How to avoid the show house blues

Many homeowners instinctively resist show days because they don’t like the idea of strangers being able to walk around their property, look in their cupboards and see how they live.

But the fact is that show days are still an important and effective part of the home marketing process in SA, so sellers need to find ways to get past the feeling of being “invaded”. Here are our top tips for those who want to make the best of the experience:
Don’t sell on impulse. There are always emotions involved in a home sale, so you should always try to give yourself time to get used to the idea of the change – especially if you have lived somewhere for many years - and time to prepare your property so people will see it the way you want them to. You also need to remind yourself that it is your property that will be going on show, not you or your lifestyle.   
Depersonalise your home. Spend some time carefully putting away your family photos, ornaments and other mementos before the show day. This will help you to detach emotionally and start thinking of your property not as your unique living space but as a product or commodity that you are “packaging” to make it attractive to as wide a range of potential buyers as possible. Removing the personal signs of your presence and making the space neutral will also help buyers to imagine themselves living there – and help you sell faster.

Think about security. While the vast majority of show day visitors are genuine and trustworthy, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so take stock and remove from view (and your drawers) all small and valuable items like clocks, jewellery, phones, tablets, laptops and other electronics. Lock them in a safe or better still, store them somewhere offsite. To maintain security, you should also give your agent any remote controls necessary to open or close gates and garage doors, and any codes needed to operate or de-activate the alarm system.

Don’t stay home. Your presence will naturally inhibit potential buyers and may well scare them off altogether. Besides, you really don’t want to listen to any negative comments they may make. So pack up yourselves, your children and your pets and go somewhere else for the day. Leave your trusted estate agent to sort the genuinely interested from the snoops and give you the worthwhile feedback - or hopefully even an offer or two - when you return.

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