9 Insider Secrets to Showcasing Your Home
Lights- Open all draperies unless there is an objectionable view. In most rooms, you should turn on lights for a bright and cheerful look. Lamps and indirect lighting are preferrable, but use overhead lights if that is all there is in a room.
Aromas - Set out some fresh flowers, both for their appearance and fragrance. Bake some cookies or bread or cook a beef roast: do not cook strong smelling vegetables such as cabbage or cauliflower.
Closets - Keep doors closed, except for those on walk-in closets. Have those doors slightly ajar and turn on lights to draw attention to this special feature.
Posters and signs - We live in a tolerant age but don't take a chance on offending a potential buyer. Remove any signs or posters that could be considered offensive or controversial.
Ashtrays - Dirty ashtrays are both unsightly and a source of objectionable odour to non-smokers. Keep them clean.
Utility bills - Have copies of the past 12 months of bills available, or at least a written summary of the amounts paid monthly for that period.
Music - Soft background music will help create a relaxed mood that prompts buyers to linger and enjoy but it is actually better to have no music than to have music that is too loud. Never have the TV on when the house is being shown.
Pets - Get them out of the house, if not off the property completely. Some people do not like dogs and nobody likes muddy paw prints on a clean suit or dress. Cats can be just as objectionable to the person who doesn't like them or who is allergic to them and invariably a cat will single out the cat-hater to use as a rubbing post.
Your Presence - Most buyers will not relax and closely inspect a home if the owners are hovering over their shoulders. Show them the house but stay a reasonable distance away allowing them to discover the home for themselves.
ONE FINAL NOTE:
The legal principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is dead or dying. We are living in an age of consumerism, and it is hard to find a court that won't favour the buyer in a dispute. In fact, government agencies require that the seller must disclose everything.
If you have a problem in your home, do not mask it. A common example is the homeowner who spray paints a ceiling to cover water stains caused by a leaking roof. If you have a major problem that you don't intend to correct, be candid about it.