Copyright 2006 - 2012

The Real Estate site for southeastern Michigan if you're buying or selling a home About Us Norm Werner Realtor for southeast Michigan Home Search Page for help locating a home in southeast Michigan Click On Milford Real Estate Reading Contact Us for Real Estate help in southeastern MIchigan
Ok, I’ve cleaned the placed up and made some repairs,
What can I do to help with the selling process?
A. Get out of the way! No kidding. Make it as easy as possible for the Realtor to do his/her job. Not only should you allow a lock-box to be placed on your house, you should make the showing instructions as painless as possible. That may mean that you must take on a lot of inconvenience.

You must be able to get out of the house on short notice and make it easy for the selling agent to schedule showings for others. The easiest house to show is one that is already vacant, although vacant houses are harder to sell (more on that below), so make it easy to schedule an appointment to show your house
If you don’t already have either an answering machine or voicemail service on your phone, get one or the other. Be prepared to check those frequently and allow the selling agent to book and appointment by just leaving you a message and giving the showing agent the lockbox combo. Any time that you’re out, even to church or for dinner, check the machine or voicemail before you go home, there may be a showing in progress or scheduled for about the time that you would get home. You don’t want to be there during a showing. The showing agent doesn’t want you there and the buyers would feel awkward if you were there, so take a drive, go to the movies or store - just go. Let the real estate professionals do their jobs.

You really can’t help much with this aspect of the process. There are some tips for things that you can do before you leave to make the showings go better. Turn on all the lights. If you have a gas fireplace and it is winter, you might turn it on.  If you have one or two very safe (in glass containers) fragrant candles, you might light them. We’ve seen other tips like bake bread or pop popcorn or do other things in the kitchen to leave a nice odor in the air. We’ll let you be the judge of how much you want to do. Just try not to leave bad odors in the air.  Also remember to take your dog with you and your cat too if possible. Buyers don’t really want to be accosted by your pets and many may have allergies to pets so get them out of the house. Hopefully your house doesn’t smell like a full cat box or like your dog, but if it does, deodorize the place as you leave and perhaps put the litter box out in the garage.
Normally showings only take 20-30 minutes, so you don’t have to be gone that long. Agents will normally ask for a one-hour window to allow themselves some leeway on travel or other showings. And remember to not let clutter creep back into the house. Keep it clean and clutter free!
Q – I’ve got to move to another state to get started in my new job, or I’ve bought another house locally and it’s ready for me to move in, should I move my furniture to my new location and leave a vacant house?
A. Not if you can avoid it. I know that it’s a real hassle, in addition to an extra expense to have two places, but if you can leave the house that we’re trying to sell here furnished it makes it easier to sell. Move all of that clutter junk out of the storage place into your new house – you’ll feel right at home and the clutter will still be out of the house that we’re trying to sell. It’s just a lot harder to sell an empty house.
Buyers have difficulty “seeing” how the house would look with furniture. Even if they don’t like your stuff at least it helps them envision how the space is used. If you absolutely can’t avoid moving your stuff out, so be it. Try to leave at least a table and a few chairs so that your agent has someplace to sit with a buyer to discuss things and somewhere to sit if he/she holds and open house. If you do vacate the house, use that opportunity of it being empty to get the carpets and floors cleaned and maybe getting some painting done. An empty house really shows all the wear and tear spots and with nothing else to attract the eye, any dirt or scratches or picture nail holes or other defects stand out.

The last thing to think about is the fact that your old homeowners insurance policy likely will not cover an empty house. You should investigate getting a vacant house insurance policy. Also if you are leaving the house in the winter, make sure that you get it winterized.