If you’re like many people, you know that you should leave the house when prospective buyers come to tour your home for sale – but did you know there are three things you should never, ever leave behind? Check out these surprising things that you should always put away (or take with you) when you high-tail it out of your home before buyers show up.
3 Things You Should NEVER Leave Out During a Home Showing
First things first: You should never leave prescription pills in your home when prospective buyers are coming for a tour. That’s true whether they’re prescription vitamins, heart medications, or narcotics – everything that comes in a little bottle with a pharmacy’s label on it should go with you when you leave the house.
From there, you should always:
- Take your pets with you when you leave.
- Remove personal decor, including anything that could be considered controversial.
- Whisk away dirty dishes, trash and cleaning supplies.
Here’s a closer look at each.
#1. Take Your Pets With You When You Leave
Don’t leave your pets home alone when prospective buyers come to tour your home for sale in Baltimore or Howard County. There are two main reasons for this – and one is that not everyone loves pets as much as we do. Some people are downright afraid of animals, while others aren’t too happy to think about the kinds of hidden damage a pet may have done to the home. That goes for leaving a dog in the backyard, too; buyers may want to explore the space, but a fear of your pooch (no matter how tiny or how harmless) could prevent them from doing so.
Besides, with strangers walking in and out, the door could be left open – and your pet could make a run for it.
While you’re packing up your pet to leave for a showing, remove your pet’s food and water dishes, beds, toys and other accessories.
Related: 5 tips for moving with a cat
#2. Remove Personal Decor
You want your home to look like a model house in a new neighborhood, which means personal decor should come down before you list it for sale. That includes family photos that could prevent a prospective buyer from imagining living there, as well as anything that could be considered risque (some people tour homes with their children in tow) and certainly anything that could spark debate. Political memorabilia, sports-themed decor and even religious decorations should come down before you start showing your house to prospective buyers.
If someone passed on your house because they had different values than you – well, let’s just say that wouldn’t be the first time that had happened. Play it safe and take down anything that could be considered controversial, no matter how much you believe in it.
Related: 3 mistakes to avoid when you buy a bigger house
#3. Whisk Away Dirty Dishes, Trash and Cleaning Supplies
Sure, prospective buyers know that you still live in your home – but that doesn’t mean they want to see any evidence of it. You want buyers to see that your home is spotlessly clean and easy to keep that way, so make sure all the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher (or, even better, already clean and put away). Take out the trash on your way out the door.
Pro Tip: Keep a laundry basket full of cleaning supplies you can use to tidy up the house for last-minute showings. When you get word from your real estate agent that buyers are coming, you can zip around your home and spot-clean; then, take the entire laundry basket full of cleaning supplies with you when you leave.
Related: Kitchen improvements that can help you get higher offers on your home
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