Here are ideas for making your home more attractive to buyers

Professional staging companies know how to make the house or condo you’re trying to sell look as presentable as possible … which is all well and good for an investment property that’s always unoccupied. But how do you make your home appealing while you’re still living in it? Trying to schedule showings around your work and home schedule can drive you crazy, even with a gay real estate professional working with you. Here are a few tips that will make the entire process easier.

Leave when an agent is showing your home. It’s very difficult for a real estate agent to successfully show your home when you’re sitting right there. “Some buyers will feel uncomfortable having the seller or even a tenant home during the showings,” says Dallas Realtor Tim Stoll of JP and Associates. “And as the seller, you don’t want to unintentionally say something that will negatively influence the [potential] buyer.” They might be too nervous to really inspect the home and speak freely as you want them to.

Fortunately, agents always schedule showings and let you know ahead of time when they will be by. This will let you know when you need to make arrangements to be somewhere else, so you’re not surprised in the middle of dinner and have to walk out of your own home.

Mind your pets. While some people love to meet curious dogs and playful kittens, others are allergic or simply aren’t pet people. Some of our trusted companions can be nervous and unpredictable when strangers come into the home when you’re not there. For the comfort and safety of everyone involved, take your animals with you when you leave for showings. And clean up after them! “Pick up poop from the back yard,” advises agent Todd Maley. “I once walked into a yard that had a huge dog living there, and the buyers couldn’t even stand outside for the smell. They couldn’t wait to get out of there.”

Clean, clean and clean some more. “You can never have your house too clean for a showing,” advises Jason Melton of David Griffin & Company Realtors. “First impressions are key to getting your home sold quickly.” Since you’re living there, you’re always going to be making small messes all over the house. Even the smallest thing like a few dirty dishes in the sink needs to be taken care of before potential buyers arrive. “Clearing off countertops, putting away clutter and leaving a few lights on can make a huge difference — the more inviting, the better!”

This may mean you’ll be sweeping and vacuuming much more often than you’re used to. You also want to keep everything as organized as possible. Throw away or organize your mail each day, keep the family room looking tidy and get your closets, the garage, basement and attic in order. That sounds like a lot of work, but if you make it a point to clean and organize every day, it won’t be that bad.

Put away anything confidential or valuable. In an age where identity theft is more common than we’d like to admit, you can’t risk leaving out anything with identifying information on it. Put away any paperwork that has your date of birth, Social Security number, account number or other information on it.

Additionally, make sure your valuables are locked up. While a licensed real estate agent will be there with the potential buyers the entire time, you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.

Remove anything that’s truly personal. When a potential buyer sees something they find distasteful or that clashes with their beliefs, it can cause them to instantly dismiss your home from their shortlist of properties. While it’s true that your religion, political beliefs or other beliefs have nothing to do with your home, people don’t always separate the two. To that end, it’s a good idea to remove anything that’s overly personal from sight. That doesn’t mean you have to scrub your home of personality, but take a critical look at your décor. You may want to take down or put away things that you could see someone else disliking.

Your agent can assist you with staging your home so that it looks as bright and as spacious as possible, even while still serving as your living space.            

For additional help in finding gay and gay-friendly agents, visit and check out Dallas Voice!