Room-by-Room: Tips for a Better Viewing
1) Availability – Your house should always be available for showings, even though it may sometimes be inconvenient for you.
2) Try Not to be Home – Prospective buyers will feel like intruders if you are at home when they visit and will have a difficult time visualizing themselves in it.
3) Lighting – Turn on all indoor and outdoor lights for all showings. Consider changing softer illuminating bulbs with brighter ones where the fixture safely permits. This makes the home more appealing and it appears larger.
4) Fragrance – You want your home to smell pleasant, but your aim is not to hide odours. Instead try an odour absorbent to pull the smells out of the air or something natural. Or place a small drop of vanilla extract on light bulbs before you turn them on (Caution: never put anything on a hot light bulb as it may explode).
5) Pet Control – Another concern is pet control. If you have pets, their safety is important. It's best to take dogs with you if possible or alternatively, keep them in a penned area in the backyard. Cats who may escape the house or are not social should be kept in a specific room and the door should be labelled.
6) Trash Disposal – Don’t forget the kitchen trash. Empty it every time someone comes to look at your home. Even if your trash is kept under the kitchen sink. This is most important in areas like bathrooms where the containers are open.
7) Keep a Tidy House – Keep the house tidy. When selling your home it’s recommended that you pick up everything, don’t leave anything out of place and vacuum and dust every day.
TIP: Green plants can really liven up a room— add them whenever possible
1) First impressions really do make a difference. Since the outside of your home is the first thing the buyer sees, it is important to make it appear as inviting as possible.
2) Remove any unnecessary clutter such as garden hoses, garden tools, toys and anything else that could potentially make your yard look untidy.
3) Check the siding for loose or damaged pieces and replace as necessary. Also keep in mind that a fresh coat of paint can make all the difference in the world.
4) Be sure to check gutters and downspouts for that well maintained look. If they are dented or damaged, consider replacing these as they are not very expensive but show pride of ownership when in like-new condition.
5) Clean up, repair or replace the address numbers on your home.
6) If your mail box is old or rusty, definitely get a new one. This is a definite sign for the condition of your property.
7) If possible, plant flowers as well. Another way to bring that homey feel to your house is to place potted plants or flowers on your front doorstep. And don’t forge the ‘welcome’ mat.
Begin by taking everything off the counters. Everything includes the coffee maker, crock pot, toaster, can opener – everything. Put them in a cupboard and take them out only when you use them.
Homebuyers will open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure there is enough room for their “stuff”. If your kitchen cabinets, pantries, and drawers look jammed-packed, it will give your buyer a sense of cramped spaces. If you have a “junk drawer”, get rid of the junk.
Since buyers will be looking for leaky faucets and plumbing, under the sink is a critical area. Make sure this area is as empty as possible and again, remove everything – including all cleaning supplies. Scrub the area down and look for signs of water leaks. You might want to cover the bottom shelf with a fresh layer of shelf paper to give it a “new” look.
TIP: If you have allot of canned goods crammed into the shelves or pantry, check expiry dates and throw out the old, start using them up, or donate them to local charities. .
Clean. Clean. Clean!
You cannot overdo this room. Make it sparkle! Put fresh (new if possible) towels on the racks. Always keep the trash bin empty – you never know when you’ll get a last minute showing request. Remove excessive cleaning items from underneath the sink and check plumbing for leaks. If any, make the necessary repairs and replace any damaged surface. Keep cabinets and storage areas as clear as possible.
Go over bath and shower area to remove surface mold or mildew and water spots. If you have a shower curtain, make sure it is in good shape and consider replacing it if needed. Put the toilet lid down.
TIP: Keep all medicine locked up and out of sight for everyone’s safety.
Dust and vacuum. A clean house gives the impression it is well taken care of. Open up the window treatments and let in as much light as possible. Take a look at the furniture to make sure it’s clean and free of pet hair. If you have too much furniture in the living room, it can tend to look small and cramped. Consider removing larger, cumbersome pieces of furniture and placing them in storage until the home sells.
Also keep in mind traffic flow. Arrange the furniture so that people can easily move through the room.
In the bedrooms, the obvious is the case. Make the beds; put away clothes, put away clutter and personal items such as pictures and certificates. Clear off the dresser and nightstand. Keep jewelry and expensive items locked in a safe place.
Remove any items under the bed, such as shoes or boxes. You don’t want to give the impression the house doesn’t provide enough storage. Empty laundry hampers that do not have lids.
The kid’s bedroom will give you the biggest challenge. You want to keep your house as neat as possible while your house is on the market.
On a daily basis, you’ll want to put away all toys. Make sure the floors are kept clear. You may want to invest in a toy chest if you do not already have one. You can also get the kids involved in the home selling process to help you out. They will feel as though they are contributing to the success of the sale.
Keep on top of the laundry. You don’t want piles of clothes to dominate the room. If you have a small amount, temporarily hide them away in the washing machine. Put away all clean laundry that is either folded or hanging up to give the room a larger appearance. Keep detergents neatly placed on a shelf or cabinet. Wipe down appliances to remove detergent sediment and lint.
In order to give a better feel for the size of your closets, you should remove all extra clothes and shoes. Box up anything you haven’t worn in over three months or off-season items. Also, get rid of any shoe boxes full of “stuff” or other accumulated personal items. If you have a walk-in closet, make sure the light is on. If the closet does not have a light, consider placing a battery operated light that is easy to install.
Keep the garage door closed during showings. Make sure that all items are neatly placed and look organized. Place items on hooks or pegboard. Again, this will show that you took care of the house. Check the floor and remove grease spots. There are several industrial strength cleaners on the market specifically for removing grease stains. Sweep the floor thoroughly and remove cobwebs from the walls and ceiling. If you find the garage a bit smelly, place an air freshener inconspicuously in the room. Since the garage door will be closed you will need as much light as possible, replace with the brightest bulb your fixture will safely allow.