You have collaborated with your real estate agent to prepare your home for sale. You've decluttered, made repairs, removed curtains, cleaned the windows, swept the sidewalk and painted either the interior, exterior or both. Now that your for sale sign is in the ground, what can you do to make the sale a success?
It doesn't end there. Now you are entering the sales period and here are 10 things you can do to keep the momentum going, especially in the early days of your home listing hitting the market, when buyer interest is at its' peak.
1. BE READY TO SHOW AT ANYTIME
Buyers aren't on your time schedule. Many prospects are busy at work, hoping to squeeze in a showing after work, or early on Saturday before the kids baseball game.
Be flexible and accommodate your agents requests to show the home at different hours. You never know who the buyer is going to be and your scheduled Open House times may not meet their timeline. It would be shame to miss out on the right buyer.
2. LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE
Before every showing, turn on all the lights in your home, throw back the shades and let the light in. It's not a big expense and it will give your home a natural glow-y feeling. Most buyers ask for homes that are light and bright.
If you have dark corners, try inexpensive, yet stylish IKEA or big box store light fixtures to add light to any room.
3. BRRRR! KEEP COOL
If it's a warm day, turn on your air conditioner. We know, the doors to the outside are opening and closing, but that's okay. As soon as your showing is over, you can readjust the temp.
4. COME ONE COME ALL
Invite your neighbors to your Open House. If you have a local neighborhood message board online, (Facebook, Nextdoor) advertise it there or craft invites for your neighbors, even the ones you don't know. Neighbors usually want to see what other homes in the neighborhood look like and may have friends or family looking to purchase.
5. KEEP IT CLEAN
Think about what a prospect is thinking when they walk into your home. Make sure laundry is picked-up and stowed away. Keep your kitchen counters and sink clear and air out the home from cooking smells. Wipe down the coffee table and check for dust. Wipe out the bath sink/tub. Run the vacuum. Having your home show ready at all times during your showing period is a bit of a pain, but worth it, considering all you have done to make it look it's shine-y best.
6. THE KIDS ROOMS
It makes sense to tone down the decor in the kids rooms. Negotiate with your kids, have them help you pack away all of the princess pics or Star Wars decor. A really busy kids room can take the prospects focus on how the room may look for their kids who may be of a different age or have different interests. Talk to your kids about their "next room" and plan the new decor together.
7. KEEP SAFE
Keep your valuables or tempting items out of site. Better yet, lock them away. Camera's, passports, bank statements, jewelry. It's pretty rare for prospects to liberate anything from your home but the possibility exists. Better to be safe than sorry.
8. INSURE YOURSELF
Check with your homeowners insurance as to what they cover in case of accident in your home or on your property during the sale of your home. Remove slippery area rugs, pick-up toys, shovel snow from your walkway and put down salt to minimize slippage. Fix the loose step or sliding door that closes a little to hard. Look for hazards and mitigate them to avoid accidents.
9. OUTTA SITE
Look at showing time as downtime for you. Run to your neighbors, return a library book, run an errand, grab a cup of coffee elsewhere. Meeting buyers seems like a good idea because you love your home and want to share the love.
However the first buyer that asks you a question that you can't answer or puts you in a compromising position will be challenging. Better not to be present to have to answer questions about neighbors, home maintenance or other innocent questions that can end in the prospect turning away. If you want to communicate your homes attributes, the vendors you use and a list of upgrades you have made, talk to your agent about putting together a small notebook of info for prospects to review or for hand-off at close of escrow.
Your agent understands your home, is expert at fielding questions and will provide feedback from potential buyers to help you re-adjust how the home is shown and to answer buyer questions if they have not done so already.
10. TAKE IT EASY
Not being present during showings will help your stress levels. Buyers can be insensitive, making off-hand comments about your paint color, home design or personal belongings. If you're not there, you won't hear any of it.
Your agent is in the business of selling homes and understands how to handle buyers. Allowing your agent to manage buyers through the process to the hand-off of keys will keep you focused on the important negotiations and the facilitation of a quick sale.
For 35+ years, Patty Rogers has been previewing and matching stylish homes to satisfied Bay area homebuyers and breaking sales records with her listings. She is known for finding and selling unique homes with a "Modicum of Charm" and is a shrewd negotiator who understands how to successfully orchestrate deals.