Sellers: What to expect from your show day

Show days are a very important selling tool, but it is not as easy as just tidying up and putting your house on show.

Here’s what you need to do to get the most out of your show day:

While much of the initial house hunting is done online these days, there is no substitute for physical visits and show days remain one of the most important selling tools that agents use. In addition to potential buyers who might already have seen the property online, many buyers drive around the neighbourhoods on Sundays, the traditional show house day in South Africa, as this is often how they look for where they really want to live.

If your house is not on show, it means that you are losing out on attracting potential buyers. It is only once a buyer has walked through the home and experienced it, that they will really fall in love and often want to put in an offer quite quickly to secure their dream home.

The importance of being prepared and getting it right first time when it comes to show days also cannot be over-emphasised.

These day, going on show, also means that your property gets exposed across a range of mediums, from digital newsletters and blasts to print and online show day adverts. Agents often also do local marketing as buyers often come from the area or are referred by locals.

Seeff gives a few tips to get your house show day ready:

Price – the most important aspect, especially during down-market conditions, is to start out at the correct price level to ensure you attract serious buyers. Don’t assume that a higher asking price will attract a higher selling price. Quite the contrary in fact. An unrealistic asking price will give the impression that you are taking chances and are not serious about selling.

Photographs – property is a visual product and you need photographs that present it in the best possible light. Be accommodating to the agent’s needs in regard to the time needed to take the best photographs possible. Beforehand, ensure that the property is clean and clear of clutter. Remember, the camera does not lie and it will show up any dirt and imperfections.

Pre-show prepping – in the lead up to the show day, ensure the property is tidied and cleaned. Pay extra attention to carpets, walls, the kitchen and bathrooms. Ensure the garden is neat and tidy and the flower beds weeded. Undertake any maintenance before the house goes on show. If buyers spot problem areas, the chances are that they will want to knock down your price considerably, so it is best to fix everything before going on show.

Stage it – these days, it is all about home staging. Think of it as styling your home to make it as welcoming to buyers as possible. It should almost look like a furniture showroom and you can even add a bunch of fresh flowers on the kitchen counter to add to the atmosphere. Put clean and fresh towels in the bathroom and give the home a good airing out for a few hours before the show day starts.

Stash your valuables – it is very important to ensure that all valuables are packed away in a locked cupboard. If there is anything in particular that you need to point out to the agent, be sure to do so. Valuables would include any small items of value such as laptops, cellular phones, computer games, jewellery, make-up, perfumes and the like. Rather lock all of these items away.

Don’t drop in – you should vacate your home for the full duration of the show day. As tempting as it may be, don’t drop in during the show times as it will disturb the agent and process. It is best to leave the agent to do their jobs in the best way that they know how. You should however, remain contactable through the day in case the agent needs to get hold of you for whatever reason.

Consider serious offers – if you are serious about selling, then you should consider all serious offers. Remember, a cash offer is always better than one that requires mortgage finance. Similarly, a clean offer that is not conditional upon the buyer first selling another property, is also a preferred option. Even if the price offered is a little lower, these two options generally have a much higher success rate.

Be patient – in the current market and economic climate, buyers are taking their time before putting pen to paper. Do not lose heart if you do not get an offer on your first show day, it is not uncommon given the current challenges. If you are battling to sell your house, it is advisable to either revisit the price or change the agent. Always list with a top local area expert who can demonstrate a track record of success.