Run through this checklist before your next home-showing!
Once your house goes on the market, real estate agents may call at any time to request a showing. And saying no could cost you a sale! (Nobody has time for that!)
But, keeping your house show ready can be a bit of a hassle–especially if you have pets or kids.
Sure, you do the initial deep clean, invest in some staging props, and make a few repairs here and there when you first list your home; but unless you’re one of the lucky few who makes a sale on the first open house, there’s inevitably going to be things you’ll have to do right before a showing.
Before you evacuate your house for a showing, run through this quick checklist of items to get your house ready to show.
- PANIC! At first, you’ll likely panic and that’s okay! It’s unrealistic to have your house ready to be seen at all times, you are living in it anyway. Take a deep breath…and then get moving!
Start in the Bedrooms
- Make the beds. This might include changing your everyday bedding to your “show” specific bedding or it might just mean making up the beds that were slept in.
Have your kids make their beds as a part of their morning routine. If beds are made every day you can check this checklist item off right away and move onto others–one less stress!
- Hide dirty laundry. Keep dirty laundry piles to a minimum and keep clean laundry folded and put away.
If you’re really in a time crunch, grab a laundry basket and scoop up any miscellaneous clothing, toys, nicknacks, etc that might be laying around and store it in your car until after the showing when you can put it away.
- Close closets and drawers. Potential buyers will take a peek at the closets to get an idea of how much space they’re working with. Regardless, close them anyways.
Head to the bathrooms
- Hang your “show” towels–and hide your old raggedy or day-to-day towels.
- Put personal care items away. Don’t forget your toothbrush, medications, and shower products!
- Close the toilet seat... but not before making sure it’s flushed and clean.
*Buyers will look everywhere, the toilets are no exception.
Move on to the kitchen
- Do the dishes. Nobody’s perfect when it comes to keeping the sink clear of dishes, and if you are–well it must be nice. Quickly wash, dry, and put any dirty dishes from the sink away–don’t leave them to air dry or in the dishwasher to do later.
- Take a wet wipe to surfaces. Countertops, cabinets, the stovetop, and the microwave are surfaces that should show no sign of leftover food splatter or crumbs.
- Store away unnecessary clutter. The things you have out for daily use including dish soaps, sponges, toasters, coffee pots, family calendars, etc can be put away until after the showing. This will show off all the counter space your kitchen has to offer.
PROTIP: Data shows that potential buyers scrutinize kitchens more than any other room in the house.
On your final walk through...
- Vacuum, sweep, spot-mop. Go over the floors and carpets with a vacuum or broom and spot mop any sticky spots. If you have pets that shed or kids who drop more food than they eat, this is a must!
- Turn on all of the lights. Just before you head out, open window coverings and turn on all the lights. Though your electric bill will take a hit, this will help buyers see your home in the best lighting.
- Empty all garbage baskets. Grab a trash bag and gather trash from all the baskets around your home. When you leave for the showing take the bag out with you as to get rid of any lingering odors.
PROTIP: By limiting the number of trash cans around your home you’ll reduce the amount of time it takes to empty them all. Makes sense, right?
- Lock up valuables. Theft is highly unlikely during a showing, but you’d rather be safe than sorry.
- Set the A/C or heat for a comfortable temperature. If your potential buyers are too hot or too cold, they likely won’t stick around.
Take the pets and kids with you. It can be awkward for the potential buyer if you’re home at the time of the showing. Go run an errand, spend the afternoon at the park, or if you’re lucky... the showing will happen while you’re at work or school.
Print this checklist out and keep it on hand. The next time a real estate agent calls and gives you an hour’s notice before a showing, you’ll be prepared rather than stressed.
If you’re selling your home or considering selling your home, head to our Home Seller’s Guide page. Here, you’ll also have the opportunity to connect with one of our professionals eager to help you quickly sell your home.