Six Must-Do Seller Tips - from a Showing Agent's Perspective

Real Estate Agent with Flying M Team Small World Realty Fort Worth, Tx

Karen says it very well...simple things can make a huge difference in first impressions. I know I'm constantly amazed at how many buyers will go into an unlit house and NOT turn on a light switch. I can't stand gloomy so I'm always going ahead of them to flip on switches. It's soooo much better when the house is well lit when we get there.

Original content by Karen Singleton

Ok, so your home is's on the market. Now what? You've prepared well. Probably cleaned out closets, had the carpets cleaned, removed the clutter from the kitchen and bathroom counters, etc.  All of those things your agent suggested you do.

So, why is it I am repeatedly surprised at some of the "little things" sellers don't do that can very often make a huge difference in the mind of a buyer. Such as:

Cleaning up around the front door/entryway.  I have come to believe that most people don't enter their home from the front door, but rather from the back, side, garage, etc., so they don't often see the front door or realize how awful it looks.  First impressions mean everything! So, my first tip is to is to take a walk around to the front of your house and look at it!! Is the paint dull or chipping? Is there mildew, dirt, leaves, etc., that have built up around it? Is the kick-plate worn out and dull? Does the door knob even work?  These are things I see on a regular basis, and it always surprises me that the first thing a buyer sees is generally the most neglected.  Recently, I was showing a home (very pricey one) and I got to the steps of the front porch and there was a HUGE banana spider in its humongous web! I was not sure I would be able to get around it to open the front door!

Turn on Lights!  This isn't always possible, as showings sometimes occur during the business day and you can't leave to go turn on lights. But, if you know a showing is planned, please turn on the lights in the main living areas, hallways, etc.  Again, it's that first impression. Walking into a dark house and trying to locate switches ahead of the buyer is very frustrating, and takes the focus away from the buyer. Also, open the blinds. Let some natural light in. Here, in South Alabama, it's HOT in August, just open them enough to let some light in.

Replace Light Bulbs that don't work!  Nothing says, "Neglect!", like light fixtures with dead bulbs in them.  It is always funny to me to walk into a house and the living room ceiling fan has 4 bulbs, but only 2 of them work. Or the breakfast area fixture where 1 of 4 work.  Change the bulbs!! Light is important, and a house full of dead lights bulbs looks cheap!

Clean the light switch covers.  Not sure why, but home owners are BLIND as to the condition of their light switches. Now, I don't consider myself a germiphobe (is that correct spelling?), but even I look at some the switches/covers I see and go, "Yuck." Just a little 409, windex, whatever, and a cloth goes a long way in making those look "touchable."

Get the cobwebs out of the corners. I see this so often. Do sellers never look up?

And, finally...(I have more, but I will stop for today)...

Make arrangements for the pet.  I know, because I have one, that our pets are like our kids. We love them, and we don't want them to feel the pain of adjusting to new circumstances that come with having strangers enter our home.  But, if you want to sell your house, you MUST anticipate what to do with the pet for a showing.  And, delaying showings because of pets is not one of the options! There are many options, but since the variables are many, such as inside dog, outside dog, big dog, little dog, mean dog, cat, cat litter box...You see what I mean. I can't give you all of the answers. Just know they need to be dealt with.

If you have any questions about selling or buying a home, feel free to contact me at 251-510-1466


Karen N. Singleton

Residential Sales Specialist, Team Leader
South Alabama Home Connections Team
Keller Williams Realty, Alabama Gulf Coast, LLC
Cell: 251-510-1466
Office: 251-928-9890
Fax:  251-378-3758

Comments (1)

Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Deb...Thanks for re-blogging as I might have missed this one.

By the time I finish turning on lights and opening up blinds or drapes the buyers have moved on to another room. Sellers should keep that in mind.


Sep 03, 2013 07:38 AM