One of the reasons many sellers fall back on using a traditional agent and paying a high commission is the fear of showing their home well enough to cause a buyer to want to make it their own. This is valid in that you don’t have professional training. BUT, you’ve shown friends, family, guests your home with pride and effectiveness so take a deep breath and realize that there is no need to fear walking your buyers through your home. You know your home better than anyone else, especially if you had your home built. The following guideline will help you conduct the most effective tour of your home for your prospective buyer.
1) Take a walk through on your own prior to ever showing your home. Instead of thinking of your home like the seller you are, imagine that you are walking through for the very first time as a buyer. Take notes of what you love as well as what you don’t.
2) Determine the best path to take with the buyer. Since we read left to right, we look to the left then right then left again before we cross the street and we write left to right, the obvious choice is to move to the left first and then follow your natural floor plan. This will not always be the case depending on your home’s design BUT most homes do flow in this direction. Example of a typical floor plan: Start in the foyer. Move left into the formal living room, then the formal dining room or dining area. The kitchen is traditionally adjacent to the dining room so the kitchen would be next which then often opens to the family room. There is often a hall then leading back to the foyer which may open to the main floor laundry and a powder room. Now back in the foyer, head up the stairs . Even if your master is at the end of the hall, lead them there first. This is the most important bedroom and the reality is, if they fall in love with the master, they really don’t care where the kids sleep (as long as the room will fit a bed!). Showcase all the master’s best features especially the private bath and walk in closet if applicable. (The key to walk in closets: make sure they can walk in….pick up stuff off the floor…your space only appears as large as the amount of floor that can be seen!) Continue the tour into the other bedrooms and hall bath. Then back downstairs and on to the basement (whether finished or unfinished, the buyer wants to see it so again, straighten up, wash the floor, organize and make it look spacious and usable). Last move out to the yard and garage. Note: if you have an amazing outdoor living space and it is off the kitchen or family room, show it when in that area. Always end up back in your kitchen so you can sit down at the table and chat or grab a cookie or cup of coffee that you have prepared before they arrived.
3) Create a sheet with room sizes that you can hand to the buyer before you walk through so they get a good sense of the spaces when on the tour. Most people do not really have a good sense of room sizes unless they are actually standing in the room. Reality: A 10 x 10 room may be more furniture friendly than a 12 x 12 room based on the entry door, closets and window placement and height. Do not focus so much on actual room sizes but rather create the space to show off how well it can be used.
4) As you walk through, share with the buyer what will stay and what you might be replacing (lighting, window treatments, etc.). It is not uncommon nowadays for people to be willing to include or sell their furniture with the home. If this is the case, let them know which items apply.
5) As you tour room by room, share any and all upgrades or improvements that you have recently made or made when you purchased the home. (ie: crown molding, new trim, fresh paint, new windows, new electrical and circuit board, etc.)
6) Share what you have loved about the location and the amenities that are offered. (close to transportation, walking distance to schools and parks, nearby shopping, etc)
7) Ask if they have any questions and if so, be specific with your answers as possible.
Be Friendly. Be Forthcoming. Be honest.
Remember everyone will not fall in love with your home and that’s ok. You only need one buyer. Get yourself maximum exposure and an amazing support structure through BuyOwner.com. Then follow these tips and others offered on this blog when showing your home and you will be soon the one saying “Thanks Buy Owner!”