The Nine-Minute Home Showing Shakedown

Occasionally when selling your home, you may receive a call to schedule a showing to take place within the hour. The following is a checklist for this type of panic:

  • Sound. Turn off the television, and tune the radio (low volume) to a soft rock, middle of the road, or classic rock station.
  • Sight. Turn on every light in the house (day or night), and open every drape and blind (day time only).
  • Smell. Heat a frozen pastry slowly in the oven, or heat a pan on the stove and then drop in a few drops of vanilla.
  • Kitchen. Wipe down your kitchen counters, and place dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
  • Bathrooms. Wipe down your counters, and flush and close toilet lids.
  • Living/Family Rooms. Hide magazines, toys, and games; remove clutter.
  • Bedrooms. Straighten or make beds. Hide clutter under the bed, or better yet, walk around with a laundry basket, fill it up as you go, and stow the basket in your trunk (not in the closet).
  • Exterior. Keep the front walk and driveway clear and uncluttered.
  • Children & Pets. They are a distraction, so send them outside while you tidy. Then, take them with you (or kennel your pets) before the showing begins.
  • Say Goodbye. Sorry, but this is the single most important thing you can do in a showing to help sell your home! Even if the showing agent insists that it is okay for you to stay during the showing, you must leave. Buyers must get emotionally committed to your home in order to buy it, and they cannot connect with "their new home" if you, the current owners, are hanging around. Consider going, at the very least, to the backyard. Better yet, run errands, or go to the store.

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