Stock photo licensed from iStockphoto.com
How to Have a Successful Showing
Posted May 14th, 2008 under smart selling. Updated November 7th, 2017
When you go for a job interview, you dress appropriately, groom your hair, and get a good night's sleep so you can make your best impression. Showing a home is no different — a well-prepared house makes a better impression, and attracts more interest.
For a successful showing, a house must be clean and fresh, in good repair, bright and spacious, and well-organised.
Remember, people are trying to picture themselves in your home. Problems and turn-offs interfere with that image in their mind. The better you can make somebody feel about moving in, the greater the interest your home will receive.
Here is a room-by-room checklist to help you make a thorough preparation of your home:
- Approach and entrance: pay attention to pathways, railings, steps, doors, windows, and gutters. Repair, paint, and wash as needed. Remember, your potential buyer is walking the path to your front door for the first time!
- All Yards: pick up toys and stray garbage, put all tools in the shed. Cut the grass, edge the walkways, trim hedges, and weed all gardens.
- Clean gutters and repair all leaks.
- Garage/carport: organise stored items; use boxes and move items onto shelves where possible. Ensure garage door functions properly. Clean doors and windows. Air out lingering fumes.
Indoors, Special Rooms
- The kitchen is a critical area. All surfaces (stove, refrigerator, sink, counters) should be spotless and free of debris and dirty dishes. Avoid cooking with strong-smelling foods and seasonings before a showing, and clear out any existing food odours. Tastes in food vary widely and food smells can be a powerful turn-off for a potential client.
- The bathroom is also critical. All surfaces (sink, counter, toilet bowl and seat, tiles, tub) and fixtures should be spotless and free of stains. Clear out lingering odours and air the room thoroughly.
Indoors, All Rooms
- Closets are critical. Untidy or over-filled closets imply a lack of storage space. Organise all closets; hang clothing properly and pack loose items in boxes.
- Store all unneeded items while your home is on the market. If necessary, rent storage space or ask friends and family to hold some items. (Note: this can help you get a head start on packing!).
- Plumbing: repair dripping faucets, leaky toilets, and any other problems.
- Heating/Cooling: clean the exterior of the furnace, radiators, air conditioners, and ceiling fans. Remember that buyers will be paying extra attention to these devices, which tend to go unnoticed on a day-to-day basis.
- Lights: ensure each room is brightly lit; replace burned-out and low-output bulbs. Repair all broken fixtures.
- Electrical: repair all broken receptacles. Organise exposed wiring. (But do not hide power wires under carpets or rugs; this is a fire hazard).
- Hallways and Stairs: remove clutter to create a wider, more spacious appearance.
- Hardware: oil hinges. Tighten door knobs and faucets.
- Smells: remember to clear out smells that you may have become accustomed to, including cooking odours, smoke, and pet odours. Smell is very powerful; unwanted odours can ruin a home's impression.
- Windows: Open drapes or blinds during the day, close them at night.
- General: dust, wash, paint, and fix defects as required.
- Children, pets, and adults can make buyers feel uncomfortable while they look through a home. Take everyone out of the house during showings, if possible.
- Open all drapes and blinds and turn on all lights, including hallways and closets, for the duration of the showing (even in the daytime!). The agent may not know where the switches are, or lack the time/patience to turn them on in each room.
The Final Check
A good final check is to walk through each area of your home (don't forget outdoors!) and ask yourself four questions:
- Does it look clean and smell fresh?
- Are the structure and all working parts in good repair?
- Is the area as bright and spacious as it can be?
- Are any contents properly organised?
If you can answer 'yes' to these questions everywhere, you're ready to have a successful showing.
Do you want to know more about having a successful showing? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.