Kim Mullan Blog
What to Expect When You Are Expecting...to Sell!
If you understand a few things the process of showing/selling your home will go much smoother for you.
1- Agents are not allowed to enter your home without permission. The buyers agent will request a showing time. Your agent will ask you if that time is convenient and ONLY THEN will they confirm the showing with the buyer agent. If the time is not convenient propose another time but try to be flexible as buyers may see other homes they like and not bother to reschedule their showing. You could lose a buyer with a pocketful of money who is eager to write an offer today!
2- Leave lights and music on if possible. The home shows better with some emotional triggers in place...ambiant lighting, soft music. Let people experience your home as much as possible. Apple pie in the oven or freshly zested lemons trigger wonderful sensory memories. Many people have allergies to chemicals or have scent triggered headaches so air fresheners and plug-ins are a definite no. Fresh natural scents only. Coffee is great.
3- If your lights are on when the agent arrives they will probably leave them on when they exit assuming you might have more showings. If you want the lights off leave a note on the table asking them to TURN the lights OFF. On the other hand if the lights are on when an agent arrives they may assume you set the stage for them and turn off the lights as a courtesy...not great for a subsequent showing - if you are leaving them on intentionally and want to set that stage for multiple showings leave a note asking them to LEAVE the lights ON when they exit.
4- Most showings are booked for one hour windows. That is because agents are often showing multiple homes in succession and need a buffer for traffic. Sometimes buyers are only in a home a few minutes and sometimes they linger...we don't know when we will arrive and that is why we need that window.
5- If you don't have a key for your interior garage door and use your garage door remote to enter your home leave a note on the back of the interior garage door so we don't lock you out. I have had to let many sellers back into their homes because agents were trying to be diligent and lock everything up but the sellers had no keys! It never fails that if I leave the interior garage door open a seller felt I was not diligent in securing their home and if I lock it they are stuck in their car waiting for help. Just leave a sticky note on the interior garage door and let us know what you prefer so you don't have to spend the night on your porch.
6- Feedback doesn't happen as soon as a buyer agent leaves your driveway. Sometimes they are with their clients all day and get back to a sellers agent that night, or the next day or even the day after. If you haven't heard anything for 24 hours it's fair to check in. Yes, it's a courtesy and we expect feedback after you have cleaned and vacated your home for a showing but occasionally it never arrives. If you find yourself in that situation it is unlikely the buyers have forgotten they how badly they wanted to make an offer on your house.
7- In the winter keep the house COMFORTABLY WARM. In the summer keep it COMFORTABLY COOL. If you don't your summer buyer will assume your A/C is inneffective and want to leave quickly. In the winter your buyer will assume you have poor insulation and won't want to remove their shoes...seriously, and they will also leave quickly.
8- If it's winter shovel and salt the walk. It's faster & cheaper than a lawsuit.
9- Clean Clean Clean. Not to a normal level of cleanliness but to a supernatural level of clean. Get some help.
10- Yes people will open your closets.
11-If you advertise a gas fireplace it will need to be working on closing.
12- If you advertise a dishwasher it will need to be working on closing.
13- If you have a special light fixture that you treasure replace it before listing and hide it! Stating that it is an exclusion just makes it more delectable and tempting...the buyer will need to include it for sure!
14- If you have mildew in your shower grout clean it before you go to market or at least before your home inspection. This will prevent a buyers contractor from convincing them there is black mould busting through your drywall and requiring a 20k renovation...which will come back to haunt you in an amendment because they have xray vision and can see things the infra-red camera won't pick up. This buyer is Superman and if you don't clean your grout he could be a nightmare.
15- If you have aluminum and copper wiring get an E.S.A. certificate before listing. This will prevent a buyer from walking away from a deal because it's scary for them. E.S.A. is the boss... what they say goes!
16- If you have a wood burning fireplace get a W.E.T.T. certificate before going to market. This will prevent a buyer from saying his insurance company wants a premium so he needs an amendment to price to compensate for it.
17- If you have any water leaks or issues you will need to disclose them as material facts or they will come back to bite you so fix them!
18-If you are closing a pool, hot tub or sprinkler system before the date of completion have it closed professionally and have the company provide a document stating everything is in good working order. This will save you a lot of potential headaches and will be the cheap preventative medicine.
19- Always wipe down the range hood it's greasier than you think.
20- Finally, no hair in the shower, no hair in the tub and no toilet seats up!