If there is one thing that most home sellers can agree on, it’s that having a home on the market can sometimes be a big pain in the rear end. All of the family’s routines are uprooted and turned upside down. The kids have to be reminded to not fling their jackets over the backs of chairs when they get home from school, Mom and Dad can kick off their shoes when they get home, but those shoes better end up in the closet.
But this is only the beginning. Once the house is clean and everyone remembers to keep it that way, there are other ways to ensure that buyers who enter your home have the best experience possible.
1. Does it stink?
Have you ever experienced a waft of nasty odors coming from a just-answered open door? Yikes! From food odors to dirty diapers and pet accidents, homes can stink. The worst part of this is that we become so acclimated to the stench that we don’t notice it. But, others will.
Work on deodorizing the home:
- Call in a pro to work on ridding the carpets of odors.
- Remove all drapes and curtains and either launder or dry clean them.
- Upholstered furniture can trap odors. Have it professionally cleaned.
- Wash the dog.
- Place dishes of potpourri or use an essential oil diffuser or scented candles in random areas throughout the home.
2. What’s that sound?
Folks that live near railroad tracks or airports can attest to the fact that, like odors, we can become habituated to sounds. Potential homebuyers, however, are keenly attuned to barking dogs, the beep of trucks backing up to a delivery dock nearby and the rumble of an airliner overhead.
While some sounds can’t be masked, many can. If your home is subjected to noise pollution, consider investing in a white noise machine. At the very least, leave music playing, softly, during showings.
3. I see. . .
If two words should dictate the state of your home during showings, they would be “light” and “bright.” If your home is more akin to a cave, get to work lightening it up with some of these suggestions:
- Paint. Light colored paint can brighten an entire room.
- Change out the light bulbs to those with higher wattage. Don’t forget to leave all the lights on when you expect a showing.
- Replace heavy drapery with something more lightweight.
- Leave the curtains open on days when the home will be shown.
4. Set the scene
Staging a home allows it to appeal to a broad range of buyers Please ask me about my staging program if you’re interested in selling your home quicker and for more money.
Even a small amount of staging can help, in many cases. Here are a few simple changes we can make:
- Creating scenes, or vignettes, in various areas of the home. You’ve no doubt seen these in model homes – the dining room table that is set to appear dinner will be served momentarily and the tray on the bed with a teacup and open book.
- Live plants and fresh flowers do more than add texture and color to décor; they also help clean the air.
- Merely ridding the kitchen and bathroom countertops of clutter helps make the rooms look well-maintained and ready to use.
5. Secure your valuables
You won’t be home when the house is shown to potential buyers so it’s important that you lock away anything of value, prescription medications and firearms.
One thing a lot of homeowners neglect to do before throwing the home open to strangers is to also put away personal items, especially paperwork that may contain their identity and financial information. Don’t just shove these items in a drawer; lock them away.
A home on the market upends schedules, routines and lifestyles. Your goal should be to get through this period as quickly as possible, and anything you can do to make the home appear move-in ready will meet this goal.