Preparing Your Home for Showings - Oro Valley Real Estate
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Home showings can be scheduled without much advance notice, so ideally, your home should be kept spotless while it’s listed for sale. You want to be prepared to show the house whenever someone calls.
If you have an open house scheduled, you have the benefit of knowing how much prep time you have. But with lockbox or private tours, you may have only between a half an hour and a few hours’ notice. Here are some tips for preparing your home for showings.
Before the first showings
Clean thoroughly: Steam the carpets, mop or vacuum hard floors, clean windows, polish appliances and give the bathrooms a serious scrubbing.
Secure your belongings: Lock away any valuables to avoid theft of expensive items or private information.
Have a plan for pets and kids: Your showings are much more likely to go smoothly if family pets or young family members aren’t around.
Depersonalize and declutter: Room by room, remove little items that clutter up the space and make rooms look smaller. Remove family photos and personalized decor — you want buyers to picture themselves living in the home, and they can’t do that with your family pictures on the wall.
Rearrange furniture as needed: Remove furniture to make rooms seem bigger, and swap pieces in and out of different rooms to give each space an obvious purpose. For example, add a desk and chair to a bonus room to show it as a home office, or move a twin bed into an empty bedroom.
Don’t forget the outside: Curb appeal helps your home make its first impression, and your to-do list will vary seasonally. Common tasks include planting flowers, pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, raking and shoveling snow.
Keep storage spaces tidy: Every buyer is looking for a home with plenty of storage, which means they’re going to be opening your closets, pantry and garage doors. Don’t just shove extra belongings into closets — they need to look tidy and not overfilled.
Highlight the best features: Identify the features that are most attractive about your home. If you have beautiful hardwood floors, remove the rug that’s covering them up. Love your stainless steel appliances? Don’t hide them behind refrigerator magnets or dish towels.
Ongoing home showing tips
Keep family members in the loop: Make sure everyone who lives in your house knows when showings are scheduled so they can keep their spaces tidy.
Do a daily cleaning: Be vigilant about cleaning up daily messes, like crumbs on the table, coffee spills on the counter or toothpaste drips in the bathroom.
Avoid strong-smelling foods: Keep your meal prep simple and avoid foods that leave long-lasting odors.
Keep pet areas clean: Clean up after your pets immediately and wash their bedding regularly.
Make it light and bright: Open blinds and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible, and leave lights on when you vacate for a showing.
Hide pet food or litter: Not everyone is a dog or cat person! Buyers shouldn’t even be able to tell you have a pet.
Empty trash cans: To avoid bad odors, regularly empty trash cans in every room.
Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature: If tours will be happening when you’re at work and you usually turn the heat off, keep it on so that buyers will be comfortable during their tour. Same goes for the summer — if you have a nice, cool house, buyers will be inclined to stay longer and enjoy the home.
Provide refreshments: Make your home feel welcoming with snacks, candy and desserts. Don’t forget to leave a garbage can in plain sight so visitors can clean up after themselves.
Consider seasonal ambience: A fall fire in the fireplace, winter hot chocolate or freshly cut spring flowers are always nice touches.
Ask the neighbors for help: If you’re on good terms with your neighbors, you can ask for their cooperation in keeping their dogs from barking.