Preparing your House for Showing

Making the decision to put your house on the market is only the first step of many that requires your attention, and there are certainly a few topics to look over before your home hits the market publicly. Decisions such as who will represent you during the selling process, what value you believe your home has, and how you would like others to perceive your home.

Tip #1: Borrow Some Honest Noses!

One of the responses of the human body to odor is it’s ability to adapt to smells. Just because you don’t smell an odor in your home doesn’t mean there isn’t one lingering for newcomers to discover. If you own pets, smoke, or live in an older home, it is always a good idea to ask your honest friends their opinion of how your home smells. I know this seems a little over the top, but time and time again this is a common complaint of realtors and buyers due to the fact that the owner simply is unaware. Most of the focus for a seller during showing is commonly the visual aspect of the home, because of this reason the odor can be overlooked.

There are multiple ways to clear an odor out of your house such as cleaning the carpets, airing out your home on a pleasant day, using a deodorizer, replacing old air conditioning filters, using furniture cleaners/deodorizers, or having mold removed. When making the decision to sell your home, you must put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and know exactly what they will be encountering during the time they are present in your home.

Tip #2: How Much?

Listing price should be one of the first questions you ask yourself and your realtor when deciding to list your home for sale. Pricing is so important that it can either make a buyer double-over laughing because the price is too high, or can completely turn buyers off because the price is too low and they wonder what may be wrong with your home. Bottom line, you need to discuss what the right price is to make your home stand out and make buyers go from looking to their computers to actually viewing your home in person.

Consult an Expert

There are a few ways to ensure you have the right price for your home. First, you need to take emotion completely out of the equation and seriously look at what the value is by looking at the activity in your surrounding area. The most reliable resource would be to consult a realtor for this because they have the most useful tools to give you the most accurate information.

Comparative Analysis

A realtor is going to look at what in your area is listed for sale, has sold, and what homes are currently in the process of being purchased. From there the realtor will also do a comparison of the homes that are similar to yours by size, location, and features and be able to give you their honest opinion of what they believe your house is worth in today’s market.

Ultimately the decision of price is up to you as the seller, but traditionally overpriced homes don’t sell well and go through drastic price reductions. We also revert back to the old saying “Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it”.

Tip #3: Cleanliness

Of course this seems as if it should be the most important topic, but you have to be able to get buyers out from behind their computer at home and into your home personally. Once you have them intrigued from the price and description online, you will want to impress them immediately when they pull in the driveway. The first visual impression you make when selling your home is when a buyer arrives with his realtor to view your home. How does the outside look? The lawn should be maintained regularly, the walls may need to be pressure washed along with the roof, or maybe the windows could use a good cleaning before your home is shown.

First impressions are very important from the outside, but not nearly as important as what the interior’s condition will be. You don’t want a buyer and their realtor to focus on the dishes in the sink or the pile of dirty laundry at the end of the bed, but rather how gorgeous the crown molding is or how nice the wood flooring feels on their feet.

The point is that as a seller, you want the focus to be how nice the features are in your home, not be distracted by the condition the home was left in for a showing. Sometimes the buyer’s imagination does not take them very far to envision their life in your home when they are so focused on the mess they found in the closet when trying to gain a perspective on storage space.

Tip #4: That Dreaded “Honey-Do” List

Whether you have a honey or you are the honey, the little repairs you have been putting off until tomorrow need to be priority today. These repairs are usually affordable and will also allow you to get closer to your asking price. Don’t get me wrong, a buyer is not going to turn on the microwave or look under every sink to ensure the plumbing is not leaking; but they will certainly be opening the sliding glass door to the lanai, flicking light switches, and holding the handrail on the stairs to view the second story.

These little maintenance issues will show up during a home inspection performed by a professional if they have not been discovered during the showing. If there are enough little malfunctions occurring during a showing the client is going to wonder what they have not discovered and if the home needs extensive repairs. This is always a large worry in a buyer’s mind and is easily preventable if you just glance at tomorrow’s “to do” list or pay attention to how your house functions during your daily and weekly routine.

The repairs that need to be performed on your home may not be within your experience to fix, but your realtor will more than likely have a handyman he/she can refer you to.

Make a Clear Path to the Closing

When you follow these tips before listing your home in today’s real estate market, you are very likely to see a higher offer if not asking price, less time on the market, and an easier path to the closing table. To properly exercise these topics before listing your home, you should attempt to have either a preparation party with some close friends. Invite some friends over for a mock showing/dinner party, or if this isn't possible, your realtor should be more than happy to assist. Your friends may not be willing to get their hands dirty, but something everyone has that your friends can certainly share, is their opinion.

Having a realtor is also a key factor to the listing process. They are able to convey their professional opinion to ensure that you do receive top dollar in the shortest amount of time. They also do all of the heavy lifting so you don’t have to worry about running home from work to let agents in during your lunch break, or make sure that you listed your home for sale properly.

I hope you understand the importance of having the highest quality showing possible, because once your home is listed, your next buyer certainly does!

If you've been considering selling your Sarasota home, we're happy to assist you with a price analysis or answer any questions you may have. Please don't hesitate to contact us at (941) 284-4474 or Toll free (941) 404-4737. One of our qualified agents will gladly get back to you.

Contact Us

 Keller Williams Island Life Real Estate       The Coffey Group Fine Homes International        Florida Suncoast Property Management 

206 Harbor Drive S,                                    1972 Hillview Street,                                              13801 Tamiami Trail Suite A, 

Venice, FL                                                   Sarasota, FL                                                           North Port, FL

34285                                                          34239                                                                    34287

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4125 Lakewood Ranch Blvd,

Bradenton, FL


13801 Tamiami Trail Suite A,

North Port, FL