If you’ve ever moved or tried to sell a home while still maintaining a normal life with kids, you know that it’s, well, it’s difficult. What first? How best to show? What’s expected? Family photos or no family photos? The thought of all of this was enough to make me anxious during our recent move. I had met Rhonda of Revealing Assets through the Modern Mama Home Event, as she does de-cluttering seminars and home staging for her clients. I called her up to ask about doing a walk-through with me in my home, and we set up a time for her to come over.
She started off by giving me a generalized checklist of things to do before a showing. Straightforward, but sometimes forgotten details …
– turn on all of the lights
– open the windows or air out your home prior if possible and NO artificial air-fresheners
– put away loose papers
– all magnets and papers should be removed from the fridge (clear the top too)
– open all the window coverings to let in maximum light and space
Then we proceeded to look through the house together, room by room. She even pointed out that a tea kettle or coffee maker is a good thing to leave out on the counter as it creates a feeling of ‘I could live here’ for the potential buyer. Another tip she divulged is that it takes the potential owner a mere minute to decide if the house is for them or not when they walk through the front entrance. First impressions really are everything when it comes to selling your home. (Curb appeal is huge too, of course!)
Through the house, we walked and although I felt strangely self-conscious as we opened every closet or bedroom door, I knew this was only the tip of the uncomfortable-feeling-iceberg in this process of selling and relocating my entire family of five (plus dog). So it had to be done.
She reminded me that the closets need to appear spacious – therefore half-full (or so) and the buyer should be able to peer through to the back wall of every closet so as to view the space inside quickly.
I think the most interesting thing I learned from Rhonda during her visit was that something as simple as leaving loose papers around can cause a buyer to low-ball an offer due to assumptions or perceptions. A buyer will purposely (if only subconsciously) look for clues around your home as to why you are selling.
Some tips when listing your home …
– personal family photos are fine as long as they are in good taste and not dominating the space (no entire walls or shelves full)
– children’s personal artwork and/or toys show pride of ownership, as well as a ‘happy’, feeling for the potential buyer (specifically if you’re selling a home that will likely be purchased by a family) (not cluttered, however)
– odours need to be diminished – febreeze the dog bed and carpets, air out with open windows and don’t cook curry (or fish, or other strong smelling foods) on the day of a showing
– the basement will be the last place they look – start storing your packed boxes somewhere there so the buyer can visualize you are ready and preparing to leave the home
It was a fantastic service! Rhonda emailed me a complete re-cap of our walk-through so that I could make furniture adjustments and any tidying/organizing that she had recommended. Yes, she will even ensure your furniture is placed at optimal placement to ensure your home is shown at its best. (She also does complete staging.)
It was a service well worth it, and we ended up selling our home in under two weeks on the market. I am confident that Rhonda’s visit had an impact on that timeline!