Presenting Your Home To Buyers
Reflecting back nearly 30 years ago when I first started selling real estate, I admit to not taking the time or effort to properly ready my real estate listings for client showings. I lived and learned and truly understand how important this process is. Today I see and experience homes on the market that are not adequately presented to potential buyers. After years of walking into homes with unmade beds, clothes laying on the floor, laundry piled on top of the washer, dishes in the sink, over flowing trash cans, toilet lids up (this is one of my personal pet peeves) unclean cat boxes and doggie land mines littering the back yard, it’s easy to see that this is not the best way to present a home for sale. Knowing this, I always arrive early to my showings to check the home’s current condition and enhance each room. Many agents think it is the responsibility of the seller to ready the home for showings, but this is not the case.
Selling homes is one of the most stressful processes in one’s lifetime and children can intensify it by 3 to 4 times. Selling a home is like selling a car. People turn to the “Kelly Blue Book” method of pricing used cars. If an owner takes very good care of an automobile, regular detailing, keeps low mileage, timely service visits, along with little or no body damage, that owner achieves the highest blue book value along with a very enthusiastic buyer and peaceful transaction. Homes are more complicated, but the presentation to the buyer is similar. To obtain top dollar, the home must be “show ready.”
I have the privilege of working with one of my most successful home designers Clark Collins, of Collins Design & Development whose homes sell quickly and for premiums due to their design aesthetics and impeccable presentation.
Here are some of Clark’s tips to keep in mind when you are selling your home.
1) Consider any showing like a first date. You typically have one shot to make good first impression! You’re going to be moving anyway, so prior to your first showing do some serious packing and purging. If possible, get a small storage unit where you can store boxes and other items that you won’t need in the near future. If a storage unit isn’t a possibility, store items in a friend’s garage. A home that is nicely edited and free of clutter will show beautifully to prospective home buyers.
2) Deep clean – especially kitchens and bathrooms. Use this as an opportunity to clean out cabinets, drawers and even the garage. If it’s too daunting to consider doing this yourself, then hire a professional company to do it for you.
3) Hire a handyman to fix the small stuff. Repair broken door, cabinet and window hardware, replace missing screens, fix minor plumbing and electrical problems, etc. These items are going to show up on the home inspection, so you might as well address them.
4) Put a fresh face on the outside of your home. Make sure all the exterior lighting is in working order, purchase new doormats, remove weeds from the garden, clean out rain gutters, give the lawn a fresh mow and consider planting some colorful flowers in the front yard.
5) If a complete paint job is too daunting, then consider hiring a painter for a few hours to do touch up on walls, trim, moldings and cabinets on the interior and exterior of your home. Lastly, consider bringing in fresh cut flowers, ferns or orchids. If you feel inclined, set the table. Remember, prospective buyers will decide in the first few minutes in your home whether it’s the one for them. Give it your best shot!
Collins Design & Development
1999 So. Coast Highway, Suite 1 Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Work: (949) 494-5255 – Fax: (949) 494-1315 – Cell: (949) 554-5751