At this point, you've likely worked so hard to get your home ready for the market! A few final steps, and good practices will help people to view your home in the best light possible, and increase the odds of your receiving an offer!
We want to showcase your home at its very best, so leave the lights on. When buyers enter your home for the first time, they’ll be greeted by a bright space and won’t have to fumble in the dark for light switches.
If you’ve left home for the weekend, make arrangements to have the lights turned off at the end of each day by your Realtor, a neighbour or a programmable time. Unfortunately, having a for-sale sign, a fully lit house in the middle of the night, and no car in the driveway is a recipe for a potential break-in.
Although you might think you can help by being home when buyers tour your property, you will be doing the exact opposite. Buyers will feel very uncomfortable looking at your house while you are in it. They don’t want to see you doing laundry, smell your dinner cooking, or walk around your children playing in the living room.
Need more convincing? According to the National Association of Realtors, the #1 reason a house spends a long time on the market is the seller stays in the home during showings.
Why is this? Buyers who are serious want the freedom to explore every part of your house. They’ll want to look inside all the bedroom closets, open the kitchen cabinets, inspect the appliances, and lift your area rugs to check for scratches on the hardwood floor. If you are home, potential buyers will worry about bothering you and won’t take the time they need to have a good look at your house.
The goal of a home showing is to help a potential buyer make a personal connection with your house. That can only happen if buyers feel comfortable. If they don’t, you can say goodbye to any offers!
What can you do while buyers are looking at your home? Try out a new coffee shop, go to a movie, or consider staying with a friend or family member during the first week or weekend that your home is for sale.
Most home showings happen outside of 9 to 5 business hours. Especially for working people, evenings and weekends will be when people have time to see your home.
We recommend that you allow showings between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., any day of the week, with little notice. Many sellers choose to leave town to allow full access and keep the house clean during the showing period.
Most showings are booked for an hour but normally last only 15 minutes. A one-hour appointment accounts for traffic and other unknowns when seeing more than one property in a day.
Some sellers like to restrict showings to 30 minutes for their own personal convenience, but this won’t help your house sell. Buyers may feel rushed while looking through your home, and agents may feel frustrated by the time constraints. Buyers who spend a long time in your home are signalling interest, and that’s what you want!
If you restrict showing times, you’ll limit the pool of potential buyers.
Bottom line: Fewer buyers = a lower selling price.
Home showings don’t always go perfectly, and unfortunate things will happen. Agents might be late or miss their appointments entirely. Sometimes, agents and buyers will forget to take their shoes or boots off and track dirt or snow into your home. And although it happens rarely, agents occasionally forget to lock a door when they leave, something in the house gets broken, a window is left open, or a family pet gets out.
Of course, any of these situations are not ideal. In these cases, let your agent know right away. Then, take a deep breath. Keep in mind that this is temporary and your house will be sold soon!
While your home is listed, leave it in top condition at all times! Here are the general suggestions: