It seems like our life lately is a whirlwind chaos of vacuuming, dusting and straightening up in order to prepare the house for a showing. Which is such a blessing! David and I are really excited to show the house to any potential buyer who wants to check it out. Lately, we've had a ton of activity, which is great.
In order to control the chaos, we've slowly learned how to make the showing process somewhat of an orderly event. Of course, there's the obvious: clean your house within an inch of your life. No one wants to buy a dirty house! But there are also a couple of other things I've learned that help the showing process.
For those of you out there who are selling your home, thinking about selling your home or know someone who is selling their home, here are some of the tips and tricks of the trade we've learned in the last couple of months!
Bring in some fresh flowers.
Nothing says I'm home! more than a bouquet of beautiful fresh flowers. I try to include some throughout the house, including the main living areas and bathrooms. The above shot was taken this weekend, as I was prepping the house for two showings Sunday afternoon. Oh, and I'm a major dork because I actually add a little note that says "Peonies straight from our bushes out back!" just so the homebuyers know that these are fresh flowers they can get from our yard! Win win.
Get rid of the clutter.
No one likes clutter. That includes cluttered furniture, countertops, desktops, etc. If you think you have too much furniture in a space, take some out and put it in storage! We keep things pretty sparse around our home, so we haven't really taken this step. But most of us could use a control on the countertop clutter... I know we do! So all mail, bags, shoes, books, etc. need to be put away. As your momma always said, "everything has it's place!" It helps to keep up with this little chore the entire time your house is on the market, so you're not scurrying every time you get a call for an appointment.
Puppies (or any pets!) need a roadtrip.
You know I love my dogs, but I've quickly learned that not everyone does! David and I have made it a point to have the dogs out of the house for every showing. No one wants dogs (or cats!) pawing (or worse- jumping or barking!) at them while they're checking out a house. And even the backyard or basement should be off limits... you need to make sure that every part of your home is freely available for the homebuyers to look at. That means Tucker and Maggie and I go on lots of road trips lately! : )
Your. House. Must. Smell. Good.
I know this one is kind of a no-brainer, but for those of us with pets, this is kind of a hard task! You definitely don't want your house to smell like your pet... at all. We've found two great ways to help with freshening up once we learned your average air freshner wasn't doing the trick.
First, I spray OdoBan around our house. It neutralizes all bad odors, which is awesome. It's certainly not green like most of the cleaning products that we use, but we open up the windows when we spray it and let the house ventilate altogether. And it works... well! You can spray it on fabric, in the air... just about anywhere! It definitely gets rid of the doggy smell. Also, I use a fun trick for making your carpets smell good while you're vaccuming. Simply drop a few drops of home frangrance oil on shredded pieces of tissue and vaccum the pieces up. Voila! The smell is absorbed into the vaccum and dispersed throughout the house. Love it.
Leave a few personal touches for the homebuyers.
No, I don't mean leave out the love note your hubby left you yesterday. I try to incorporate ways to show the homebuyer that this is a home and not just a house. Anything you can do to make them picture themselves living in the house is good, in my book. I leave the homebuyers a note that gives a quick synopsis of the improvements we've made (ie. the love we've poured into the house!). I also note the great parks to walk to and tell them about our wonderful neighbors. I think it adds a personal element that they can't discover on their own, just from seeing the house. Sometimes we'll even bake cookies before the showing, which is always a winner move : )
So that's what we've learned so far in our house showing process. It's not rocket science, but these little tweaks and tricks really seem to help! And you can always use these tips when you're simply having guests over. Of course, we're not professionals by any means, this is just our two cents. We've had some great feedback and are really optimistic about getting the house sold. Here's hoping!