Preparing for a home showing as a realtor is never easy. The homeowners are trusting you to do the bulk of the work in selling the home, and they’re looking to you for advice on what they can do to make your job easier. For you, there’s no shortage of stress; in addition to all of the other stressors, there’s also the pressure of knowing that your next paycheck depends on you closing a deal successfully.
Thankfully, there’s a remedy for stress that works every time. That remedy is solid preparation. In this article, we’ll provide 5 solid, actionable tips that can help you keep your stress levels low and prepare for any home showing.
Having a successful home showing begins with making a great first impression, and to make a great first impression, a home needs to look its best.
Ensure That the Home Is Clean and Free of Clutter
A home should look clean, comfortable and inviting. It should also look like a living space, but it shouldn’t look so lived in that potential buyers have difficulty visualizing themselves in that space. Ask the homeowners to do their best to keep the house free of clutter by putting things away after use. You might also consider recommending that the homeowners move their unused items into a storage space; it’ll reduce clutter and make the moving process easier when the home is sold.
A potential buyer’s first impression of a home comes from the curb, so you should recommend that the homeowners do their best to enhance the home’s curb appeal. It doesn’t take a great deal of money or effort to keep the lawn mowed, the hedges trimmed and the weeds pulled. Ask the homeowners to wash or sweep the driveway and walkway. Painting the door and replacing rusty fixtures such as home numbers and mailboxes can go a long way toward making a home look great from outside.
In most cases, homeowners will continue living in their homes while offering those homes for sale. Obviously, limiting clutter is an important part of ensuring that a home will look great to potential buyers – but you can’t ask the homeowners to remove all of their things and pause their day-to-day lives. Instead, ask them to have a few bags or baskets handy for last-minute clutter removal. Remind the homeowners that throwing items into cabinets and closets is a bad idea. You want to give potential buyers the impression that the home has ample storage space.
Garages, basements and attics are common places for clutter to collect – and many of the items that end up in those locations are things that their owners do not use. Ask the homeowners to consider having a garage sale to rid the home of bulky unused items; the remaining possessions can go into storage. When potential buyers view those areas of the home, they shouldn’t see the homeowners’ unfinished projects; they should imagine themselves putting a pool table in the basement or working on things in the garage.
Ensure That the Home Smells Great
When you live in a home, you may not notice any unpleasant scents within the space – but potential buyers certainly will. If weather conditions are favorable, ask the homeowners to open all of the windows before the showing to let plenty of fresh air in. If the homeowners have a cat, ask them to move the litter box outside and ensure that the floors are thoroughly swept or vacuumed. Steam cleaning the carpets is also a wise idea. Adding a pleasant scent to the home can greatly enhance its appeal, but some people are allergic or sensitive to artificial fragrances. Rather than spraying an air freshener or burning a candle, encourage the homeowners to use an essential oil diffuser or bake some cookies. The potential buyers will likely enjoy being offered a light snack.
Prepare Yourself – But Don’t Overprepare
When you show a home, the potential buyers will likely have plenty of questions for you – and you’ll need to prepare yourself to answer those questions. Some of the likely questions will involve the home’s average utility usage, any issues found in recent inspections and the quality of the local school system and emergency services. Make sure that you know the answers to those questions, but don’t spend so much time preparing that you rob yourself of a good night’s sleep. Having the answers to common questions isn’t that important if you’re too tired to recall those answers. It’s far more important that you show up calm, well rested and ready to chat.
Keep Your Stress Levels Down
One of the most effective ways to keep your stress levels down before a home showing is by ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep the night before. One way to do that is by going to bed a little early rather than spending the entire night preparing to answer questions about the home. Before bedtime, minimize your consumption of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. Read a book rather than spending time in front of the computer or television. You may also find it helpful to take a supplement to promote relaxation. Some popular supplements for that purpose include kava, valerian, passionflower and CBD from companies like VSAVI.
Ask the Homeowners to Go for a Drive
When it’s finally time to show the home, remind the homeowners that you have done your homework and are prepared to answer any questions the potential buyers may have. Ask the homeowners to go for a drive during the showing. Potential buyers will feel more welcome to explore the home and ask pointed questions about it if the homeowners aren’t hovering nearby. If the potential buyers can visualize themselves in the home, the likelihood of making a sale will be high. If the viewers don’t feel comfortable during the showing, though, they’ll never be able to establish that mental image and probably won’t end up making an offer.