When selling your home, you want to amaze everyone viewing it, so it’s important to follow these tips to properly preparing it for home showings.
You probably already have your home looking great for all the pictures and videos that were taken when the home was listed. But how can you keep your home looking show-ready for when buyers want to see the property in person?
Whether it’s a private showing or a public open house, you always want to leave the best impression.
Here are my top 5 tips for sellers that want to make the most of every single home-showing.
- Take a Walk Around The House
- Put Away Your Personal Items
- Do a Deep Clean and Maintain It
- Plan for Your Pets
- Preparing for Last Minute Showings
TIP #1. TAKE A WALK AROUND THE HOUSE
Imagine you were a buyer seeing your own home for the first time. What would impress you? What would turn you off?
Making an effort to look at your house through the eyes of a buyer makes you realize that the dirty dishes in the sink or piles of toys thrown everywhere might not be seen a good selling feature.
Take a look at each room from many angles. Ask yourself what can people see that you might prefer to be hidden?
Some suggestions of things you can put away during a home showing are:
- Tuck cables and wires away from around TV’s, night tables and kitchen counters.
- Neatly put away shoes and coats in the closet instead of the hall.
- Clean up any cobwebs or dust bunnies under or around furniture and the ceiling line.
- Organize and put away things laying around that should be in drawers, baskets or boxes.
You would be surprised where buyers will look during a showing; inside ovens (to inspect their cleanliness), behind couches and inside closets. Doing a good one-over of the home will help you see things that you normally don’t notice in your everyday life.
Believe me. I’ve been to showings where there were dirty pairs of underwear on the bathroom floor. As a real estate agent I strongly urge you not be that kind of seller.
TIP #2. PUT AWAY YOUR PERSONAL ITEMS
I get it—your home is your comfortable space and you don’t normally worry about what you leave on the bedside or coffee table. But you wouldn’t necessarily want your Grandma or 5 year old niece to see them, right?
Now is a good time to put away any provocative artwork or objects that might make the more conservative buyers blush.
Once you’ve listed your home, it’s time to step-it-up a notch and make sure nothing offensive is on display.
Remember, you’re trying to make your house appealing to the widest demographic possible—you’re trying to sell it—so be a little sensitive to what is visible to buyers.
For a refresher, check out our guide on How to Get Perfect Pictures & Videos for Home Staging. which explains everything you need to know about properly setting up your home before putting it on the market.
TIP #3. DO A DEEP CLEAN AND MAINTAIN IT
Once your home is nice and clean for listing day, it’s important to maintain your home’s cleanliness. It’s very likely you will get last-minute showings, so your home needs to be clean and ready for a viewing at the drop of a hat.
Here’s what you can do to maintain a clean home:
- Do a daily sweep or vacuum of high-traffic areas.
- Wipe down counters, mirrors and surfaces regularly.
- Get a cheap Swiffer at the dollar store and keep it handy.
- Keep things like garbage cans and litter boxes tidy and smelling fresh.
- Stay on top of cleaning up pet messes in the backyard.
- Remember to regularly cut the grass, rake leaves or shovel the snow.
You never know when someone will want to see your home and you may not have time to do all this.
By setting a regular cleaning routine each week, you can be sure your home will be looking great for buyers. And if you’re not sure you can keep up, consider hiring a weekly cleaning service to make sure everything is maintained.
TIP #4. PLAN FOR YOUR PETS
Having a plan in place for what you’ll do with pets during showings is a must. Ideally, if you can get them out of the house when buyers are coming, that is best.
Some buyers are scared or turned off by animals so taking them for a walk or a car ride is a great idea.
If taking the pets with you isn’t possible, consider leaving them in a cage or storage area blocked off with a note to buyers warning them the animal is inside.
TIP #5. PREPARING FOR LAST MINUTE SHOWINGS
When you have a last minute showing, don’t panic. You can tackle a lot in 15 minutes. Create a list of prioritized tasks that must be done. Decide who will do each of these items before your showings:
It’s even easier if you can get the family involved. These last minute tasks include:
- Turn on all the lights
- Tidy the bathrooms
- Organize the bedrooms
- Spruce up the kitchen
- Remove garbage and litter boxes
- Check for personal items
- Set the mood
TURN ON THE LIGHTS
Turn on all the lights in the house, even if it’s daytime. Yes, every single one. We want your home to look bright and cheerful.
Don’t forget the outside lights too. This is an easy job you can get your children to help out with too.
Make sure all lightbulbs are working, and if they’re not, now is a good time to change out the bulbs.
TIDY THE BATHROOMS
Flush all the toilets to freshen them up and close the lids. If the seats need a wiping, do that too. You never know where a potential buyer might look.
Give the counters a wipe down too. It’s a great idea to have Lysol wipes on hand for these quick cleanups.
ORGANIZE THE BEDROOMS
Gather up any clothes off the floor and put in the hampers or your closet. Make the beds and be sure to get all the wrinkles out of the blankets.
Puff up the pillows and open the curtains to give the room a bright cheery feel.
SPRUCE UP THE KITCHEN
This is one room that can make-or-break a showing. Wash and put away any dishes in the sink. Wipe down the faucets and counters and make sure everything is shiny and pristine. If the trash is full or smelly, tie it up and put it in the garage.
Let’s give home buyers the impression that this is a fresh, clean space to eat and mingle.
REMOVE GARBAGE & LITTER BOXES
Speaking of trash, you should quickly collect all the garbage from wastebaskets around the house and replace the bags.
If you have cats, make sure to clean the litter box too.
Do a quick walk-through of each room to ensure there are not any items out of place, any random papers laying around, or things laying on the floors.
CHECK FOR PERSONAL ITEMS
A home showing is not the time to leave out all your tax receipts or business paperwork either. It’s important to put away anything you don’t want strangers to be looking at.
SET THE MOOD
It never hurts to put on some quiet music, turn on the fireplace and create a cozy feeling in the home. These are all really simple things that anyone can do before a showing, and they don’t take much time at all.
THE TAKE HOME
Leaving a great impression on your potential buyers during their showing or open house, is the best way you can help get that sold sign on your front lawn as quickly as possible. Remember, taking a little time now to make sure you’re prepared for your upcoming showings will pay off in the end.
Do you want to sell your home even faster? Check out our guide on Selling Your Home Faster With Buyer Feedback.