Preparing Your Home for Showings

Homes sell more quickly & at higher prices when they show their best!
It’s important that your home shows well and while it can’t always be “showroom” perfect. After all, you and your family must live there, it’s important that sellers be prepared for short notice showing requests. (while agents will try to provide 24 hour advance notice this isn’t always possible) It’s helpful to develop a routine that will allow you to pick up and be prepared to show in a reasonable period of time. This means that certain things must be done in advance. This way you can be prepared for each showing in an organized, no-hassle routine.

Light is important – Turn on all lights – even those in walk-in closets and storage rooms. Clean all windows (or have them professionally cleaned). Open all drapes, shades and blinds. Do all that you can to create a bright room by adding the energy and ambiance of light.

Air is necessary– The air should be not too hot & not too cold. Have the thermostat set at a moderate temperature for the season. The air should not smell – have a fresh fragrance in the house or rub vanilla extract onto your light bulbs. When the lights are turned on the sweet aroma will float throughout the house. You can also boil water and a few sticks of cinnamon on the stove for a half an hour. Citrus rinds, mint and cloves will also work. It’s also helpful to turn the fan on your HVAC system from automatic to on as this will circulate the air in your home and can help to removeoffensive odors.

Keep scented candles in bathrooms and the kitchen. Be especially careful to keep kitchen odors pleasant. For tips on this topic see Cheap, Easy and Natural Methods for Freshening Up Your Home.  

Pick-up every room – Check counters, floors, halls and stairs. Straighten up or remove newspapers, magazines, mail, toys, clothing, recreational gear, snacks, glasses and dishes. Don’t overlook the entryway – it’s the first and last impression that your buyers will have of your home – make it a good one!

The bedrooms – Make up the beds, neatly and attractively, early in the morning. This is a job you don’t want to have to do when you learn that the buyers will be there within an hour. If your bed spreads are faded, dated, torn, or ripped consider updating them with new covers.

The kitchen – Be sure all countertops are clear and “squeaky clean”. Wipe down appliances and faucets. Be sure all dishes are in the dishwasher or cleaned and put away but don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing. The sink should be clear and clean. Please be sure wastebaskets are emptied and garbage is in a sealed trash receptacle to avoid smell.

The bathrooms – Keep a set of fresh, attractive towels in each room that you can change instantly. Bleach any stains in the sink, tub, and shower. Remove mineral deposits, mildew and grime from the shower walls. Wipe down faucets and clean mirrors.

Carpet – Give the carpets a quick once over to fluff them up. Focus your efforts on the entry, family or great room and master bedroom if time is limited.

Laundry – Get dirty laundry into the washer, again don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing. Keep the laundry area clean and neat.

Pets – Your family pet can be a tremendous distraction for prospective buyers. If at all possible, remove the pet from your home during showings. Also, be mindful to have pet deposits cleaned up. No one will want to smell or take home any deposits made in the litter or in the backyard.

If you can’t do everything, do the most important things first!

For additional tips on preparing your home for sale see

A Seller’s Home Enhancement Guide

Showings and Open Houses

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