Assuming you have followed all the suggestions detailed in “Is Your Playa del Carmen Home Ready to SELL?”, your villa or condo should already be in pretty good shape and almost ready to show your property at its best. But, before you open your door to potential Buyers, whether it is for a scheduled showing with your agent or for an open house, there are a few more steps that are essential for a successful showing that may lead to an offer and a SALE! We asked our agents, who have been in the Riviera Maya real estate business for many years, to tell us what will make the difference between a great showing and one that leaves Buyers flat or worse. If you are selling your home in Playa del Carmen or know someone who is, here are our recommendations for a strong showing.
Keep it clean. It goes without saying that a clean, clutter-free home will show better and receive better feedback than a dirty home showing lots of deferred maintenance issues. If your property is a well-maintained vacation rental your property manager is likely keeping your home in tip-top condition and ready to welcome not only vacationers but potential Buyers as well. However, if you are living in the home you have for sale, sometimes life gets in the way. Put away all children’s toys. Make the beds. Stash all toiletries. Clear and organize kitchen counters. Remove all the photos, take-out menus and magnets from the refrigerator doors. Clean and put away all dirty dishes. The cleaner your home is on a day-to-day basis, the easier it will be to prepare for a showing.
Brighten it up. A home that is full of light will “feel” better to potential Buyers and make a home seem more spacious. Bring in the light by fully opening all blinds and window coverings. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Keep blinds partially closed that show undesirable outdoor elements like a busy street, parking lot or a too-close neighbor.
Check the temperature. You may not run the AC during the day but for a showing you will not to make your home as inviting as possible. On a hot day in Playa del Carmen, a nicely air-conditioned home can feel like an oasis! This will obviously be appealing to potential buyers and encourage them to stay in your home longer. Turn on the AC in the bedrooms and living room and switch on all ceiling fans. If your mini-splits are not functioning at 100% or are leaking, fix them now before the first showing occurs.
Get lost! I know it sounds harsh but sellers need to make themselves scarce during a showing or open house. Nothing makes a potential Buyer more uncomfortable than having the seller following them around from room to room, looking over their shoulder and interjecting commentary. Yes, you know your home better than anyone and may be tempted to point out all the unique and wonderful features that you think distinguishes your property from all the others on the market. Just don’t. Studies have shown that having the property owner present will reduce the showing time by up to 75%. Buyers will also be hesitant to comment candidly or ask “buying” questions in your presence. This lack of immediate feedback makes your agent’s job much harder. Go for a coffee, go to the beach or plan to run some errands when your agent is showing your home to a customer. One final note: If you do not trust your agent to be in your home without you, you have chosen the wrong person to represent you.
Relocate your pets temporarily. Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you are showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. Even the friendliest of dogs can bark and jump up. If you are living in your home and have pets, do everyone a favor: keep your pets out of the house for the showing. Showings rarely last for more than 30 minutes. Send them to a willing neighbor or take them for a long walk and have your agent text you when they are ready to leave. Note: If you live with pets, you may be accustomed to their odors and no longer notice their scent in the house. Have someone you trust come into your home and objectively evaluate it on his or her own “smell meter”. If there is an issue, professional cleaning help may be needed.
Be flexible with showings. If your agent can’t get in to show your property there is little chance it will sell. Try your best to make your home available to be shown when your agent asks to see it but don’t be afraid to ask for reasonable, advance notice. If you are living in the home, make your agent aware from the beginning if there are times when you absolutely cannot open your home for showings. Understand that your agent is going to do his very best to organize a tour with a customer with your needs in mind. As it is unlikely that yours is the only property on the tour agenda, sometimes adjustments have to be made. Sometimes customers show up late or not at all. Trust me when I tell you, your agent will be just as irritated as you are by last minute cancellations
Manage your renters. If you have long-term renters in your villa or condo, make sure you have a signed agreement with the renter and your property manager about what notice will be provided for showings and the condition you expect the property to be in. A messy renter or one who will not leave the home for showings will put your agent at a terrible disadvantage when marketing your home to customers. Vacation renters may not want to disrupt their holiday plans to accommodate a showing. Your property manager or rental agent will need to make it clear to your guests that the property is for sale and showings may occur. In the end, if you really need to sell your home, you may need to sacrifice rental income to show your home in its best possible light to the greatest number of interested Buyers.
Ask for and accept feedback. Your agent should be contacting you within a day or two of the showing to give you feedback about the showing and let you what the Buyers impressions were regarding your property. If you are not here in Playa, this is an excellent opportunity for you to get an objective evaluation of the condition of your home and what could perhaps be improved before the next showing is scheduled. Legitimate criticisms from potential Buyers should be clearly communicated and a plan formed with your property manager to address the issues.
Many people have their own tips and tricks for showing a home at its very best. Some recommend putting on soft music. Others tell you to bake a nice batch of cookies before the appointment. We think a house should just be fresh, cool and smell clean. If you use your property as a vacation rental and keep a guest book for visitors to sign, make sure to leave it out for potential Buyers to see. Glowing praise of your home or condo from a guest will surely stick in the mind of the customer.
In the end, a well maintained home in the right location marketed professionally at the right price WILL sell. Following these tips will help you sell your home faster and at the best price possible. Register here for our complete Seller's Checklist and make sure no detail is overlooked!