Tips and Tricks to Best Showcase Your Home to Potential Buyers while keeping you safe!

  1. Let Your Agent Take the Lead. In your own personal Home Show, your real estate agent has two roles. To you, they are the director, giving you instructions on how to prepare for visitors and what to do during the event. To buyers, your agent is the host. They will welcome viewers, introduce your home’s impressive features, and take questions from the audience.                            


Your job is to make your house look like a million bucks - or more like $300,000. Depending on your price range.


The job of your agent, an expert on your local real estate market, is to take care of the rest. That will include:


  • Help you stage your home, or recommend a reputable stager that you can hire.

  • Hosting the showing or open house.

  • Communicating with home buyers and buyers’ agents

  • Receiving feedback during the open house and communicating that feedback to you.


Your agent will also recommend that you should probably leave while they       show off your house to strangers, who will look under your sinks and peek into your closets. Why should you heed that advice? Because it makes good business sense for you.


  • A Homeowner's presence can make it awkward for the buyer. Buyers want to make assessments on their own, without worrying about how the seller might react or try to influence them.

  • Buyers may have trouble picturing themselves living in the house when the owner is right there.

  • Sometimes sellers say too much. You might point out something that you think is a nice feature or amenity of your home, when it’s something that might turn off a buyer. You might blurt out something that could tip your negotiating hand, like how motivated you are to sell (soon!), or that you always wanted to update the retro kitchen - but just never got around to it.

  1. Hide all valuables.  Including jewelry, bank information, prescription medication, electronics, guns/weapons, etc. Hide them where thieves don’t think to look. This means jewelry out of jewelry boxes, medicine out of medicine cabinets and guns/weapons in locked safes, If necessary, put valuables in storage. Put all mail away, including credit card bills and bank statements, which could allow identity theft. Put away personal photos of family members. Personal belongings can distract home buyers and make it harder for them to imagine themselves living in your home.

  2. NEVER let strangers who walk up to your door into your house. Make them schedule an appointment with your REALTOR in advance. Also, advise your children not to let anyone in the house, no matter what they say. Even if they claim to be a real estate agent and present a business card (anyone can print those), they need to follow your safety procedures.

  3. Beware of oversharing on social media. This includes your children. Don’t share or brag about vacations or plans to go out. Don’t “check-in” to places. Don’t photograph and show, or brag about expensive artwork, electronics, weapons (or even have them in the background of personal pictures), etc. Be especially careful when photographing the rooms for marketing purposes. Do not discuss family health issues or reasons for selling your home.  

  4. Clean Like Crazy. When your home is on the market, you need to keep it in showing shape - not only for the open house, but also for any scheduled showings with buyers. Even though you’ve already (hopefully) cleaned and organized your home for its listing photos, there’s a good chance you’ve let clutter or dust pile up again, especially if you have children or pets. Make sure appliances, windows, and mirrors are fingerprint-free. Clean and organize your closets, cabinets, and under the sinks (during the open house, buyers are allowed to be nosy). Clear every bit of clutter and get rid of it or put it in storage. 

  5. Do a Smell Check. If buyers get a whiff of something funky, they’re going to run - not walk - out of your open house or showing. A week prior to the open house, ask your agent to do an honest, no-holds-barred smell check. Some possible smell solutions:

  • If your house has the aroma of your beloved pet(s), deep clean the carpets, relocate the litter box, and take steps to eliminate all olfactory traces of Fluffy.

  • If the basement is dank and musty, buy a dehumidifier to remove air moisture and run a fan to circulate the air.

  • If the kitchen drain stinks, drop in a cup of baking soda, then two cups of white vinegar.. Enjoy the bubbling, then let the mixture sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Finally, run hot water for 15 to 30 seconds to flush the odor.

  1. Let the Light In. Light doesn’t only (literally) brighten up your space. It also makes rooms look and feel larger. On showing or open house day, open all curtains and blinds to let natural light in. And in the week before the event, make sure curtains and blinds are squeaky clean. 

  2. Give Your House Some Extra Curb Appeal. Landscape upgrades recoup more of their cost at resale than even popular interior projects, like kitchen and bath remodels, according to the National Association of REALTORS “Remodeling Impact Report.” Buyers will judge your house on its outsides. So, make last minute improvements to turn up your home’s curb appeal. Cut the grass, prune the trees, and trim the shrubs. Touch up porch fixtures and furniture with a little paint. Heck, paint the whole porch, if your budget allows. Plant new shrubs or set out potted flowers. Small, relatively low-budget outdoor enhancements will make your home look all the more enticing to buyers - and can add some last - minute value to its price.                                                           

  3. Draw Attention to Your Home’s Best Features. After your agent signs in and welcomes buyers to your home, they typically will have some time to wander around on their own. Even though you won’t be there, you can still draw visitors’ attention to features in your home that you’d like to highlight. 


What to Do During and After Showings. Once you’ve done everything you can to make our house look and feel amazing to buyers - and your agent is on site to assume their hosting duties - the time during your showings is yours to enjoy. Go to the park, get a three-course lunch, do whatever you like as long as you’re free to take calls.


Your agent may need to get in touch with questions, so make sure you’re available and have good cell phone reception. 


After the showing ends, your agent will share with you what questions the buyer asked and any comments they overheard by visitors. Buyers’ remarks will likely run the gamut, including some that could be negative.


The important thing is to stay open to buyers’ feedback, and to follow your agent’s advice about how to respond. Based on buyers’ reactions, your agent may recommend that you make certain repairs, do some painting, or invest in additional staging before your next open horse. Whatever they advise, it’s not personal - it’s just the business of selling your home.


Call the Knott Team at 402-210-3877 as we have been trained to protect not only ourselves but to advise you on protecting your family and valuables as well.


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