Staging is fast becoming a necessary marketing tool for selling a home. Staging is a technique that showcases a home for a smoother, faster and more profitable sale. There are many aspects to staging a home. I’d like to wax on here about one area in particular that is often overlooked and unattended to but very obvious to potential buyers.
The day to day living we do is a necessary part of our lives. We cook, clean, do laundry and yes, even use the bathroom. These daily activities often are overlooked in the selling process because they are so routine, almost expected. It is important when showing your home to present all areas in the best possible condition, yes even including your toilet.
Let’s liken this a hotel stay. Upon arrival we don’t often think about other people having to bathe, launder, throw garbage away or heaven forbid – use the bathroom! Even though we are fully aware that potentially hundreds of people have been there before us, we would not want to arrive at our luxury suite and find any unmentionables there – we expect it to be clean, fresh and neat. The appearance of the room matters. Crisp hospital corners on the sheets and toilet paper edges folded into triangles make us happy.
It is no different while selling your house. In fact it is even more important. These are “guests” who are intent on buying a home – not looking for an extended holiday stay. No one wants to imagine YOU doing anything in your lavatory facilities and let’s try and banish all thoughts of what really goes on in there shall we?
It’s silly when you come right down to it because we all do it. However, it may surprise you how many people are actually turned off by the sight of someone else’ garbage, dirty laundry or toiletries sitting out. An open toilet bowl – especially if not clean – is a huge turnoff and any parents of young children reading – can you catch my drift here? – get the OUST quick!
Here is a quick list to use as gentle reminders of the importance of doing these and other things you may not have thought of while in the process of selling your home.
Remove all toiletries and electronics off the counters, especially medications. Place medicine in zippered plastic bags away from cabinets. Prescription medication is often a stolen item from homes for sale. This same rule can apply to firearms, knives or other weapons in a home. Always keep lids down on toilets. Keep toilets clean and fresh. Towels, mats and other bath products should be out of sight while showing and dry off glass doors once you’ve finished your morning shower.
Remove all laundry and cleaning supplies from sight – keep neatly inside cabinet, storage unit or the garage. Place dirty laundry inside a nice looking storage unit – wicker baskets are attractive or cloth duffel bag, but keep dirty piles out of site of potential buyers – even inside washer or dryer if you’re in a hurry.
Remove and empty garbage cans daily. Keep out of sight and smell. Throw away garbage that will smell worse as the day progresses, many items will do this from tuna fish, pet food, beef, poultry, pork drippings and containers from last night’s dinner. This includes things in your refrigerator that may have started to stink. People look everywhere! Try to keep strong smelling cooking odors at a minimum – if you MUST fry fish or cook an exotic dish try doing it outside on a gas grill if there is a side burner. Air out the house well if you must do it inside.
This is hard to do but ideally, remove pets from premises while showing, crate or keep in one place and out of buyer’s way. Many people have allergies to and/or fear of animals, even if they are the most gentle in nature. If you have inside pets, remove their bowls daily (especially if in kitchen) until returning for the evening – or place somewhere out of sight where pet has access. Clean kitty litter box, hamster cages, bird droppings or as painful as it seems in the short term relocate the dear ones to a friend’s house who’s willing to temporarily house them or find a good doggy day care.
Enact “Poop Patrol” daily on the perimeter of the exterior of your house. You wouldn’t want your freshly cleaned or new carpets to be stained or smelly in case an unsuspecting buyer steps in one of your puppy’s piles. (This has happened more often than you may think) No more beating around the bush. Before you leave the house for a showing remember to hide the toilet, the buyers are coming!
by Karen Otto
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