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A showing on your house….#%&*#….TODAY?

January 5, 2009

We are showing your house today.

You have made your plans to move, met with your Realtor, prepared your home for the market, signed the listing and the sign is in the yard. Now it is time to sit back and wait for the phone to ring announcing a showing on your home.

Sometimes when that eagerly anticipated call comes you proceed to have a panic attack thinking that the house is not ready to show! Here are some tricks of the trade to help you with the showing process and make your life run smoother during this time on the market.

If you have properly prepared your home for the market it will be easier to keep it that way. If you have not, go back right now and read “Preparing Your Home for the Market”

Pre-showing Daily Preparation

  • Stay Organized – Keep things put away.  If you use something do not casually lay it down….Put it back in it’s proper place.  Items that you use on a regular basis could be placed in decorative baskets.
  • Spot clean when needed – Don’t wait for cleaning day.  Keep things tidy as you go.  NO dishes in the sink….straight to the dishwasher.  Keep all counter tops and bathroom vanities wiped down daily.
  • Have a laundry hamper in each bedroom – Convenience is key, handy hampers make it easy for each family member to toss their dirty items straight in the hamper and NOT on the floor.
  • TOYS (Children’s & Pets) – Keep the majority of toys put away and establish a rule that only one or two items can be out at a time.  The decorative basket works well here also.  It is always nice to have one in every room for last minute pickups.
  • Pets – Those special creatures that give us “unconditional love”!  But alas we are the humans…..make sure cat litter boxes are kept clean daily and remove all potty breaks from the yard.  Do whatever is necessary to remove any pet odors.
  • Making the Beds – For some people this IS a daily habit, for others not so much, but for the owner of a home on the market….ABSOLUTE NECESSITY!  If your family members are not trained yet, train them NOW.  When your feet hit the floor – Make the Bed!

Let there be light and fresh flowers!

If you have prepared your home for the market and done your pre-showing preparation on a daily basis, when you get the phone call for a showing you will smile happily and say send them on!

Pointers for the Showing

  • Let there be light! Open all blinds and curtains and turn on all lights.  Nothing makes a room look more welcoming than warm cozy glowing light.
  • Adjust thermostats. Make sure the home is a comfortable temperature so that the Buyers are not in a hurry to leave.  We want them to linger and soak in all that your home has to offer.
  • Do the sniff test. Check for any odors or smells that might be offensive.  If you have time….bake cookies!  Nothing smells more like home than a fresh batch of cookies!  Then you can leave them on a platter with a note saying “Help Yourself!”  If there is no time they have great candles that smell like cake….light one for a little while to get that smell in the air!
  • Temporarily Remove Pets. Whenever possible take pets away or put in a crate.  Some people are afraid of animals or may have allergies.  It is also better for the agent to not have to worry about them getting out.
  • Leave. It is always best to vacate the home for the showing.  Give the Realtor and the Buyer the opportunity to feel free to leisurely roam around the home and talk openly about their likes and dislikes.  This is a very important part of the process of making a decision.

The Smell of Homebaked Cookies

Ideally, homes are scheduled a day or so in advance of the showing, but in some instances the Realtor may not have scheduled a showing and while in the neighborhood came upon your home.  It is not unusual to have a showing scheduled from the driveway!  And even though it is sudden with no time to primp it is better NOT to miss the showing.  They could be out of towners needing to make a decision quickly and you could miss a sale.  And if you have given approval for “If Seller can not be reached go ahead with showing” to always check your message machine when exiting the shower….you don’t know who might be lurking about in your living room!

The above pointers also cannot be utilized during a work day when you are not home anyway. But that is OK also, because a Realtor that is wanting to make a sale will try to go through the home in front of their client and turn on the lights for them.  Having the lights on in advance just makes a more dramatic showing and leaves the agent free to point out all the lovely features.

Remember we are in a very competitive market. You need to do what it takes to out shine the other homes on the market.  The condition of your property is critical in getting it SOLD.

So don’t sweat the small stuff! You have prepared your home, made your list and done your daily chores to stay ready at all times for a showing.  Your home is on the market because you want to sell it.  For someone to buy it they must look at it.  “Ring Ring….Life is Good…..YOU HAVE A SHOWING!”

(Showing procedures may vary from area to area so be sure and follow your Realtors guidelines if different from above)

Debbie Hutchins Realtor Re/Max First choice

About the Author

Debbie Hutchins a Certified Residential Specialist has been a licensed Realtor since 1987 Serving the Greater Birmingham Area and specializing in Shelby County Debbie is available to assist you with your real estate needs. We hope you have enjoyed reading and hope you will come back!

Debbie Hutchins Realtor Re/Max First choice

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