A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a
clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted or at least freshly
scrubbed front door. If its autumn, rake the leaves. If its winter,
shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your
home, the better.
Heres your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up the
living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is
fading, consider some minor redecoration. If youre worried about time, hire professional cleaners or painters to get
your house ready. Remember, prospects would rather see how great your home really looks
than hear how great it could look "with a little work."
Dripping water rattles the nerves,
discolours sinks, and suggests
faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the
dark. Dont let little problems detract from whats right with your home.
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure
they will also stick in a prospects mind. Dont try to explain away sticky
situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth
the way toward a closing.
Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps:
roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low
hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just
comfortable living space. Theyre looking for storage space, too. Make sure your
attic and basement are clean, organized and free of unnecessary items.
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Nows
the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged
or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels,
mats, and shower curtains.
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a
spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colourful bedspreads and fresh curtains show
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so
prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both
inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening. Lights add colour and warmth,
and make prospects feel welcome.
Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home
filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they're
likely to hurry through. Keep the company present to a minimum.
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing
your home. It can be stressful for your pet and
for the prospective buyer. It's best for both if the pets can be
kept safely out of the way.
When it's time to show your home, it's time
to turn down the stereo or TV.
Be friendly, but don't try to force conversation. Prospects want
to view your home with a minimum of distraction.
No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its
shortcomings. If a prospect volunteers a derogatory comment
about your home's appearance, let Frank or the showing agent handle the situation.
Nobody knows your home as well as you do
but the agent will have an easier time articulating the
virtues of your home if you stay in the background.
When prospects come to view your home, don't distract them with
offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need.
Don't engage prospects
in negotiation. When prospects want to talk price, terms, or other real estate
matters, let them speak to their agent.