7 Ways You Can Help Your Agent Sell Your Home
1. Turn on all the lights. I once arrived to show my listing to discover that the homeowners were not turning on the hallway lights at the entrance to their condo. It had been on the market a little too long, and some of the feedback said it felt dark. When I began to check the other areas of the condo, I discovered they were turning on most of the overhead lights but not the table lamps. In the bathroom, the vanity lights were on but not the one over the shower. After the showing I explained that every light should be on for future showings and they were happy to comply – it just had not occurred to them.
2. Accept every showing if at all possible. They are almost always at an inopportune time, but that’s a small speed bump on the way to your new home. Even waiting a day can change the mind of a buyer. Buyers who are looking on Thursday and Friday might abandon Friday altogether if they find something they like on Thursday.
3. Pets can be problematic for a number of reasons. Pet odor can be a major turn-off and honestly, we can all become accustomed to smells so as not to notice them. People without pets often notice more quickly when entering a home. Ask your agent if he or she notices pet odor and it will give them the opportunity to be frank without fear of offending you if you ask first. Make sure litter boxes are spotless and out of the way. Doggie daycare may be an everyday expense you don’t want, but during showings it can make a big difference if you can’t get home to remove the dog. It could make thousands of dollars of difference if the buyers can’t go into a space because the dog is being restrained there.
4. Many of my older clients in the Lowcountry like their window unit air conditioners. They are frugal by nature and often mistakenly believe that window units are cheaper to run by just cooling the bedroom at night and not the entire house. That may have been true at one time, but newer HVAC systems are typically much more efficient to run. When buyers see window units in a home with central air, they immediately assume the that the HVAC is not working properly. You can always put them back after the offer is accepted.
5. I always welcome the nosy neighbors with open arms to my open houses and sellers should as well. Your neighbors might sell your home through word of mouth. They often want their family and friends nearby. In fact, invite them in and ask them if they know anyone who might be looking.
6. I know it’s hard, but keep things tidy. You don’t have to live that way every day, but while the house is on the market the beds must be made, laundry put away, bathrooms kept pristine, and clutter gone. Once the house goes under contract, you can take a vacation from making the bed. A great way to de-clutter quickly and works great for folks with small children is to purchase some extra laundry baskets. A quick tour through the house tossing into the basket as you go is easy, and you can carry it to the car with you when you leave.
7. And speaking of which, it really does help if homeowners aren’t present during showings. Most buyers don’t want to hurt your feelings with their comments and will not give honest feedback in most cases. They don’t feel comfortable looking in closets or opening cabinets and they will not linger taking in everything. I had buyers in a home who would not even go into the room where the sellers were because they felt they were intruding. More importantly, you might say something that seems completely innocuous but could hurt your potential sale. You are more likely to overshare than not. Some sellers believe that they can sell the home features because they know it best. If that’s your thought, write a lengthy addendum to the seller’s disclosure and point out all your special features. There will be some rare exceptions to this rule and a good agent can help you make good choices about how to limit the exposure if it’s absolutely necessary.
Call me to discuss the many ways I can help you sell your home – spoiler alert, there are more than 7 ways!