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Seller's Information

"Staging" Your Home for Showings

You have chosen the best real estate agent, diligently prepared your home for sale and established a competitive asking price. Now it's time to invite the showings! Buyers respond to homes that appeal to their senses. To make your home "feel" good, it should be warm and inviting, a comfortable and cheerful home that buyers can imagine as their own.

We have prepared this simple checklist to help you "set the stage" for successful showings:

Light makes rooms cheerful. Keep shades, blinds and draperies open to admit light, but screen out unattractive views. Turn on lamps and overhead lighting...even during the day. At dark, turn on exterior lighting.

Consider the sounds of your home. Play soft background music and turn off the TV. Don't leave your dog barking in a pen or garage.

Scent is important. Make sure to remove pet, smoke and strong smelling cooking odors. Air out your closets and remove smelly shoes and laundry. A home should not be heavily perfumed with potpourri; fresh, clean scents are best. Gently simmer a mixture of apple juice, orange or lemon wedges and cinnamon sticks in fall and winter. For spring and summer, a light mixture of water simmering with citrus sections or lemon oil, fresh herbs or berries will be most inviting. When possible, baking bread or cookies before showings yields an irresistible aroma! Add to the hospitality by leaving a few cookies and lemonade offered for your potential buyers.

Maintain a comfortable temperature. Keep the temperature cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Light an inviting fire in the fireplace or wood stove in the Fall and Winter.

Cleanliness is paramount. The bathrooms and kitchen should be squeaky clean, including closets, pantry and inside of cabinetry. Set out clean, neatly folded towels. In bathrooms, place scented soaps in dishes.

Protect your valuables. Remove jewelry and money from sight. Don't place small collectibles where they could be accidentally knocked off shelving or tabletops.

Make your home safe for visitors. In winter, clear away snow and ice from walkways. In garages and tool sheds, secure poisons and sharp tools. Remove or lock away weapons' collections. Make sure area rugs won't cause visitors to trip or fall.

Consider a buyer's perspective. Remove questionable or offensive posters, signs or art. Arrange furnishings so that rooms appear larger and are easy to walk through. Keep doors open from room to room.

Demonstrate good record keeping. Buyers appreciate information about the cost of utilities and home maintenance records. Consider preparing the average monthly cost for heating, cooling, water and sewer. Keep appliance manuals and warranties readily available for a buyer's review.

Leave your home for showings. Most buyers are hesitant to open closets and explore a home if the owner is present. They also may not talk openly with their agent about questions or objections. Worse, they may directly ask questions of you that you are not prepared to answer effectively. For these reasons, it is always best to leave your home when buyers are viewing it. By doing so, you will allow the buyer to imagine it as their own home. Prospects who cannot imagine the home as their own are unlikely to buy it.

For more information or assistance, please contact your favorite Napier ERA agent or fill out our contact form.