They already want to buy your house! Or they wouldn’t be there! All that must be done to close the deal is let the home sell itself!
What are the best practices for setting up great showings that turn a buyers head? Listed below are just a few suggestions of how you can make your showing be the last home they’ll need to see.
Showings are the result of an infallibly accurate Pricing Strategy; a meticulous, professional Conditioning and Preparation Strategy; and a high quality, aggressive Marketing Strategy. The showing is where they all come together. Great pricing, marketing and conditioning cause buyers to be urgent, excited and eager to see your home; now you just let them sell themselves.
So, prepare your home for successful showings, Remember; THE QUALITY OF YOUR SHOWINGS is where the rubber really meets the road!
Place your property brochures in a conspicuous place; you could place a small sign asking agents to leave their business card, even if you already have it. And leave the cards in a pile near the sign where the next buyer’s can see them all. This just puts the message to the buyers that you are actively showing the home and that they better hurry!
Keep all doors unlocked within the home. Buyers want to see all the rooms (and closets); if they can’t, it slows up or even stops the buying process.
Turn on all lights—day or night! For a night showing, turn on all of your inside and outside light fixtures, create a glowing warmth around your home as the potential buyers drive up.
Open all the drapes and shutters. Make your property as bright as possible. Buyers these days typically want homes with lots of light!
Make sure the sink is clean and free of dirty dishes.
De-clutter the counter tops: they appear more spacious when clean and uncluttered.
Freshly mop the floors and baseboards of your kitchen — sparkling is the goal.
Leave soft music playing. Turn off any blasting television or radio.
Place some potpourri throughout the home to help make it smell fresh and clean. Febreze (our magic spell for smells) everything. Magic Eraser sponges are our wand for scuffs.
Create a positive mood. If it is a cold day, make sure your home is heated, and if it is summertime, keep your home cool. Snacks and drinks might also be offered.
Add a special accent to make your house appear comfortable and inviting: an open cookbook, cut flowers in a vase, or something baking in the oven (or bread maker.)
Never leave valuables that could be easily “pocketed” (watches, jewelry, smaller items of emotional value) out in plain view. Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous types out there. Also never tell “prospects” your schedule; when you’re not home etc. You never know who might be casing your house out. If you must turn down a showing simply state that it’s not possible at that time. These are just simple things to do, but so important and not be taken lightly!
Decisions to make:
If at all possible, let the buyers feel they have privacy and time and are not hurried, not distracted. Sellers or other people present during a showing nearly always makes the potential buyers feel a little like intruders and they will want to hurry through your house. You do not want them to hurry, the longer they stay, the better. Try to be as non-personal as possible. Let them have their space and don’t get caught up in conversation. This takes their attention away from the home, and on you. It could also open the door to putting you on the spot by asking you direct questions like “Is that staying with the house?” or “Are you going to fix/paint/replace/that?” and force you to make a hasty decision. Your goal should be to get them to spend as much time among themselves in your home as possible so that they can “see how it could be their new home.” Questions should be tabled for later, “We have not settled on that yet, so that would be depending upon the other terms of the sale I suppose…” would be a great way to answer.
Confirm that you have the agents contact information, business card and license number, then take a short walk with your children and pets. Or maybe go make a phone call outside, take a walk to get the mail or go out and clean the pool. Somehow try your best to at least vacate the area to let them go through the home without interruption or discussion.
If you’ve already gotten enough personal information and/or talked to and confirmed the agent (if you are cooperating) and/or their mortgage lender, you can get their ID and or approval letter when they come in, and either step outside, take a short walk or even lock up and drive away. Many times sellers have done this for me or have even left me a key in a combination lock-box. This allows the buyers plenty of time to see the property.
Do not have guests over during the time a showing is scheduled, and give yourself plenty of time to clean up after a meal or gathering if at all possible.
Keep pets out of the way when showing, preferably out of the house. Some buyers get annoyed or are allergic or are scared, others get their attention diverted and can’t remember anything about your house except for your pet.
Get the Pets out!
These are just the basics to showing your home to buyers and allowing them to see it in its best condition, in the best atmosphere and without distraction.
Forth Hoyt May 15, 2017