Here are some tips that may help you have a successful property showing:
De-clutter. Don’t just get rid of old magazines and newspapers. Box up your personal items and decorations, as well as extra furniture and excess clothing – and store it off site. Buyers want a home that feels spacious, and that goes for closets and garages, too.
Wash the windows and screens. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones. Light sells houses.
Clean everything. First impressions count. Hire a professional if you can afford it.
Eliminate smells. Clean the carpets and drapes to eliminate food, smoke or pet odors. Open the windows if the weather allows. Use potpourri or candles if you need to.
No pets. Send your pets to a friend or neighbor’s if you can, or confine them to one room, ideally the basement.
Maintenance. Worn carpet, torn screens, sticky doors and leaky faucets will turn off buyers in this market, especially in higher-priced homes. Realtor tip: Replace dated countertops with a neutral color. Basic formica will only run you a couple of hundred dollars and could make a big difference.
Tidy up the yard. Rake, edge, trim, and add new mulch. Clean the gutters and spruce up the porch with fresh paint and a pot of flowers. Realtor tip: Pick up a pair of shutters from an architectural salvage store.
Basement boost. Make sure basement steps have fresh treads and the furnace is clean and accessible. Realtor tip: Fresh paint on an unfinished basement floor can keep it from looking like a dungeon.
Add some luxury. A new shower curtain, fancy soaps and fluffy white towels make guests feel pampered when they enter the bathrooms. Put away your toothbrushes and toiletries.
— Set the scene. Set your tables for a fancy dinner. Stage other vignettes throughout the house – such as a picnic on the patio or a game in progress – to help buyers picture themselves living in the home.
Source: National Association of Realtors; Realtor Tips from Onalaska, Wis., Realtor Cindy Gerke, of Cindy Gerke & Associates