If you are trying to sell your house, whether it is your residence or one you rehabbed or inherited, sooner or later it comes time to show the property. After you have the place all polished and shined it's time to start advertising.
Getting the word out
The best advertisng techniques is a topic for a whole other time, but we will hit the high points. There are various online options, including Craigslist and various For Sale By Owner sites.
Take some pictures and make up some flyers. You may want to have the pictues made into a short promotional video for your online ads. The flyers you can pass out around to the neighbors – perhaps they will supply your buyer as they help decide who moves in the neighborhood. You can purchase signs at most big box building supply stores. When you do, get the tube or box to hold more flyers and keep them stocked.
Invite them in
When people begin responding to your ads you will need to start showing your house. Here is where videos can be a real time and life saver as it could weed out the buyers not really interested in your property. Whether you are living in the property or not, it is usually best have an open house scheduled for them to come by. Some will not be able to make your time and it's OK to deal with that, however it's best to get them all together at once for them to see others interested in the property. Have a sign in sheet when they come in. Realtors do and so should you. Get their phone number and/or email so you can follow up with them, even if they are not interested in buying. You may learn something to do better next time.
Now is the time to get the place super clean. Hire a cleaning person to make the place shine if you have neither the time nor inclination to scrub down everything – especially the kitchen and bathrooms. If you have a cat, you don't notice the litter odor, but visitors probably will. There are sprays available to eliminate that aroma. This is definitely the time to have that extremely honest friend come and walk through your house with you. They will notice things you live with every day. Speaking of aromas, baking cookies, even the ones with dough that comes in a tube make the home feel more homey and can be served to make the visitors feel more like guests. Yes, serve the cookies and let the visitors enjoy them. Try to keep an eye on the offspring that they don't grab them by the handful.
If you have a lot of family pictures, it is good to put them away while you are showing the place – especially if you have children. You want people to start thinking of the house as their place, not that they are buying your home. Beyond that, the less visiting stranger know about your family the better.
Make sure the lawn is cut and trimmed, and the leaves raked if it is that time of year. Pets caged or visiting relatives - and the back yard cleared of “land mines” if you have a dog.
There are some safety tips if you are showing the place alone. I need to add at this point that many come straight from realtor training as supplied by our local police department. This is not to frighten you but to help make sure you enjoy the sale. It is best that you have your car parked in the street if it is possible so you cannot be blocked in. This is most important when you are alone on the property. When taking people on a tour of the house, direct them into bed and bath rooms along with any enclosed area rather than going in first, then stay by the door. Most people are great, but just be careful and stay safe.
People usually enjoy looking for a house. Occasionally you will find some that try to be intimidating. Ignore it and enjoy the process yourself. I've met some pretty good people showing houses. When it comes to negotiating the deal – that also is the subject for another day.
For now, know what you believe the place is worth and don't let someone low ball you. The whole process from start to finish is covered in our eBook Sell Your House Like a Pro!!!