1. Start outside. Curb appeal is an important lure for potential buyers. Before showing the property, have your client tidy up the yard, pick up any trash and stow any eyesores taking up space on the lawn.
  2. Clutter free is the way to be. The day-to-day clutter your clients step around or ignore isn’t charming to a potential buyer. Keep walkways and doorways unobstructed. Steer buyers around messy areas like the toddler’s room or the laundry room.
  3. Don’t let buyers wander off. You don’t have to rope off lived-in areas, but follow the buyers quietly at a respectful distance. Have your client put away any expensive and portable items such as jewelry, small antiques or nice clothes before showing their property.
  4. Listen. Talking too much gives buyers the impression you’re a used car salesman. Pointing out obvious things such as “this is the kitchen” isn’t going to make the sale happen. Instead, ask questions about the buyers’ short- and long-term goals for homeownership. This Q&A helps you gauge whether your client’s home is a good fit, and how best to approach other potential buyers and their questions. Questions to ask include:
    • Are the buyers pre-approved?
    • How many homes have they viewed?
    • What is their price range?
    • What are they specifically looking for in a house?
    • What do they have to have and what can they live without?
    • What did they like most and least about your client’s house?
  5. Know the property. A little work before the showing goes a long way – walk the property, walk the neighborhood, ask your seller about property information. Know how to answer the following questions:
    • Is the house close to good schools?
    • What renovations have been made to the property?  When were they made?  Were the renovations properly permitted?
    • Are there Mello-Roos or homeowners’ association fees?
    • How old is the roof?  How old is the air conditioning unit?
    • What’s the crime rate in the area?
    • What is the distance to shopping centers and public transportation?
  6. Keep essential documents handy. Flyers are great, but nothing beats a business card. Make sure your cards are single-sided and not high-gloss, in case you need to write something on the back.
  7. Negative to positive. Take the negative observations of your client’s house from the buyer and turn them into selling points. For example, if they believe the master bedroom is too small, show them they are able to knock down the wall between bedrooms and expand. Paint the buyers a picture of them living happily ever after in their new home.

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Have any other tips for agents preparing a home? Let us know!