As Waterloo Region homesellers, you will hear and read again and again about the importance of preparing your home for sale. This can be a lot harder to pull off successfully if you are still living in your home. It is not, however, an impossible task.
While you may have spent weeks de-cluttering, painting and having those few imperfections that existed repaired, there are still a few things you will need to do right before potential buyers turn up to view your home.
Here is a quick checklist of things you should try to do as homesellers right before a buyer stops by with their Realtor:
- Open all the curtains and blinds if you are showing during daylight hours to let in as much natural light as possible. Dark homes are gloomy homes and that is the last thing you want your property to appear to be. If the weather outside is gloomy – as, for example, our Waterloo Region winters tend to be – turn on some interior lighting as well.
- Vacuum and sweep, even if you only just did it yesterday.
- Make sure all your washing up is done and dishes, plates and cutlery are neatly put away and out of sight. The kitchen is one of the rooms people take the longest look at, and the one space in your home that needs to be as neat and uncluttered as possible. A good decluttering at the initial staging stage should help make this an easier task.
- Make sure the temperature in your for sale by owner home is just right. In the summer make sure that the air conditioning and or fans are on, but not blasting away so much that the place feels like the North Pole. In the winter the heat should be set at a comfortable level but not cranked so high that it feels like the place is a greenhouse rather than a home. One way to ensure the right temperature – and save yourself money while you are still living in your Waterloo Region home – is to install a programmable smart thermostat, one that can be remotely controlled from a smartphone. And there’s an extra bonus here, as many buyers right now are impressed – and delighted – by the sight of smart tech in homes they are considering making an offer on.
- Make sure that cat litter boxes are clean (and preferably out of sight) and that any pets in the home are safely secured in a room where they will not interfere with your buyers. If possible send them on a mini vacation to the neighbour’s house for a few hours. However friendly Fido may be, having him bound down the drive to greet potential buyers is never a good idea.
- Prepare a few light refreshments. Although not essential, and the potential buyers may turn your offer down anyway, putting out a plate full of assorted cookies, or having the kettle ready to make a cup of tea for your guests is a nice, welcoming gesture that many buyers will really appreciate.
- Leave. Sorry homesellers, if that sounds harsh, but it really is easier for a real estate agent to show a Waterloo Region home if its current owners are not present. A good Realtor will always give you a full report on how the showing went after the fact and will also make sure that it is safe while they are there.