Monday, May 31, 2010

Getting Your San Francisco House Ready to Show? Ten Tips Most Realtors Won’t Share But I Will

They don’t share them because these tips seem so obvious that pointing them out is a delicate and potentially embarrassing matter. 

1. Don’t cook fish the night before an open house. OK, yes, there is a teeny tiny chance that a few prospective buyers will applaud your decision to consume protein that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. But their subconscious olfactory response to the eau de salmon hitting them as they walk through the front door will ultimately translate into a lower sales price.

2. Lose the cat box. It does not matter is it has a lid. It does not matter if you’ve scooped it out with your sifter or changed the litter altogether. It’s still gross. Especially tucked next to the toilet in the half bath. (See note on subconscious olfactory response problem in item 1.)

3. Lose the cat while you’re at it. Just for the day. Nobody appreciates the note on the bedroom door that says “Cat inside. Keep door shut.” It makes people nervous. Nervous they’ll have an allergic reaction. Nervous your cat has peed all over the house. Nervous they may be attacked. Nervous that they have to follow instructions.

4. Hide the TV. Flat-screen televisions are no longer a trendy novelty. And televisions as the focal point of a room don’t project that suave metropolitan-home I-like-to-play-chess-and-sip-absinthe-in-the-evenings image that will fetch you an extra ten grand.

5. Don’t dare require visitors to take off their shoes. No matter that the carpet was just cleaned or that your religion forbids it.

6. And no blue booties either.

7. Turn off the music. Otherwise people will wonder what noise you’re trying to mask.

8. Turn on the heat and turn on the lights. Cold, dark houses don’t warm hearts and two hours of conservation aren’t going to save the planet.  Even on a sunny day, it's cold here in SF.

9. No, you can’t stage the property yourself. Yes, you probably do need staging.

10. Hear your agent’s advice on asking price but insist on pricing it even lower.

Bonus tip:  List your house with me!