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How to Get Your Home Show-Ready

getting ready for a home showing

It’s time to show off that gorgeous property, but how can you prep the home to really wow your potential homebuyer? Go the extra-mile and follow these 7 tips to fully showcase a home’s potential and let your buyers see themselves living there.

1. Dust, mop, scrub

A dirty house will leave a bad impression on your potential buyers and distract them from all your house has to offer. Make sure the home gets a deep scrub down and all windows, counters, and floors are squeaky clean.

2. Freshen up your paint

Prepare the home for the next owners by painting the walls a fresh coat in a neutral color. Although eggshell white paint is perfectly safe to prepare for new owners, don’t be afraid to showcase the home in a similar (but more sophisticated) neutral color. Sandy beige, cream, taupe or light grey. An off-white with yellow undertones looks marvelous on a sunny day.

3. Master the art of decluttering

Don’t let clutter distract your potential buyers! Make sure that items that don’t highlight value in the home are out of sight. This includes (but is not limited to) kid’s toys, clothes, tchotchkes and loose papers/bills. Storage areas, such as closets and pantries, should be minimal as well. Even if your closets are small, consider removing half of your clothes to create the feeling of maximum space and store them in the attic. Check out our article, Four Incredible Ways to Benefit from Decluttering Today” on how to minimize your items.

4. Plan for a gorgeous day

If possible, plan to do a showing on a day with pleasant weather and sunshine. People tend to be in better moods when the sun is out. You can also use the beautiful weather to showcase the landscape surrounding the home and let in tons of natural light inside the home. Natural light is so important when showing homes.

5. Perform a sniff test

Does your home pass? Keep in mind, greasy food smells tend to linger. So try to avoid that tasty burger night for at least a day before your showing (unless you want the home to smell like a fast-food joint.) It’s a good idea to open up the windows on your home early in the day and turn fans on to let fresh air flow through. A spritz of odor-neutralizing spray can also do wonders to give the home a fresh scent and appealing atmosphere to potential buyers.

Please avoid the tempting microwave popcorn too just in case it accidentally burns because that smell lingers and really detracts from a showing experience. Pet odors are a big deal-killer so if you have a cat or dog who has accidents, please make sure your litter boxes and carpets are cleaned. You can also use air fresheners but don’t overdo it. Savvy buyers and agents immediately think you are overcompensating for a terrible smell if the smell of air fresheners knocks them over when they enter your home.

staging your home for a home showing

6. Let your potential buyers picture themselves in each room

Eliminate overly-personal items such as family photos on the mantel or kid’s art hanging on the fridge. (We know this is the sad part but trust us, it’s only temporary until your home has a buyer.) Taking away these items will lessen the attachment to the previous owner and allow the potential buyers to feel more at home themselves.

You can also showcase how the potential buyer may enjoy certain parts of the home. Why not delight your home tourists? For example, a cozy knitted throw blanket thrown over an armchair alongside a book may elicit the sense of comfort. A bath towel draped over the garden tub can help them picture relaxing for a soak. A pretty breakfast-in-bed tray placed on the master bed can immediately transport that buyer into imagining a lazy Sunday morning. Set the tables as if you were expecting them as a dinner guest. Have a movie playing on the big TV in the media room even if the sound is down so they can imagine life in your home. You get the idea. Let your creativity run wild here.

7. Highlight focal points

To expand on the suggestion above, try these few styling tips as a simple way to highlight the most desirable features of your home. Do this by smartly framing key spots. For example, a gorgeous bathroom with a huge tub would be a great spot for a few spa pieces such as candles or massage stones. You can even use a pop of color to draw the eye to certain spots, such as red pillows on a sofa in a beautiful bay window. Your potential homebuyers may not be realizing it, but small, purposeful additions can make all the difference.

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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