Here are some valuable tips for the sellers on the home preparation and showing process.

Make the most of that first impression.

Remember, during the first few minutes that the potential buyers step up to your door and walk in to your home, they are most likely to fall in love with it, or be turned off by its appearance. Try to see your house with their own eyes, as if you were a buyer. Walk through it and see what can be improved to increase the overall appeal.

Improve, but don’t overdo it.

Inexpensive improvements can add thousands of dollars to the selling price and speed up the sale. Make sure you put your money where buyers will see it. Consider some minor redecorating ideas like fresh coat of paint, bringing those old floors back to life and making them shine again, or steam cleaning or even replacing the old worn out carpeting. For bigger jobs, you should consider doing the cost versus value analysis. If you over improve your property, you might not get your money back after the sale is completed.

Little things make a difference.

Don’t let little items detract buyers from what’s right with your home. Test the entry door bell. Tighten loose door knobs. Repair caulking around tubs. Fix leaking faucets. Take care of the squeaking doors. Cover hanging loose wires. Replace burned out bulbs. And the list goes on. Just do it.

Clean up… Everywhere and everything.

People value cleanliness. No matter what the season is, consider it spring and do your spring cleaning. Concentrate on the kitchen and bathrooms but don’t neglect any other areas. Make sure your windows and mirrors sparkle. Spending extra $100 on a cleaning service will pay off big time. Keep your property clean at all reasonable times.

Eliminate all clutter.

Clutter is an instant turn-off to any buyer. It makes the home seem uncared for and also it makes it look smaller.If possible, rearrange the furniture, so each room appears as spacious as possible. Organize closets, as buyers would love to have some extra storage space. Clear off all tables and kitchen countertops, get rid of the dirty dishes in the sink, pick up kids toys and unattended personal items. Buyers are looking for a comfortable living space.

What’s that smell?

Things that leave negative smells will turn off the buyers instantly. Whether it’s smoking, pet odors, full garbage bags, or even cooking spices, get rid of it. Place several fresh scent devices throughout the home.

Character and charm.

Little touches of decorating can contribute to a special feeling. Display colorful bedspreads and drapery. Put out your best towels, mats, shower curtains and new soap bars. Bring in some plants and designer pots. Add mirrors and art work to the empty walls. Use other low cost decorative accessories. And try to depersonalize your home by hiding your pictures and personal items like trophies or diplomas. Buyers want to be able to picture their stuff in the house, not yours.

Make it bright and cozy.

During the day, pull back your curtains, angle the blinds and let the sun shine in. In the evening, turn on all lights. Use higher intensity light bulbs.Open up the windows and let the fresh air in. Don’t make it too cold, or too hot. Set the temperature at the level that feels comfortable during the showing.

Turn down the volume.

Rock-and-Roll will never die but it might kill a real estate deal. It’s time to turn down the stereo and TV. If it’s too loud, it could be very destructive for potential buyers. Instead, tune in soft and quiet music on the same radio station in each room.

Watch your pets.

Dogs and cats are great companions but they have a talent for getting underfoot. You don’t want a buyer to pay more attention to your dog rather than your house. Try to keep your pets outdoors, caged or at least out of the way when your home is being shown.

Sorry, it’s time to leave.

Leave the property at least 15 minutes before the scheduled showing and return after theparty has left. You want the buyers to feel relaxed and to take their time when looking at your home. They often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. They are more likely to hurry through. And if you have to be present, try to stay in the background.

Keep a low profile.

If you are there during the showing, be friendly but don’t follow the buyers and don’t try to force any conversation. Keep the contact to minimum. Don’t apologize for the appearance of your home or praise how incredible it is. If they want to talk price or other terms, refer them to us. Let their agent handle the showing and give the buyers a chance to spend more time looking at your house and visualizing themselves living there.