10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Buyer Inspections
Now that you’ve hired a real estate agent to sell your home, your home is now listed on real estate portals and the first open inspection time has been scheduled.
Many sellers are unsure or aren’t advised by their real estate agent that a little effort and time to prepare your home for a scheduled showing can help tremendously in the sale of a home.
Not only can the correct preparation reduce the amount of time it takes for a home to sell but also can lead to more money in the sellers’ pocket!
So where do you start? Never hesitate on asking your real estate professional for their advice. They should know what is important to buyers in your local market. It’s smart to start from the outside and simulate the potential buyers walk through.
Keep in mind the importance of a buyer’s first impression. Generally, paying close attention to the following 10 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Showings, will help your home sell quicker and for more money!
Check the Exterior & Kerb Appeal
As mentioned above, the first impressions are extremely important. The saying “You’ll never have a second chance to create a good first impression” is very true when it comes to a prospective buyer looking at a home.
The first impression that a buyer will gather of a home is the exterior and the homes “kerb appeal.” Depending on the season, make sure that the lawn is freshly cut, leaves raked, or driveway hosed.
There is nothing pleasant to a buyer that has to walk through debris to get to the front door! If it’s not winter, make sure the lawn tools and toys are picked up. In addition to the tools and toys, if you have pets, please pick up after them.
Check for Clutter
One of the most noticeable things to a prospective buyer is clutter. Some areas that often collect clutter that should be checked are stairs, entry, and wardrobes. Make sure the stairs are clear and that all shoes, coats, hats, and mail are put out of sight.
Check the Kitchen
A home’s kitchen is traditionally the biggest selling feature. Ensuring that the kitchen is prepared for a showing is extremely important. Take a general look at the kitchen, are the kitchen countertops free and clear? Making sure that granite or quartz countertops are not only free and clear but also “clean enough to eat on.”
Is the refrigerator door clear? Some buyers have a very difficult time looking past “personal” belongings. It’s great to show off your child’s “A+” on their spelling exam, but not when your home is on the market. The exterior of the refrigerator should have virtually nothing on it.
Is the kitchen floor clean? Making sure that it is clean is also very important. A potential buyer is not going to be impressed when they “stick to the floor” when they step onto a spot where something was spilt earlier.
Check the Bathroom
Bathrooms are often-times the second biggest selling feature of homes. Many things that have been addressed in the kitchen should be considered in the bathroom as well. Is the vanity top clean and clear of clutter? Is the floor clean?Another area to look at before a showing is the bath or shower. Is this tub or shower clean? Most prospective buyers are going to look inside the tub and/ or shower and a dirty tub and/ or shower are not pleasant. Also, inspect the linen closet. Make sure the linen closet and the items inside are organized neatly. Place a couple of new bath towels to hang nice and neat. A clean bathroom appearance can go a long way with a potential buyer.
Check the Bedrooms
Bedrooms can be a deal breaker for a buyer. If the bedrooms of the home are on the “smaller” side, it’s critical that a buyer can see that they are practical and someone is able to comfortably fit their belongings in the room. There are a few things to inspect before a showing. Are the beds made and decorated with some nice pillows or a throw? A messy and unmade bed most often is a negative impression on a prospective buyer. Are all personal items and valuables away in a safe location? While it is uncommon for personal belonging to be missing after a showing, it certainly can happen. Make sure any personal belongings and valuables are stored in a secure location or removed during a showing. Are the cupboards organized? A prospective buyer is almost always going to sneak open the wardrobes in the bedroom. They want to see how much storage room they will have for their “stuff.” An unorganized and messy one is going to take away from the true space of the wardrobes!
Check the Floors
Like mentioned above with the kitchen and bathroom floors, all floors throughout a home should be checked before a showing. If there are carpeted rooms, are they vacuumed and free from stains? If the carpets are heavily damaged or severely stained, it may pay to get them replaced or cleaned. Replacing and/or cleaning of damaged/ dirty carpet is a quick, easy, and fairly cheap home selling tips that should be strongly considered.
Check the Windows
Drapes and blinds are often a part of a home that is neglected for general cleaning and maintenance. Make sure the blinds and drapes are clean but also that they are functioning. A buyer is often concerned with the quality of the windows in a potential home and will be inspecting them so make certain the windows are clean and sparkling! Finally, if weather allows, crack a window to allow some nice refreshing air to flow through the home.
Check the Temperature
This applies for any home located anywhere. Depending on the time of the year, make sure the temperature of your home is comfortable. While it’s hot outside, set the thermostat between 21-23 degrees Celsius. You want the buyer to feel instant relief from the heat once they enter your home. While it’s cold out, set the thermostat to 22-24 degrees. You want the buyer to feel they are entering a nice, warm and cozy home.
Check for Odours
A foul odour in a home maybe the largest turn-off for a potential buyer. Like the importance of replacement or cleaning of the carpet before listing a home, if possible, it can be very helpful to remove odours prior to listing. It’s common that an overwhelmed buyer who walks into a home with an overwhelming odour will turn back around and walk out of the home. Whether it’s an odour from pets, smoking, cooking, or others, make sure to check! Often it is a good idea to have an opinion from a person who is not living in the home. Homeowners often become “immune” to odours within their own homes. Whilst it may be a bit embarrasing to discover your place smells. It’s far better to find out and fix it before you lose all your potential buyers.
Set the Mood
First and foremost, open the curtains and blinds and turn on every light in the home. Dark rooms can be a turn-off to prospective buyers. Before the showing, if you have time, brew a fresh pot of coffee or bake a fresh batch of cookies so that the aroma is permeating the home. Boiling cinnamon sticks can also provide a nice aroma as well! Turn on the radio or TV and set it to an Easy Listening music station.
Preparing for a showing the correct way can make a major difference on whether a home sells or not and also the time it takes for the sale. It can also affect the price a seller receives for their home. The above tips for preparing a home for showings should not be taken lightly. Again, ask a real estate professional for their input and tips for preparing a home for showings.
We provide our clients with a booklet with more tips to make it even easier.
What other tips would you recommend for the preparation of a home for showings?
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