How should I prepare for showings and open houses?
Your house should be ready to show at all times. Make sure it is kept clean and clutter-free. And, those last minute touches before someone comes to look at your home can make all the difference:
- Turn on all the lights, even during the daytime, including outside entrance, closet, basement, and attic lights. Open all the drapes and blinds.
- Turn off the television, stereo, and radio (easy listening music is OK).
- On cold days, light a fire. If not in season, make sure the fireplace is clean.
- Put pets in a fenced yard. Better still, ask friends to look after them. Some people may be allergic, others may be afraid of animals. Clear any pet odours.
- Clean the kitchen and bathrooms. Leave windows and mirrors sparkling.
- Set out fresh flowers, hang decorative hand towels in the bathroom, and place an attractive tablecloth on the dining room table.
- If possible, leave! Some buyers are uncomfortable when the owner is in the house. In their hurry to get away, they may miss important features, or fail to ask important questions. If you must remain, be courteous, but try not to make conversation. The buyer’s Realtor knows what the buyer is looking for. He or she can discuss features and answer questions.