I was showing homes the other day in the early evening. ¬†It is the heat of summer here in Houston so plants can be in distress, yards a bit dry and house hunters lethargic from the humidity. ¬†But imagine walking up to a freshly painted door with great looking hardware and a pop of color in the way of a healthy potted plant. ¬† One of the places Realtors and clients seem to linger is on that front porch while the lockbox is opened for keys. ¬†It is without a doubt a first impression of the upkeep and maintenance of your home.
What made me think of showing the other evening was the comment by the client. ¬†They are animal loves as am I, but the scent of candles or fragrance was so strong, the client asked to leave. ¬†There was no point in going any further. ¬†Again, that first impression was that the owners were masking animal odors. ¬†The sad part is that this may or may not be true, but without a doubt the fragrance was so overwhelming, a potential buyer chose to leave rather than continue on. ¬†I have shown many, many homes with animals successfully. ¬†The key is to have a clean, welcoming scent when clients enter. ¬†Set out a few bottled waters during these hot, summer days.
The next event on this evening of showings was traffic noise. ¬†Let’s face it, there is no good way to “hide” traffic noise if your home is near a major freeway, railroad or intersection. ¬†While very low background music can be a nice touch, music set to a tone to drown out the offending noise does not work. ¬†There are buyers who will never purchase a home near a railroad track, for instance, and others who don’t mind at all. ¬†Best to put your home’s best foot forward with clean lines, fresh paint, clutter free living. ¬†A client will determine if location is a factor in their decision to purchase your home. ¬†You love it, someone else will too!
Lastly, if at all possible, leave a few key lights on and blinds open to showcase your home best. ¬†Especially in the evening, it helps a Realtor focus on showing the positives of your home if they are not distracted with finding light switches, opening a few ¬†blinds to accent the natural lighting, etc. ¬†Before you leave take on last stroll around the house to make sure all is well and no clothing is left on the floor (and yes, by that I mean underwear!) or kitty/doggie food out. ¬†Getting show ready is so important. ¬†A few extra steps on a seller’s part can help cut that listing time and lead to a contract…sooner rather than later.