According to the National Association of Realtors, the average number of homes that a buyer will look at before making an offer is 10, and the average time the process takes that buyer is 10 weeks.
For every buyer, then, that walks through your door, that buyer will be looking at nine other houses like yours, and make his buying decision based on how those houses compare to each other.
A buyer would be looking for the best house, for the least amount of money. To be in the running for an offer, the home (of course) needs to be priced competitively and staged well so that the buyer sees the value in your home. If it's not, your house will be eliminated right off the bat and the buyer will move on to the next house.
The goal of a showing is not to only "look at a house," it's also to get a sense as to whether the house "feels like home" and if a buyer can picture him or herself living there.
As you prep for a showing that will leave a good first impression and have covered all the basics (like having a squeaky-clean house with a tidy lawn that's been staged and decluttered), here are five showing tips that will help to have your house stand out from its competition and move your house to the top of (on average) a buyer's 10-long home-search list.
1. Fix the mailbox/numbers on the house. Presumably this will be a buyer's first visit to your home, and to ensure that they're at the right place, they'll be looking for the number of your house on the door/mailbox (or wherever it has been placed). If the numbers themselves are grubby or broken, or the mailbox that they are on is in disrepair, replace them.
2. Wash the glass storm door to remove children's fingerprints and pet's kisses. We may think that the little fingerprints of our children or pet kisses/nose smudges on our glass storm door are adorable. A buyer may think that your house is just dirty.
3. Add fresh flowers. Flowers can genuinely boost mood, increasing happiness and decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety. They show a guest how welcome they are, and how much effort you've put into preparing for their visit to make sure that they feel right at home.
4. Set an appropriate temperature for the home. For a more comfortable showing experience, ensure that your thermostat is set appropriately for the time of year. Bonus points: In the summer, make sure that your a/c isn't set too low - sometimes you can freeze people out. In the winter, if you have a fireplace, lighting it can create a super-homey feeling, and will show your buyers that the fireplace works: because they always ask!
5. Bake cookies. As cliché as it sounds in the home-selling world, the smell of cookies or freshly baked bread really do make a house feel like home. Don't have the time? Place a drop of vanilla in the stove and let it preheat then turn it off. It will smell like you baked, without having to. Bonus points: Refreshments of said baked cookies with a note inviting guests to help themselves? Most always warmly received.
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