The Top 4 Things You Could Do When Showing a House

Showing homes is a delicate business, one that requires lots of thought and attention to detail. While a crooked picture frame won’t change a prospective buyer’s opinion, there are several things that might send your clients running out of the house. If you avoid the following mistakes, you’ll have a greater selling potential.

Three’s Company, More’s a Crowd

Crowded House Showing

Image via Flickr by darthdowney

Lots of current owners want to stick around while the real estate agent shows the home. Some of them simply want to keep an eye on things but others just don’t want to leave the house. This typically leads to several kinds of predicaments, including but not limited to:

  • Walking in on homeowners in the shower
  • Dealing with loud, cranky, or exuberant children
  • Homeowners who enjoy asking questions and making comments

All of these scenarios are tricky to deal with, but some are worse than others. Owners might take offense to people making comments about their home, especially if they aren’t always positive. Whenever possible, encourage the current owners to leave the property, even if they simply take a walk around the block and return before the end of the showing.

The Litter Box Offense

Litter Box

Image via Flickr by kramdar

Many people have pets, which is great. Pets are wonderful. However, their various accoutrements aren’t always fantastic. If the homeowners are still on site and own a cat, a rabbit, or any other animal that uses a litter box, you have one of two options. Either make sure it is impeccably clean, freshly changed, and totally odorless or take it out of the house for the time being.

In fact, clean up all pet toys and place them out of the way. As far as domesticated pets go, they shouldn’t run around the house. In addition creating a mess, buyers coming in for a showing might have a fear of dogs or cats or severe allergies. Encourage owners to take their pets for a walk or kennel them until the house is sold.

Pest Control

Pest Control

Image via Flickr by A. Dawson

Think about wild animals and pests too. Find out ahead of time if there are any maniacal squirrels or raccoons that often pop in for visits. Make sure there aren’t any vermin infestations or bug problems well beforehand too. The surest way to lose a sale is to have a mouse or a line of ants run over the prospective buyer’s feet.

What’s That Smell?

Nice Smells

Image via Flickr by caribb

Put your nose to work during your walk through. Are there any unpleasant or downright heinous smells in the house? If so, try to track down the source—you might be dealing with a litter box problem, or perhaps Fido had an accident before going on his walk. If you can’t find the source of the odor, do what you can without being too obvious. Buyers might not appreciate the reek of incense, but well-placed candles definitely can’t hurt. However, a few spritzes of Febreze generally work. Failing that, try the age-old trick of throwing some cinnamon sticks in the oven.

Successfully showing a house involves more than introducing plenty of light and making sure nothing is too dirty or messy. What’s the most incredible mess you’ve ever found in a house?

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