Selling: How to Prepare for Showings & Open Houses

If you are thinking of selling South Lake Tahoe real estate this spring, you may think that you can simply throw a sign up and you’ll be swimming in multiple offers within 48 hrs. After all, we are in a seller’s market, which means you don’t have to prepare homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe the same way you would in a buyer’s market. Right? Wrong. While a majority of the neighborhoods on the California side are in a seller’s market, our average sold price is double the national average. According to Zillow, which isn’t always the most accurate, the national average is $213,146. According to the local MLS, which is accurate, ours is $530,818. So while lower priced homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe are moving at a rapid pace, higher priced homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe are moving a little slower. Now, it is important to acknowledge that South Lake Tahoe homes for sale are all unique so every situation is different. However, you still need to prepare to woo buyers and get their attention. From getting your home staged and ready for photos to keeping it clean for the open houses. In fact, The folks over at realtor.com put together a wonderful blog on how to make your best impression at an open house. Below are some highlights if you don’t feel like leaving my website.

  • Keep your personal preferences to yourself and in their rightful spot. What you do in your home is your business. BUT! When preparing to show South Lake Tahoe homes for sale, it is best to put away all personal items, including family photos, religious or political signs/figures, unusual collectibles, memorabilia, expensive keepsakes, etc. According to the mentioned blog above, one women saw condiments on the nightstand in a bedroom. While many of us enjoy catching up on our favorite shows in bed with our favorite snack, put the food away before strangers start cruising through your South Lake Tahoe real estate. You want people to focus on the potential your real estate in South Lake Tahoe has, not the quirks that make you, you!
  • Vacate the premises. There may be some scenarios where you cannot clear out due to transportation issues, medical conditions, etc. However, ask any South Lake Tahoe realtor, and they will tell you that having the homeowner present can make most potential buyers feel uncomfortable. Not only do they feel like they are invading your private space, but they feel like they can’t talk openly about the property when you are around. Usually, they will cruise through the real estate in South Lake Tahoe, not fully seeing the house. In some situations, a buyer might feel pleased they had a chance to chat with the owner and ask questions, but in most, they prefer you are not there. Same thing goes for pets. Not everyone loves animals, so try and remove them from the home for opens and showings or keep them contained.
  • Speaking of clearing out, do the same with your closets and drawers. Does everyone have a junk drawer at home? Yes. Does that mean everyone wants to see yours? No. Listen, buyers will be opening everything to see how much storage space comes with the South Lake Tahoe real estate. Show it off. You have to pack anyway so you may as well get a head start and toss, donate, pack and de-clutter ahead of time.
  • “Light & bright” is the name of the game. Which means that dark, dungeon feel is not in. Keep blinds and curtains open, remove screens from windows and doors if needed and bring in extra light with the use of strategically placed floor lamps. If you have any dark, heavy drapes, consider taking them down. Also be sure to dust and clean all the corners, cobwebs and any out of reach spaces that haven’t had a good cleaning lately.
  • Feed them! You don’t have to provide catering, but when buyers are scheduled to see a bunch of houses all over town, they don’t always have the luxury of stopping somewhere for food. If they are starving, you don’t want them cutting out early and not seeing your home in all its glory. So have a basket on the counter with individual snack size bags, fresh cookies, easy to eat fruit and some water bottles that are easy to grab and go. Not only will they be able to satisfy their hunger, but they will hopefully stay a little longer and not be distracted by their grumbling tummies.
  • Make it easy for them to see it. Clear pathways (especially during winter), make sure there is plenty of parking and don’t set complicated showing restrictions and odd open house times. 11:00am on Monday may be the best time for you, but most people are working. Also, be flexible with showings. Requiring 24 hours notice and only allowing a small, inconvenient time frame to view is a great way to keep your South Lake Tahoe real estate sitting on the market.

If you are wondering how you can make your property really stand out during an open house or showing, be sure to chat with your South Lake Tahoe realtor. As an expert on the market, they are the best to advise on what buyers are looking for. If you are looking for a South Lake Tahoe realtor to help you navigate this, feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help!

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