You only get one chance to make a first impression
Once your house is on the market, prospective buyers and their agents will begin to view the property. It’s important to keep your house “show ready” at all times. You only get one chance for a first impression, so you want prospective buyers to get a warm and welcoming feeling from the moment they arrive.
If you’re no longer residing in the house, we’ll invite agents to bring prospective buyers at their convenience, and I will secure a “lockbox” somewhere on your property that contains a key. Only licensed agents will be able to gain access and show your house to their clients.
Like they say in the Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared”
If you’re still residing in the house, it’s best to be as flexible as possible and ready to accommodate buyers, even though it may occasionally be inconvenient for you. Most agents will call and give at least a couple of hours notice before showing your property. If you refuse to let them show it at that time, they will likely just skip your house. Even if they come back another time, it might be with different buyers and you may have just lost a chance to sell your house.
Before each showing:
- Open shades and window coverings to let light in; this also makes rooms feel larger;
- Turn on lights;
- Remove all clutter from kitchen and bathroom counters, especially personal care items;
- If you have kids, keep any toys confined to the children’s rooms, preferably placed on shelves, in toy chests or in closets;
- If you have pets, store away toys, hide pet beds, and spray freshener before leaving or use “plug-ins”.
Also, chilled bottled water (in the refrigerator if the house is vacant, or left on the counter just before you exit) with a “help yourself” note is a nice touch and will leave buyers with a positive impression.
If the house is vacant, be sure to keep the air conditioning set at a comfortable temperature. A cool home is a respite from the Arizona heat and will encourage prospective buyers to linger and fully appreciate its features.
Make yourself scarce!
When you do have a scheduled showing, try not to be home. Buyers will feel like intruders if you’re home when they visit, and your presence will distract them from taking the time necessary to fully appreciate the home’s best features. If you absolutely cannot leave, I recommend sitting out on the patio while buyers are inside, and then retreating out-of-the way area of the house while the buyers are viewing the exterior. Do not volunteer any information about your home, but do answer any questions the buyer’s agent might ask.
Don’t leave pets behind
If you have pets, it’s best to take them with you, or put them in a kennel, while buyers are touring your house. No matter how friendly your pets might be, you’ll want to keep them safe and secure.
You’re likely to see most activity in the first few weeks you’re on the market, and that’s because buyers and agents who are currently looking for homes in the area are intrigued each time a new house is listed, especially when active buyers have not yet found that perfect new home for them. However, new buyers enter the market every day, so no matter how much time has passed, it’s important to keep your house tidy and “show ready.”