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Karen LaBar Baucum
                          Owner/Broker •  Home to buy smart •  Home selling path from A to Z •  Top 10 home showing tips •  Home selling mistakes
Heritage Home Realty • Karen LaBar Baucum (Owner / Broker)  • Office/Fax: (760) 931-9398
Top 10 Home Showing Tips
How to Show Your Home to Buyers
By elizabeth Weintraub,
When you show your home, you want to engage the buyer emotionally because the decision to buy is based more on emotions, and less on logic. Give the buyer permission to say, "Yes, I want to buy this home," by staging, accentuating your home's positive attributes, and do not draw any attention to the negative aspects.
Besides, there will be plenty of time after the deal is signed to talk about the drawbacks.
1) The Gracious Welcome
Although the buyer is a guest in your home, you want the buyer to imagine owning the home. You don't want to make the buyer feel like an intruder.
•    Don't expect the buyer to remove her shoes, unless you are selling to a
buyer for whom religious or cultural reasons mandate it. Otherwise, the
presumption is insulting.
•    Leave the house. The buyer won't talk about the house in front of you or
open doors with you standing there.
•    Don't pressure or hurry the buyer. Tell the buyer to take all the time that
is needed.
•    Leave a bowl of wrapped candy or other treats near the front door with a
small note thanking the buyer for coming to see your home.
2) Check the Temperature
•    Now is not the time to worry about your utility bill. If it's cold enough to
wear a sweater to stay warm, turn on the heat.    
•    If it's warm outside, turn on the air conditioning. It's better to heat or cool
the house a degree or two warmer / colder than usual and then set the
temperature at normal. This prevents the heat or A/C from kicking on when
the buyer is present, because some HVAC systems are loud.
•    You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give the buyer
more of a reason to linger, especially on hot or cold days!
3) Create a Mood
•    Light a fire in the fireplace.
•    Make it romantic by placing two champagne glasses on a nearby table.
•    Turn on soft music. I used to play Enya until one day I heard it piped in at
a mortuary.
•    If you have water fountains, turn them on. They are especially useful for
drowning out traffic noise.
4) Play Down the Scent
•    Many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers, so don't spray
the air or plug-in air fresheners.    
•    Don't burn candles or spray perfume in the bedroom for the same reason.
•    If weather permits, open the windows -- if there is too much noise
outside, close them.    
•    If you're going to bake cookies or simmer spices such as cinnamon in
water on the stove, put out munchies so buyers aren't disappointed. More
than one buyer has said, "Oh, darn, I thought there were cookies in here!"
5) Play Up the Visual
•    If you have seasonal photographs showcasing flower gardens, leaves
bursting in color or a snow-covered lawn twinkling from street lights, then
display them in a prominent position.
•    Open all the window coverings to let in light.    
•    Keep blinds partially closed that otherwise show undesirable outdoor
scenery such as a dilapidated fence or a nearby structure that obstructs
6) Light up the House
•    Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet
•    Brighten dark rooms with few windows by placing spot lights on the floor
behind furniture.    
•    Turn off TV.
7) Encourage Touching
•    Drape sensuous fabrics such as velvet or silk throws over chair arms.
•    Leave doors slightly ajar.    
•    If you have carpeting, vacuum in one direction.
8) Provide Thoughtful Cards
Attach printed cards to items and in rooms that provide further information the buyer might miss or might not know. You have so little time to make an impression.
•    If you have an antique chandelier in your dining room, put a card on it
that discloses its age and other important details.
•    If you have removed the washer and dryer from the laundry room, attach
a card to the wall describing the room.
•    If your basement stairs are steep, attach a card to the railing that
cautions buyers to watch their step.
•    Take care when placing a card that says: "Not included in the sale." That
will make a buyer want it, but you can play that later to your advantage.
9) Top It Off With Food
The best way to entice buyers to linger and notice even more details about your home is to offer them food. You don't need to cater a lunch, but finger sandwiches, cookies, soft drinks, water, desserts, all are welcome.
•    Set out serving utensils, if needed.
•    Provide plates, cups and napkins. They can be paper products.
•    In plain sight, provide a waste receptacle.
10) Encourage Buyer Feedback
•    Near the snacks, leave pens and a stack of preprinted questionnaire cards
or a guest book to sign.    
•    Buyers will feel obligated to respond to your request after being fed.    
•    The showing feedback you receive will be invaluable.    
•    Allow buyer anonymity.