How to Show Your Own Home
By: Doug Perlson | Read the original article on Park Slope Patch.
Learning how to show your home is an important skill, even if you're not selling your home yourself. There may be times when the realtor can't make a showing or when potential buyers show up unexpectedly. When selling your home, the ability to show your home yourself may mean a quick sale.
How To Show Your Home Successfully
When it comes time to show your home, you should take a deep breath and remember that your ultimate goal is to present a product that will appeal to prospective buyers. By the time you show your home, you should have enough emotional distance to treat a showing as the selling opportunity it is. The following tips will help you be prepared when it comes time to show your home:
Do your own walk through. Before your first showing, walk through your home with fresh eyes. If possible, have a friend with you who might notice things you would not. Start at the front door and walk through every room of your house looking for clutter, dark areas or things that should be repaired or spruced up. If you have a video camera, film the walkthrough and play it back—sometimes the camera will pick up things you missed.
Let there be light! Every light in every room should be turned on before you show your home. Blinds or shades should be pulled up and curtains should be opened to flood your home with natural light. A well lit home is more appealing and seems more spacious to buyers. Add brighter bulbs or another lamp in dark rooms.
Keep things comfortable. Set your thermostat to keep the interior shirtsleeve comfortable. Just before the showing, set the thermostat higher or lower by a few degrees to keep the HVAC system from kicking in during the showing. A sudden draft or ventilation noises could be distracting or off-putting.
Kitchen sense. Baking cookies or brewing tea can create a welcoming scent in your home. However, be prepared to deliver the goods; your potential buyers may be disappointed if they don't receive the implied snack or drink.
Get lost. Many real estate professionals advise that you allow prospective buyers to tour your home on their own. In theory, they may feel less pressure and be more likely to discuss your home with each other if you're not hovering nearby. Of course, feel free to show buyers the items that could use pointing out, but also give them some time to talk on their own. After showing the basics, step into another room to check the mail or do some work. Pets or children should also be out of the house during the showing.
Plenty of info. If you're not there, how will buyers learn about your home? Provide plenty of information in the form of note cards. Point out unique features, room dimensions or appliance information on placards set in each room or area of interest.
Don't get personal. If you can't wrap your mind around letting strangers wander your home, feel free to show your home yourself. Avoid the temptation to entertain potential buyers with family history or what important family event took place in which room. Keep things informational, but emotionally detached—stick to the facts.
Avoid overcrowding. If you decide to show your home yourself, always allow your guests to enter each room first while you hang back by the door. Too many people in the room will make it seem crowded and small. For the same reason, invite prospective buyers into small rooms like laundry and bathrooms, but don't enter yourself.
Promote the area. You home has more to offer than just the rooms and property that surrounds it. Take time to promote the neighborhood and local attractions as well as your home. Be prepared to provide insights into local schools and shopping as well as neighborhood amenities like pools, playgrounds or walking trails.