home properly. Let them know that they have all of the time they need.
Make the entry way welcoming: The first thing a buyer will notice is the entryway. Is it clutter free? Does the house smell good? Is the floor clean and fingerprints off the door? Put fresh flowers on a table if there is one, or maybe a bowl of mints. Make their first impression a welcoming one.
2. Establish A Mood:
If the weather is cold outside, and if you feel comfortable and an agent will be in the home, light a fire in the fireplace.
Turn on any water fountains if you have them. If you have outside landscaping lights, make sure they are on.
If you have a speaker system throughout the home, consider putting on soft music so the buyers are aware of this extra feature.
3. Establish A Comfortable Temperature:
It may be cold outside, but don’t skimp on your temperature settings when showing a home. This is not the time to worry about saving on your utility bill.
If it’s winter, make sure your home is comfortably warm. If a buyer is freezing in your house, they will wonder if the furnace works. Worse yet, they will cut their visit short.
If it’s summer, make sure that you turn on the air conditioning. Have the house set at a refreshing temperature long before the scheduled appointment. Don’t make it too cold, but just enough so buyers will linger inside.
4. Don’t Go Overboard With…
There are so many things that sellers go overboard with, that the list is long and really can be an article in itself. But here are the most obvious:
Smells: Don’t overwhelm your buyers with too many scents. From candles, potpourri, perfumes and room sprays, buyers can get hit with a wave of obnoxious odors. Keep in mind that many buyers are allergic, so stay away from spraying the air or using the plug-in air fresheners. If weather is nice, open the windows. Baking cookies is always a nice feature as well.
Staging: Often, buyers do too many cutesy staging techniques that can utter a laugh from the buyers. We’ve seen the champagne and glasses by the bed, or picnic baskets set up on the patio table, but really, the most important thing to do is just have a clutter free, clean home! You don’t need fancy staging gimmicks.
5. Make House Visually Appealing:
Open the windows to create a light filled home. Buyers want to see bright spaces and not dark rooms. However, if you have an eyesore next door, then keep blinds partially open so it doesn’t draw attention.
Buyers can’t see your house at every season, so include a photo album if you have a beautiful spring garden, or leaves bursting with fall color, or a gorgeous view of the city lights at night.
Turn on every light in the house and make sure your television is turned off.
And just a few extra thoughts when preparing to show your home:
Vacuum in one direction.
Leave doors slightly open.
If you are including a valuable furnishing, like an antique chandelier, in the home sale, leave a note card that provides the buyer with information, like it’s age or other important facts.
If a showing is around a mealtime, provide light snacks, like a plate of homemade cookies. If the weather is hot outside, have cold drinks available, like lemonade or bottled water. Don’t forget glasses, napkins and plates.
Ask for feedback. Keep note cards next to the refreshments and ask the buyers for their opinion. Don’t ask buyers for their names or any other personal information. At the very least, make sure that your real estate agent talks to the buyer’s agent. Feedback is valuable and can let you know what you are doing right or wrong.
By following these important and necessary steps, your house is guaranteed to stand out and make buyers give your home strong consideration. When pride of ownership is noticed, it makes your home all the more appealing.