You just got off the phone and found out you have a showing in 1 hour! Woohoo a showing!! That’s great news! But wait. Oh no!! You have a showing in 60 minutes!!! The beds aren’t made, the dishes from last night are still in the sink and the kids have left a trail of clothes from their rooms to the bathroom. Not to mention, the dog just brought in about half the fallen leaves from the yard. What should be an exciting and hopeful experience has turned out to be a nightmare on Elm street occurrence. Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration. Freddy isn’t jumping out at anyone.
Never fear tho, this post is about what you should do from the very beginning of listing your home, to get ready for every showing.
The first and I think most important thing to do is:
- Use a checklist. I know what you’re thinking, What in the world does using a checklist have to do with getting ready for a showing appointment? Pam Graham are you off your rocker? Hmmmm, I think I’ll ignore the rocker question. Let me explain the other…At this point let’s assume you de-cluttered, did some painting and deep cleaned the entire house, now it’s just about maintaining and tidying up for showings. Let’s say you have kids. How smooth do you think it would go in the morning, if you had a checklist ready for every child, detailing what they need to do to get out of the house for school? Things like make your bed, fold your PJs and put them away, brush your teeth, put the tooth brush and paste away, etc. You can add what ever you want, type it up, laminate it and use dry erase markers to check off what was completed, then erase for the next day. If you’re still not convinced, let me give you more examples. I use checklists frequently. I use them for real estate. I use them for personal stuff. I even use them for getting healthier. Feel free to ask me about that and I’ll be happy to explain. Back to real estate, here’s an example of how I use checklists. When I take a listing, I have a checklist that reminds me of what paperwork to collect, what to do with the paperwork, plus the marketing that I’m gonna do. That way, I won’t forget, and it keeps the process running smoothly, which makes me a better agent. Most people know that airplane pilots use checklists for take off. Did you also know, they have checklists for the various emergencies they may face? It helps to keep them focused, so they won’t forget the proper procedure and save lives. I tell ya, adopting checklist for all parts of your life, will make things go soooo much better.
- Assume everyday you will have a showing. If you do that and use your showing routine checklist everyday, you will always be prepared. Plus being that positive everyday, is bound to bring good things your way!
- Decide ahead of time how you will handle different situations. Sit down and brainstorm about all the possible situations that can occur. What will you do with your pets? Can you turn off your security system from your phone when you’re not home? What will you do if you get a showing appointment during dinner? What about going out of town, will you continue having showings while you’re gone? What if you have sick family members at home? What if you have a pet snake, who likes to run loose in the front bedroom? Yes, true story. I know, snakes don’t run, but you get my drift. What other situations can you think of that are specific to you and your family?
- Don’t let the cleaning get out of hand. What I mean by that is to always be tidying up every day. Always clean the dishes, put them away, always put laundry away, and don’t let it pile up. Don’t put it off for another day, because then, as luck would have it, that’s when you’ll get a showing in 30 minutes, but you don’t have time to clean up everything and you go into panic mode.
- Don’t stress. I know easier said than done, but if you stress, stress causes worry and frustration, which can lead to chaos and headaches. That makes everyone in the house miserable, and makes you second guess selling your home. If you follow the 4 tips above, I guarantee you, things will go much smoothly. You just have to do some work in the beginning, plan things out, get everyone on the same plan and work the plan everyday.
Living in your house while having it on the market is stressful enough. Having a plan in place on how you handle situations that present themselves, sure will make your life less stressful. If you’re thinking of selling your home, let me help you with the details and the checklists to make the showing process easier.
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