TWO-MINUTE DRILL: Timely Tips For Short-Notice Home Showings | Wilmington NC real estate

 It’s a seller’s worst nightmare…the sink is full of dishes, the baby is crying — and an agent calls: “We’ll be there in two minutes. I have the perfect buyer for your house.” Before that overwhelming feeling of panic sets in, don’t despair! Here’s a quick roundup of easy pick-up tips to get your house in show-time shape in minutes.

Have A Game Plan

  • Assign responsibility for each room to a family member.
    When the “last-minute dash” starts, each person knows which room to straighten.
  • Plan your get-away.
    Know where you’ll go when you vacate the house for show time. Take the kids to the library, park, playground or to visit friends. Do your grocery shopping, pick up the dry cleaning or run other errands.

Whole-House Strategies

  • Perk up your carpets.
    Eliminate stray crumbs and dirt with a quick pick-up by a hand-held vacuum.
  • Turn on the lights.
    Light up dark corners and hallways. Even on sunny days, rooms show better when brightly lighted.
  • Open curtains and blinds.
    Let in as much natural light and good views as possible.

Kitchen Quickies

  • Use paper plates.
    A lot of people house hunt on their way home from work — at dinner time. Eat on, then toss, paper plates to avoid unsightly dirty dishes and speed clean-up time.
  • Put dinner in cold storage.
    If you’re caught with dinner on the table, shove the plates into the refrigerator. Re-heat in the microwave when prospects have gone.
  • Simmer some spices.
    Prepare a pot of cloves, cinnamon sticks and water. With only minutes to spare, bring your spices to a rapid boil, turn back immediately to simmer and your home will have a warm, inviting smell.
  • Try microwaving instead of baking.
    Keep your oven free of spatters by switching to microwave dinners.
  • Drain dishes in the dishwasher.
    Air-dry hand-washed dishes in the upper rack of the dishwasher to keep the sink and counter clutter-free.
  • Add sparkle and shine with spray cleaners.
    Wipe out cooking spills with a quick squirt of a grease-cutting spray cleaner and rub with a paper towel.

Laundry Disguises

  • Use the washer as a hideout.
    Put your dirty clothes in the washer until you have time to launder. Same goes for clean clothes that you don’t have time to fold — let them sit in the dryer instead of in a messy pile.
  • Try a laundry-basket disguise.
    If you have more laundry than you know what to do with, drop it in a basket, fold two large bath towels and place on top, and presto — laundry goes from messy to neat.

“Junk” Catchers?

  • Use under-bed storage boxes.
    For last-minute pick-ups, under-bed boxes are great catch-alls for toys, books, dirty socks, etc.
  • Have a bail-out box.
    Eliminate a frantic search for keys, wallet, dog’s leash and shoes when you are leaving to let the agent show the house. Keep a small box with pertinent items stashed in a handy place such as the coat-closet floor.

Make A Final Check?

Run through the home room by room, from top to bottom, to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.

These are just a few of the ways to make your home sparkle and shine in a matter of minutes. If you are considering selling and would like more ideas on how to make your home show in its best possible light, please give us a call! To search all Wilmington NC real estate, please visit

How To Avoid The 13 Most Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make | Wilmington NC real estate

Selling a home is always a challenge. But in today’s market deal-killing pitfalls are more common than ever…at a time when buyers continue to have the upper hand.

  • Economic and job issues loom large.
  • Buyers’ financing is more difficult to obtain.
  • Price competition from distressed homes lurks around the corner.
  • Throw in the stress and uncertainty some home sellers feel, and no wonder mistakes are made.

The worst all-too-common blunders can cost you — the home seller — time and money. That’s why we make it our business to help our sellers avoid costly problems with advance planning and local knowledge.

Buyers are out there right now, looking for homes to buy. We see it every day. They might love a home, but the sellers must make sure not to jeopardize a deal with the right buyer at the right time. The devil is in the details. Put in a little energy and preparation, and you can make smarter moves to land a buyer — who locates your home to visit and falls in love with it and knows its price is right on target.

From experience, we’ve watched other home sellers make mistakes you can avoid. Our professional help can ensure your home sells quickly and brings the best possible price. Take a moment to learn today’s worst pitfalls and how not to make these same deal-wrecking mistakes. Then you’ll have something the competition doesn’t have: a sale!

1. Pricing For Yesterday
You need to keep your home price competitive with similar homes that are in comparable condition and located in neighborhoods like yours. Tour comparable homes in your area online and in person to see how your home stacks up. Be realistic about the price, and your home will sell.

2. Being Greedy
Now is not the time to add up every last dime you’ve put into your home and expect to recoup it all. The home buyers in today’s market will determine what your home is worth.

3. Waiting
Trying to time the real estate market, waiting for it to bottom out — or to peak — is a risky strategy. Only hindsight is 20-20. Make a move now when you are ready, not when you believe the real estate market is at a “perfect point.”

4. Not Offering Incentives
Although buyers will purchase your home first and foremost because it meets their needs, you may also find that incentives (help with closing costs, throwing in some household items, etc.) can sweeten the deal and encourage buyers to jump off the fence and buy now.

5. Making Your Home Inaccessible
Don’t put huge restrictions on touring opportunities. Make your home readily open and available for all buyers.

6. Going It Alone
Trying to sell your home on your own can be very tricky in today’s local market. Professional real estate agents — like us — do more than put your home on the multiple listing service. We provide solid marketing both off line and online to help get your home seen by the greatest number of interested buyers.

7. Showing Your Home Before It’s Ready
If you’re still packing, decluttering, painting, fixing up and improving your home, wait until all your work is complete before putting it on the market. Buyers will have a hard time looking past the unkempt work zones when touring your home and will mark it off their list.

8. Not Keeping Your Home A Showcase
If you were having a party, you’d make sure your home was spic and span. When your home is on the market, pretend you’re having a big gathering…every day! Keep your home clutter-free and clean to make sure it’s ready for a buyer to stop by anytime.

9. Ignoring Your First Offer
Your home’s first offer could be your best offer, perhaps your only offer. Take each offer seriously no matter what the offered price is. We can help you negotiate for the best price and terms to fit your financial situation.

10. Not Hiring A Home Inspector Before Listing
If you want your home sale to go smoothly, hire an inspector before listing your home for sale. Use his or her checklist of items to attend to as your to-do list. Tackle all the items before you list your home and buyers will notice how well maintained your home is.

11. Hanging Around For Showings
Home buyers are turned off when the homeowner is present during a home tour. Plan to vacate your home when potential buyers are coming. They are more likely to truly inspect your home thoroughly — and potentially make an offer — if you are away.

12. Keeping Pets Around
When buyers are touring your home, pets can get underfoot. For your pets’ safety and potential buyers’ comfort, take your furry friends with you during showings or have them temporarily stay at a friend’s home while your home is on the market.

13. Making Tiny Price Reductions
If you find you must drop your home’s price, avoid doing it in small increments; it’s a painfully slow method to watch your home not sell. Only consider significant price reductions that bring your home’s price in line with comparable homes and put it in a price range for a whole new set of buyers. For example, those buyers looking at homes up to $250K might find yours if you set the price under that price point, say, $249K, rather than keeping it just slightly above at $255K.

For more Wilmington NC real estate information, please visit or subscribe to my newsletter here…