Although many prospective buyers test the market online these days, most want to physically visit and experience a property before making one of the biggest investment decisions of their lives. This means that show houses are just as important as ever, says Tyson Properties CEO, Nick Pearson.
With high interest rates and living costs rising, people also want to know they’re getting value for their money – and a show house is the best place to convince an interested potential buyer to make an offer.
How show days can help sell a property faster
For Pearson, digital home tours and online photographs and a real time show house go hand in hand when marketing a property. Online, people can decide whether or not a property meets their needs and can shortlist some for viewing either on show or by appointment.
Show houses help buyers to set aside a block of time for home viewing on weekends. They also allow buyers to fully evaluate what is on offer in a particular neighbourhood and compare properties before making a final decision.
Many who are considering a move but are still making up their minds also begin the process incognito by visiting a show house rather than phoning an estate agent.
Then there’s the added bonus of attracting potential buyers who are not necessarily actively shopping for a property, adds Pearson. He says that many Tyson Properties agents can remember incidents where buyers made a spur-of-the-moment decision to look at a home in an area in which they hadn’t considered living or where passers-by or even neighbours decided to view a home out of curiosity and ended up making offers.
“Many of those who make an offer tell our agents that they can imagine living there or immediately feel at home when they walk in the door – that’s the effect that a seller needs to help create,” he says.
Tips on preparing your property for a show day
Pearson says that a successful show day is definitely a team effort – sellers need to work closely and follow the advice of their agents and they also need to do their bit to ensure that their home is not only neat and tidy, but well presented. “They know their homes best and therefore exactly how to show off their best attributes,” he says.
Pearson advises homeowners to tell their neighbours ahead of time that they intend having a show day on a particular date. A request that neighbours wait until the next morning to place rubbish bags on verges, or you could even offer to trim and neaten their pavements too – which can take kerb appeal to a whole new level. In addition, homeowners need to advise agents where visitors can and should not park. There’s nothing like an angry neighbour to put off a prospective buyer, he says.
He always advises homeowners to go out on a show day – and to take their pets (especially dogs) with them if they can. Pets that cannot be moved should be put into an enclosed area where visitors won’t venture. Whilst first prize is having a family member or friend look after a hamster or budgie, if there’s no volunteers, at least make sure that cages are clean, kitty litter trays are removed, and any pet odours are neutralised.
Show days are also one step up from staging. Assuming that a homeowner has done their best to deal with the bigger issues such as arranging furniture, updating colour schemes and catching up on maintenance, show days are an opportunity to make a lovely, staged home an even better version of itself.
Here are some boxes to tick when getting your home show house ready:
- Remove all evidence of everyday living – sweep floors, vacuum carpets, clean windows and empty dustbins. Pack away kids’ toys and any washing.
- Bathrooms and kitchens are usually the rooms most under scrutiny – so, make sure counter tops are clear, there are no dishes in the sink and no rings around basins or baths. Air fresheners or diffusers in bathrooms are a must. Also, make sure that there are toilet rolls for guests and that toilet lids are closed.
- Temperature – if it’s a scorching hot day, set the aircons and fans and if it’s chilly, either get the fireplace going or strategically place a heater to warm up rooms.
- Declutter – if you’re selling, chances are you’ll be moving soon, so pack what you can in boxes for storage. Full cupboards suggest there is not enough storage space.
- Depersonalise – this is the best way to help a prospective buyer imagine they can live in your home. In addition to removing photographs and kids’ artwork and shopping lists from the fridge, pack away personal items such as hair and toothbrushes and medication.
- Do some gardening – make sure the lawn is mowed, edges are trimmed and leaves are raked up.
- Pool hygiene – make sure your pool is clean and blue. You could even leave the creepy doing its rounds to prove all is in working order.
- Outbuildings – keep these as neat as your home as buyers will want to see them and don’t want to be confronted by everything that you have removed from the house or greasy and dusty garages!
- Lighting – open curtains to let in natural light and make sure that any dim corners are lit by lamps to create a welcoming ambience.
- Welcoming touches – add fresh flowers or fruit bowls and strategically position potted plants to add a dash of colour. An orchid in the bathroom and neatly folded hand towels can made a good impression.
Rolled towels on loungers or even a drinks trolley on the pool deck can lure visitors out there. Last, but not least, there’s nothing like some iced tea (or flasks of coffee), home-baked cookies or a bowl of chocolates on offer for prospective buyers to say welcome home!