When you have your home on the market, it needs to be ready to show at all times. Of course you won’t have
someone showing up at 7:00 a.m. or 10:00 p.m., but during reasonable hours, your home could be shown
multiple times throughout the day and evening.
Have your agent put a lock box outside. This will allow them easy access without bothering you. Lock boxes
contain a house key, are completely secure, and only licensed agents will have access.
If you have indoor pets or some other situation where a lock box wouldn’t work, agents can schedule
appointments, which give you advanced notice. Keep in mind that they could call 10 minutes before a
showing, although usually you will get an hour or two notice. Therefore, the best plan of action is to be
prepared at all times. If an agent requests a showing and you refuse, instead of rescheduling, more than likely
the potential buyers will just move on to the next house, meaning you’ve lost a possible sale. You never know
what showing will turn into a contract.
If possible, don’t be home when agents show your home. This allows the prospective buyer to look around at
leisure and ask questions without pressure. If you’re home, for example, in the middle of cooking dinner, stay
out of the way and don’t volunteer any information unless directly asked a question. Otherwise, let the agent
do the talking.
If your home is being shown in the summer, make sure your home is cool on the inside – just as you would
keep it warm in the winter. You want to do everything possible to make your home feel like a home, which is
what appeals to potential buyers and leaves a lasting memory.
Your home doesn’t have to look like it was just featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, but do
your best to have it clean and tidy. Make sure there are not papers scattered about, the sink is empty of dirty
dishes, toys are picked up and put away, furniture and items are dusted, and rugs are vacuumed.
When you know someone is coming, ensure appropriate lighting. At night, this would include flipping on front
and backyard lights. This provides a cozy feeling and makes your home more inviting.
If you notice rooms or areas that need paint touch-up or complete repainting, this is the time to do it. Make
sure there is no torn wallpaper, gouges in the wall, etc. These types of things should all be fixed prior to your
home going on the market.
Try to avoid scented sprays such as room fresheners or carpet deodorizers. Even if you use these products on
a normal basis, to the buyer, it might appear as though you’re trying to mask some other type of odor. If you do
want to have a nice fresh fragrance, consider fresh cut flowers, potpourri, or a soft-scented candle. A great
home remedy is to mix one tablespoon of each – nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin spice. Pour all into a
small saucepan filled with one cup of water, blend well, and simmer. Another option is to place a couple drops
of vanilla extract directly onto the stove burner and heat quickly. The aroma is wonderful. Either option will give
your home the fragrance of a nice home-cooked meal. Don’t use anything too overpowering; the potential
buyers might have allergies.
Set a bowl of colorful, fresh fruit out on the kitchen table. Drape a soft throw blanket over the back of a recliner,
fan magazines neatly on the coffee table, or light candles that glow in the bathroom. These charming touches
make your home more cozy and inviting. Take a quick look around each room and see if there are things you
can do to add a nice, finished touch. If you need more ideas, look through some home decorating magazines
for quick tips.
Make sure all trashcans are kept emptied, especially in the kitchen where food items are thrown. Check
bathroom trashcans that might contain personal items. When people look at your home, you want to leave a
positive impression. Seeing overflowing trash is derogative to a sale.
Don’t forget the garage
Make sure you don’t forget the garage. Keep your tools and storage items neatly arranged. If there are oil
stains on the garage floor, use sand and newspaper to wipe it up. This is considered another room of the
house and should get the same level of attention.
This can be a little tricky. Make sure your listing mentions that you have pets. First, you don’t want them to
accidentally escape and second, you want people who might have allergies or are fearful of pets to be aware
they’re in the home. If possible, remove your pets prior to the showing. If you can’t do this, try to put them in a
kennel, the backyard, or garage where they will be out of the way.