Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's The Little Things That Will Make or Break A Showing

This morning was full of previewing homes for some clients I have coming in next week.  I am a firm believer in previewing homes BEFORE you actually take your clients through.  Why don't more agents do that I wonder?
Anyhow, all of the homes were similar in size, price, private back yards and in close proximity to each other.  All of the homes would fit my clients needs nicely.
What surprised me with each of the homes was that they had another similarity.  They were all a "little" dirty.  Now, let me explain a "little" dirty.  It was obvious in each of the homes that they were family homes.  Adults with children.  From peeking in closets, pantries and bathrooms I can see that they left in haste in the morning but had all done their best to put things in their proper place.  I am sure that as they walked out the door this morning they all had the same thought,  "This looks clean."
I will give each of them that, yes, there were clothes put away, empty kitchen sinks, toys hidden away, etc.  But what they MISSED in ALL OF THEM was this:
  • Toilets with lids up and they all could have used a cleaning
  • Dirty, sticky door knobs on the pantries (enough so that I had to wash my hands as I wasn't sure what I had touched)
  • VERY dirty doors throughout.  Fronts and back of all interior doors had spills on them, fingerprints, handprints and just grim from every day life with children
  • Front doors with kick marks on the inside where you could imagine someone constantly using their foot to close the door
  • Filthy light switch plates (can't explain that one - just a HUGE pet peeve of mine!)
  • Dust bunnies in the cracks and crevices around the baseboards
  • Very dirty sliding glass doors/french doors leading to the outside decks and porches (little hands)
  • Personal toiletry items on countertops such as shampoos, bubble baths, shaving creams, razors, etc.  Not the ones for decoration but the every day use ones.
  • Front porches with spider webs (from years of buildup - not a new Charlotte's Web, mind you)
There are a few more in my notes but you get the point.  While the homes appeared clean with a cursory last glance before the sellers left for the morning - they were not.
Am I being picky?  I think not.  I can not stress enough to my sellers that when their home goes on the market it instantaneously becomes a product!  It must compete with all of the other products on the market and be shown ONLY in it's best light.
I know that as we live our lives daily we sometimes have a blind eye when it comes to our homes and it's cleanliness.  However, when a seller wishes to attract a buyer this is one of the most important areas to address.
So, if you are a seller please take heed.  Step back for a moment and REALLY take a peek at your home through the eyes of a buyer!  If you are another agent then please do your sellers justice and inform them of the importance of details.  It's the little things that just might make the difference......

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A Walk Through Historic Wake Forest, NC