Showing Your Home at Night

August 9, 2011 - Updated: August 10, 2011

Everyone knows it's important to make a great first impression when selling your home, which is why so much work goes into de-cluttering, redecorating, and amplifying "curb appeal."

But here's one thing you may not have considered when getting your home in tip-top shape: how your home shows at night.

Many showings happen after the sun goes down as Realtors accommodate clients who may work during the day. Also, many homebuyers interested in a property actually want to see it at night to get a sense of the home and the neighbourhood after dark.   

The best way to prepare your home for a nocturnal showing is to put yourself in the buyer's shoes. Take a look at your home's exterior and interior at night to see what you can see, and, just as important, what you can't see.

"A home's illumination welcomes any prospective buyer, so you should turn on all of your outside and inside lights when showing your home at night so people will feel that glowing warmth as a result of your lighting," said professional lighting designer Stephen Targan. "At night, a nice, lit house can give a wonderful impression when viewed from the street."

Targan recommends investing in some simple lighting for the front yard. He says to make sure the sidewalks are well lit and that the entrance to the property is visible. You could also bring in a gatepost or lantern-style light to define the start of your driveway.

"Add ground lighting or bollards to light the pathway," Targan said. "Low voltage string lighting along path edges is an effective and inexpensive solution."

A nighttime peek may not only happen during a showing, either. Most Realtors will tell you that it's common for potential buyers to drive by homes in the evening.

"Selling your home is a 24-hour job, seven days a week," said David O'Shea, author of the e-book, Tips to Sell Your Home Faster. "Don't assume that people will judge everything on their first visit. That's why keeping the home looking sharp at night is important. If someone comes by and the home looks dreary, it could kill a potential sale."

Remember, those with interest in buying your home are going to live there both day and night, so it's important to make the home attractive at all times of the day.

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