Agents have been putting houses on show for years, because they know it's an effective way to expose the home to a large number of buyers in a short period of time.
People who visit show houses are generally serious about buying a property. While you may find the odd neighbour popping in for a bit of a snoop, most visitors are there because they like what they see and want to take a closer look.
And that's the key - getting a look inside. The Internet has definitely changed the way we view property. Agents aren't limited to simply putting the odd photo of a home in a local newspaper anymore - they can go all out and make a big splash with numerous photographs that depict the home from every angle and can even arrange a video tour that gives buyers a good idea of how the home is laid out. Unfortunately, while all of this aids the buyer in narrowing down his search for a suitable home, it generally doesn't help him make a solid buying decision.
Jan Davel, MD RealNet estate agency group says that show days are among the most effective ways to market real estate and that anyone who is serious about selling their home should consider putting it on show as quickly as possible after listing.
A show day tends to be a more relaxed environment for prospective buyers. They feel less self-conscious about asking questions and having a really good look at the property than they do during a private viewing when the seller will most likely be present
Getting a home ready for a show day involves a lot more than a quick tidy up before the agent arrives. We all get used to the environment in which we live and tend to overlook certain aspects that could put a prospective buyer off.
Declutter - we all tend to hoard things and as such many homes are full of unnecessary items. Cast a critical eye over the entire home and try to see the property through a buyer's eyes. Pack up or throw away as much as you can before the home goes on show. Take a long hard look at the living areas and remove and store excess furniture if possible - remember the more cluttered a room, the smaller it will seem.
Mow the lawn - neaten up the garden and weed the flower beds. Walk around and discard old toys and other rubbish that may be lying around. Focus on the verge and driveway areas. First impressions really do count and buyers can easily be put off the home before they walk through the front door.
Spring clean - give the entire home a thorough clean. Have grubby carpets steam cleaned and wash the walls. Check the corners for cobwebs and ensure that the kitchen area is spotless.
Clean the pool - ensure that the pool water is crystal clear and that entertainment areas are spic and span. Clean out the braai, removing any ashes.
It's no secret that show houses have of late been targeted by criminals. Don't assume that everyone who comes to view the home actually wants to buy. Go through your cupboards and drawers and ensure that all valuables are locked away.
No one has ever said that selling a home is easy. However, your hard work will pay off when you allow as many potential buyers as possible to see the best your property has to offer.