10 Tips Before Showing Your Home To Buyers
1. Organize Closets & Cupboards
These areas of the house are often overlooked by the seller(s) of the home, and it’s all but a guarantee that
prospective buyers will be opening and investigating them; you should have the expectation that this will
happen. Naturally, people will be interested in the amount of space that closets/cabinets have to offer, as
well their overall functionality. Aim for practicality but also space conservation and tidiness. There
should be a sense of order, function, and form when a potential buyer decides to peer in and make an
2. Rent or Cover Furniture
It is imperative that furniture within the home be tasteful, appropriate, and not in conflict with the rest of the
interior. This may be a sensitive subject for some to approach, as certain items that might serve a sentimental
value to the seller could simply not be suitable when showing to buyers (be it from wear and tear, discolouration,
style, etc.). Follow the guidance of your realtor(s) as they are the professional(s) with the skills to maximize
your home’s selling potential. If they suggest you upgrade your furniture for increased reception during viewings do
not take it personally. Consider their advice, and be aware that you can easily rent coverings as well as furniture
itself from many outlets and department stores at affordable prices.
3. Paint the Walls, Moldings, & Ceilings
It’s likely that you have already considered painting the walls, and a fresh paint job can absolutely do
wonders to improve the look of the home. Once again, consult your realtor before applying a new or dramatic
colour/pattern, but also consider seeking the advice of an interior designer if you have access to one and
desire an additional opinion (this can also be applied to furniture and decorative pieces). If you choose to
paint everything yourself, do not forget to include the moldings and the ceilings. The job is simply
incomplete until you have painted the entire room from top to bottom. This takes some time and commitment,
so you may want to hire professional painters if the option exists for you.
4. Empty All Trash & Garbage Bins
Another frequently forgotten task that seems self-explanatory in hindsight; just as with closets and cupboards, curiours buyers will often assess these areas rather meticulously, deriving little judgments that will affect their final decision. Not only will emptying all trash bins/cans in and around the property, prior to showing, prevent unappealing sights and semlls, it conveys to buyers that you've maintained a clean and hygenic environment, instantly increasing the perceived value of the home.
5. Clean Outside the House
It makes sense that one would focus their efforts within the house, but remember that you are selling an entire property. Outside the home is just as important to buyers as the inside, so everything to the exterior of the house (within the property line) must be be tended to. Begin with general tidiness - if your yard is strewn with junk, you need to remove it all. Next comes landscaping: rake or mow the lawn, weed the garden, shovel or plow decks, pathways, and driveways. Following this, clean and organize your garage, gazebo, or shed(s). It is strongly suggested that you have any outside pools or hot tubs professionally cleaned.
6. Eliminate Spots & Stains
If you you’d prefer to keep the furniture you have, another option is to have the upholstery cleaned. Professional cleaners can come to the home or you can rent cleaning equipment to remove any staining. These devices often can be used interchangeably on furniture and carpets, providing a deep clean that can pull stubborn blemishes directly from the fibres. If your own efforts at removal have proven fruitless, look into renting or hiring.
7. Open Up & Declutter
Potential buyers are there to assess the home; if it feels crowded with personal belongings or closed in by dim lighting or undrawn drapes it won’t reflect well in the buyer’s eye. How could they ever make a fair assessment under these conditions? Remove unnecessary objects like rarely-used appliances and furniture, personal or family photos, and your least favoured decorative pieces (if you have any). Aim to create an open, but not bare, space - this is especially important to buyers who are moving as a result of needing more space. Leave curtains and blinds open, allowing lots of natural light to fill your home where possible. Depending on the design of the house, different types of lighting are likely to be better for different types of rooms (soft, hard, warm, cool, etc.). Your realtor can provide you with the direction and answers you need.
8. Use No Scent or Little Scent
It may seem like a good idea to utilize aromas, but heavy scents give the impression of masking something. In addition, scents that appeal to you will not appeal to everyone. Simply having a clean home is often enough to create a desired effect, and clean does not necessarily have a smell. If you decide to use scents, choose light or modest ones that are not easily overpowering. Apply them subtly in just a few areas of the home. Choose cleaning products that are similarly scented: lightly - if at all.
9. Clean & Organize Pet Areas
Your pets can be present during viewings, but it is advisable that they, and their areas, be as clean and as orderly as possible. Try not to leave toys lying around, ensure their bedding or crating isn’t a pungent mess, and consider that not all people are comfortable with certain types of animals. If you have a particularly territorial or exotic pet, it may be prudent to keep them in one area during the viewing, or to move them off the property temporarily if possible (and not stressful to the animal). Consult your realtor and advise viewers prior to showing that you own and live with animals.
10. Hire Pro Cleaners for Utilities
For utility areas, professional cleaners should be hired in nearly all cases. This includes all heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration equipment (furnaces, chimneys, HRV, heat pumps, filters, etc.). All home sellers are recommended (where possible) to hire professional services for cleaning/renovating, but in the case of utilities it’s a must. As always, your realtor will work with you to help select affordable and reputable services. Do not attempt to clean these things yourself, especially if you are inexperienced with the equipment.