Preparing Your Home To Show

It's a challenge to keep your home in tip-top, showing condition at all times. Children, pets, and personal living habits tend to add some "clutter." Also, the Realtor's call informing you that he's coming by with a potential buyer often comes as a surprise. Here is a list of last-minute items to attend to between the Realtor's call and his arrival to show your home.

  • Box up and remove any extra clutter, toys, etc. from the home.
  • Put what you can in storage, and do all you can to make the home, the garage, and the storage areas as open, clean, and clutter-free as possible.
  • Repair and replace anything that is broken, worn, or unsightly. This includes painting the soffit and fascia, cleaning the porch and entry way, spraying and cleaning windows, etc.
  • Make sure the door knobs, faucets, and handles all work properly.
  • You may even consider new carpet and interior paint -- as it may be an investment that will bring you a much greater return in the end.
  • Clean and put away dirty dishes. Clear tables of newspapers and clutter.
  • Send children and pets outdoors to play, or have them visit a neighbor.
  • You should also prepare to step out for a few minutes. It is better if you are not at home while it is being shown.
  • Turn off appliances, including the television and radio.
  • Day or evening, turn on all the lights. Your home will appear brighter. Shadows will be reduced.
  • During daytime, open the drapes.
  • At night, turn on the porch light.
  • Close the garage door.
  • Put away children's toys.
  • Open some windows unless there are noise considerations (weather permitting).
  • Remove any ashtrays and evidence of tobacco.
  • Eliminate any bad or stale odors. Use air freshener, especially if you smoke, have pets, or the house has been sealed for some time. Gingerbread cooling in the oven is a great touch! Other good fragrances are cinnamon and spices.
  • In Winter, light a fire in the fireplace.
  • In Summer, have the wood stacked neatly beside the fireplace.
  • Be sure your plants have been watered and look healthy.
  • It is best to leave your home whenever possible. If you can't leave, greet your guests politely and retreat to another room. By staying out of the way, your REALTOR® can expertly guide prospective buyers, answer their questions, and more effectively sell your home.