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Ask the Expert: Tips on successfully showing your home
Q: How do I effectively ''show'' my home?
A: Showing your home is a lot like a first date: You get your house all gussied up, put the prettiest
face possible on the property and try to impress the heck out of someone you barely know - the potential buyer.
But showing a home does not have to be overwhelming or costly. Regardless of your home's size, age,
style and location, there are ways to spruce it up and effectively showcase its assets. So grab your paintbrush, carpet cleaner,
lawn mower and Lysol - the four ingredients to a great first date - and get to work on your house.
There are four main areas the home sellers should focus on, said Lori Matzke, owner of Center Stage Home™,
a home presentation company based in Minneapolis, Minn.
The first is the entryway, "the first impression of the house," Matzke said. "If you don't impress them
immediately, it will be an uphill battle to regain their interest," Matzke said.
The family/living room, kitchen and master bedroom are the three other crucial areas, she said.
10 showing tips:
- Don't mask smells with candles or potpourri. Buyers will wonder what odor you are trying to hide. But keep the exotic spices and fish to
a minimum when cooking the night before a showing. Work toward achieving a "clean" smell.
- Remove animals and litter boxes from the property.
- Don't turn on all the lights. Nobody looks his or her best under stark light, including your house. Offer a nice balance of natural
lighting, table and floor lamps, or tasteful overhead lights.
- Don't paint all walls white. White walls can look too institutional. Try a neutral color such as beige with yellow undertones or a
- Get rid of dated wallpaper. While wallpaper is making a comeback, dated wallpaper will always be, well, dated. Because it's not easy
to paint over wallpaper, removing it is the best option.
- If the carpeting is in bad shape, shampoo it or replace it. Never give the buyers an allowance to replace the carpets. Do it yourself,
and do it before the showing.
- Remove window screens. Screens take away from allowing natural light inside. Plus, no one will notice they are missing.
- Remove all knick-knacks under 10 inches tall. We all have random, small objects that clutter our home. Pack them up and put them
under the bed.
- Put away holiday decorations, unless you are showing your home during the holiday season.
- Don't spend a fortune on improving your home. It's worth the investment to spend some money on enhancing your home, but don't go
Alana Klein is a freelance writer in Connecticut.