So you listed your house, had it staged, organized the clutter and spruced up the landscaping. The front door is freshly painted and there is a beautiful wreath welcoming you as you enter. The kids have been drilled on what their rooms need to look like before an agent comes through with potential buyers. Husbands have been warned about picking up their socks, underwear and tee shirts that don't normally make into the laundry basket.
In a perfect world your home is ready to be shown! However, you still have to live, eat, breathe, work, play and sleep in this now "perfect" house for sale. At times it seems like a struggle to keep it looking pristine. Here are a few tips to refer to once you get the call that an agent will be showing your home:
1. Take out the garbage. You don't want unpleasant odors to be lingering. Put some cinnamon in a pot of boiling water and boil for a few minutes to give your home a welcoming smell. Or better yet plug in one of those liquid air fresheners. You can change the scent to match the season.
2. Clean the litter box and make sure it is not out for public display. Use a multi-cat litter which will give you more odor protection.
3. Make sure there are no dishes in the sink and the counters are free of clutter.
4. If there is time give your home a quick vacuum.
5. Make sure all toilets are flushed! Especially when you have toddlers who are new to the toilet experience!
6. Don't leave mail sitting out especially if it contains personal information. Of course real estate professionals take the utmost pre-cautions in screening their clients that come through your home, however, it is better to be safe and remove all sensitive information.
7. If you have a dog make sure that it is in a crate or out of the house when buyers are coming through. Not all people are animal lovers. In fact, some people are frightened by animals no matter how big or small. The best thing to do when you have pets is to talk to your agent prior to getting the home on the market. Then both the seller and their agent can work together to and plan a strategy that works well for everyone.
8. Clear the outside driveway of bikes, skateboards, etc. Make sure that there are no obstructions in the driveway.
9. Check your front door and entry way. Make sure that there aren't any old newspapers or advertisements hanging on the door or on the walk way leading up to the front door. So many people never really see their front entry because they pull directly into the garage.
10. Get outta Dodge! You need to allow buyers to walk through your home without you standing over them. It makes potential buyers very uncomfortable when the owners are lurking about. They can't exchange comments with their agents freely and if they begin to feel uncomfortable they will do their best to get out of the home quickly. Your home just might be perfect for them but they didn't feel the least bit free to tour the home at their own pace--taking in all of the wonderful features.
Now you can walk out the door and relax. Not everyone who walks through your door will fall in love with your house. The object is to expose your home to as many buyers as possible so that the right and perfect buyer will make an offer.