How to effectively 'show' your
home -- Page 2
Ultimately, a homeowner is
selling his or her space, not his or her things. "Rearranging the furniture
can help showcase important features of the house or minimize less attractive
features," says Wakeley. She also stresses the importance of accessorizing.
"Adding a burgundy throw to a neutral-colored couch, or a vase of fresh flowers
on the coffee table or fresh towels in the bathroom creates a welcoming environment."
As far as the home's exterior, it's important
to pay attention to curb appeal. "Here is where you can get the most bang
for your buck," says Terry Hankner, a Realtor for Comey & Shepherd Realtors
based in Cincinnati, Ohio. "It's relatively inexpensive to de-clutter your
garage, sweep the driveway, paint the front door, mow the lawn, and plant some
flowers," she says. "But it goes a long way and means a lot to the buyer
Landscaping is also key. "You
don't want to have a lot of brand new plants. You want something that looks more
mature and established. Stay away from starter plants -- they look like they've
just been dropped in the ground," says Matzke. She says to avoid the other
extreme, which is to have too many plants and flowers to the point where the yard
It's also important to be aware of the condition
of your neighborhood. "For most buyers, it's all about location, location,
location," Bernard says. While you can't control other people's yards, she
says you can make sure there's no garbage in the streets or suspect abandoned
cars. But she assures, "If you really take pride in your house, that can
be contagious," she says.
10 showing tips
mask smells with candles or potpourri. There's no sense in replacing one odor
with another. Buyers will wonder what odor you are trying to hide. But keep the
exotic spices and fish to a minimum when cooking the night before a showing. Work
toward achieving a "clean" smell.
- Remove animals
and litter boxes from the property. Find "Spot" a temporary home. Dog
smell is not going to entice potential buyers.
- Don't turn
on all the lights. Nobody looks his or her best under stark light, including your
house. Offer a nice balance of natural lighting, table and floor lamps, or tasteful
overhead lights. The idea is to create a mood.
- Don't paint
all walls white. White walls can look too institutional. Besides, colored walls
are en vogue. Try a neutral color like beige with yellow undertones or a mossy
- Get rid of dated wallpaper. While wallpaper is making
a comeback, dated wallpaper will always be, well, dated. Since it's not easy to
paint over wallpaper, removing it is the best option.
mindful of the carpeting. If the carpeting is in bad shape, shampoo it or replace
it. Never give the buyers an allowance to replace the carpets. Do it yourself
and do it before the showing.
- Remove window screens. Screens
take away from allowing natural light inside. Plus, no one will notice they are
- Remove all knick-knacks under 10 inches tall. We
all have random, small objects that clutter our home. Pack them up and put them
under the bed.
- Put away holiday decorations. Unless you
are showing your home during the holiday season, make sure to put away all holiday
- Don't spend a fortune on improving your home.
It's worth the investment to spend some money on enhancing your home, but don't
Klein is a freelance writer in Connecticut.