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How to Prepare Your Home for a Showing

Austin Home SellersThere is a lot of work and preparation that goes into selling a home in Austin. For example, you must conduct thorough market research to understand prices and demand. You have to develop and execute a marketing strategy that gets you the most exposure to the best-suited buyers. And of course, there's the pricing strategy; which has to be custom-tailored to your neighborhood, so that you get the most competing bids.

However, one part that is commonly overlooked is how to prepare your home for the open house viewings. This is such a vital part of the process, yet one that is routinely ignored by sellers; leading to unnecessarily low bids and prolonged listing times.

Basic Cleaning

When preparing your home for sale in Austin, it's a wonderful idea to clean the most common household areas. Sure, it may be difficult to clean every nook and cranny, but focus on the big stuff to get the most out of your effort.

For example, clean the sinks, shower(s), and the toilets. This is a big deal, because dirt and stains on sinks or faucets is easily visible, and creates a negative emotion in the buyer. Just think of how you feel when you see a clean, shiny sink, versus one with toothpaste stains in it.

To explain it more simply; the potential buyer wants a house they can pretend no one lived in, because they want it to be their home. By removing negative personal traces, like trash, dirty dishes and cleaning the bathrooms, you will leave the potential buyer with positive emotions, which will lead to more offers.

Here are a few other useful cleaning tips:

  • Make sure all the toilet seats are down.
  • Remove all soaps, sponges and shampoos from the shower (you can keep them in a plastic bin). Again, this goes along the lines of helping a buyer imagine that they'll be the first to live in the house.
  • Remove all toothbrushes and personal belongings from bathroom sink counters.
  • Remove all groceries from the kitchen counters or other visible parts of the kitchen. There are a couple reasons for this: 1) it makes your kitchen look neat, and 2) the buyer might not like the food you eat, or may be allergic to it; which will subconsciously create a negative association in the buyer's mind. Do leave something nice out as a treat for visitors; like cookies or pie.
  • Wash the windows in the entire house. This is highly important because bright sunlight can make your house shine with emotional warmth. If the buyer is to fall in love with your home, they must form an emotional connection with it. Bright sunlight through clean windows can create just such a feeling.
  • Go out of your way to clean hardwood floors. Carpets may be difficult to clean, and most buyers have the full intention of replacing any carpets once they move in. So when they see a clean house with somewhat stained carpets, it is relatively easy for them to overlook the issue. However, dirty floors in the kitchen, bathroom are a bigger problem. These are much more permanent in the buyer's mind. Therefore, spend the time to make the floor spotless, even if you have to hire a professional to do it.
  • If you have pets, take them out of the house during the viewing. But don't just leave them in the back yard; take them to a pet day care, or leave them with relatives. You'll be surprised how many people are allergic to pets and will avoid buying a house simply because they feel it will be impossible to remove all the pet dander.

    Of course, these ideas are quite basic. There's a lot more you can do, and in some cases, cost effective renovations may be needed to get you fair market value for your home. However, for many homeowners, following the basic steps will go a long way in getting higher offers, and more of them. Even if the offers you get are just a few thousand dollars more than if your house was a mess, it's still worth a weekend or two of work to get everything in tip top shape!

    If you have any questions about how to prepare your home, give us a call! We'll be happy to provide you with guidance and will even give you a FREE Detailed Home Evaluation. Don't go it alone, give us a call at 512-892-0708!

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