It’s safe to say that purchasing a home is the largest financial decision in most people’s lives (we’re sure you’ve heard that line MANY times before, but it’s the truth). However, when it comes to being on the other side of the transaction, it’s important for sellers to keep this in mind. Remember what it was like when you purchased the very property you live in now? Whether your Realtor showed you many homes, or you were lucky enough to find the one you loved right away, you probably took your time looking through each and every place. You pictured yourself having dinner on the balcony or in the backyard, mentally measured the wall space in the master to see if your favourite antique dresser would fit the space, and pulled back the shower curtain to take a look at the fixtures.
Being on the selling side means that it’s the buyer’s turn to give YOUR property the chance to be their picture-perfect home, and you’ll want to ensure that they have the best experience possible. So how do you make sure buyers fall in love with your space during a showing? In this post, we’ll go over condo and house showing etiquette and provide tips on how to show your space in the absolute best light possible.
Make sure your house shows as well as it does in the listing photos.
There’s no doubt that you did a major declutter, and maybe even hired a professional to ensure that your space was extra-clean and shiny for its photo debut. The last thing you want is for a buyer’s expectations not to be met because your home looked incredible in the photos, but not so incredible in real life. The key to making jaws drop during any house showing is to treat it like every day is photo day.
Setting the table could help a buyer picture what it’s like to entertain their friends and family in their new dining room. Fresh, fluffy towels and flowers in the bathroom can easily make a buyer fall in love with your spa-like ensuite, and NEVER forget to make all beds! Of course, your Realtor is the best resource when it comes to offering advice as to what items to add or remove during the time your home is being shown – don’t be afraid to ask, this is house showing etiquette 101!
Ensure ultimate comfort for visitors.
Remember that buyers are going to be on high-alert once they enter your home. House showing etiquette even extends to an odd smell or too-cool a temperature can be off-putting to a potential purchaser. Freezing cold floors may be refreshing to you during the summertime, but the last thing you want is buyers shivering as they walk through your property! You want buyers to take their time, so anything that could potentially make them feel uncomfortable will likely result in a quicker showing.
Always make sure that the thermostat is set to a reasonable temperature, and that any heavily aromatic meals you may have cooked the night before are stored in Tupperware in the fridge (and that the kitchen has been given time to air out!). If you have pets, make sure litter boxes are tucked away as much as possible and do your best to lint-roll Rover’s dog hair off the couch.
Give them (and yourself) some space!
This may be the number one rule of house showing etiquette – leave the property! This is important for many reasons.
As mentioned above, you always want to ensure ultimate comfort for potential buyers. Someone walking through your home may want to take a peek at your walk-closet but would feel uncomfortable viewing such a personal space with you standing in the same room.
A Realtor is the expert when it comes to showings, and knows how to highlight each and every area of your property to cater to particular buyers. A buyer who dislikes the colour green might be instantly put-off if you’ve chosen to paint your living room that colour, but a Realtor will point out the extra-high ceilings and room for two couches – great bones, and nothing a paint job can’t fix!
Not only does leaving the property benefit the buyer, but yourself as well. A buyer may be afraid to voice concerns or inquire deeply about a property with the seller within earshot, and it’s likely they won’t put in an offer if there are lingering questions that go unanswered. The last thing you want to do is unknowingly sabotage a potential offer, so it’s best to give buyers and the Realtor privacy during a showing.
It’s important to both physically and mentally prepare for showings, and we hope that the article above has given you some insight on house showing etiquette! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. And last but not least, take a look at our Guides for Sellers for more tips on home staging, timing the sale of your home, the best post-list reno projects to take on and more.
If you’re thinking of listing your home in the future, email or call us (416-291-7372) and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours! Or, simply fill out the form below to get in touch.