Quick Tips for Showing your House

Selling your House

Quick Tips for Showing your House

Here are a few reminders for you to keep in mind as your house is shown to potential buyers.

A buyer has an opinion of a house within 15 seconds, so make it count! Creating an open and inviting space when potential buyers enter your home is crucial since this is the first area a potential buyer will see inside your home. Declutter the foyer and make one object the focal point, such as a painting or piece of furniture. Use a table or floor lamp to create warmth and place fresh flowers on the table for an inviting touch.

Keep it clean. Even though you have thoroughly cleaned and prepped the home to put it on the market, you must still live in it between showings. Be prepared to tidy up and vacate your home at a moment's notice so it can be shown. Make up beds first thing in the morning so that they are not forgotten. Keep disposable floor wipes handy to be able to quickly mop floors as well as freshen up bathrooms and kitchens.

Open all window coverings to let in as much lights as possible. Turn on lights in smaller rooms, such as bathrooms and the laundry room, to help them appear larger. You want to create a lighted environment without overdoing it. If the weather is nice, open a couple of windows to create a breeze and get some fresh air into the house. If you have ceiling fans, turn them on to help circulate air. In winter, think about turning the heat up slightly to make it cozy feeling to potential buyers who walk in from the nippy outside.

You’ll want to create a pleasant mood as the house is being shown. One way to create this mood is to is to play soft music while the buyer is there. You may also wish to place fresh flowers around the house to create a cheery atmosphere. Create visual ambience by turning on key lights such as chandeliers or scones.

Finally, make sure the home is vacant as it is being shown. You and your family should take a walk or otherwise do something away from the house. Make sure the pets are gone, too; if they cannot go with you, take them to a neighbor.

Your goal is to make homebuyers fall in love with the house as soon as they see it from the street. And that comes with a bonus--a great overall impression is often enough to make a buyer more lenient about minor repair issues. Every house is different, and no one expects you to be a professional home stager. But taking the time to prepare the house to the best of your ability can put extra dollars in your pocket, and in less than average time. Use the Checklist on reverse to help you remember all the little things that will put your house’s best foot forward!

Checklist for house showings

Living Room/Family Room/Office

▢ Make sure rooms are clean and tidy

▢ Put away magazines and toys

▢ Put the remote controls out of sight

▢ Turn off computers

▢ Hide any documents with personal or identifying information

Dining Room

▢ If your table is not attractive, cover it with a nice, clean, crisp tablecloth

▢ Include a centerpiece of fresh flowers or another arrangement

▢ If the room is very sparse, a couple of nice place settings will make it look inviting


▢ Make sure all dishes are put away

▢ Wipe down the counters

▢ Display a bowl of fresh fruit

▢ Put away dish towels and sponges

▢ Put dish soap under the counter

▢ Counter tops should be tidy with no clutter

▢ Put away small appliances

▢ Wipe down appliances until they shine

▢ Empty all trash cans and hide if visible

▢ Warm vanilla in the oven


▢ Make all beds

▢ Pick up and put away all clothes

▢ Make sure dresser tops and bedside tables are clean and tidy

▢ Put away jewelry

▢ Hide any personal items


▢ Make sure bathtub and shower are clean

▢ If you have glass doors, make sure they are free from water spots

▢ Polish mirrors

▢ Make sure towels are clean and tidy

▢ Make sure toilet bowl is clean and install a bowl freshener

▢ Remove or hide medications

▢ Neatly store toiletries and personal items

▢ Empty trash can and hide if possible


▢ Vacuum carpets/sweep floors

▢ Dust if necessary and polish wooden tabletops

▢ Get rid of any odors (food, smoke, pets)

▢ Place fresh flower arrangements

▢ Turn on lights and replace bulbs as necessary

▢ Open all drapes and shades to let in as much natural light as possible

▢ Turn on and adjust heat or air conditioning

▢ Play soft relaxing background music

▢ Arrange for children, pets, and all residents to be elsewhere during the showing


▢ Landscaping should be freshly groomed

▢ Tidy potted plants and flowers

▢ Sweep the porch, driveway, and sidewalks

▢ Wipe down outdoor furniture

▢ Make sure window sills at eye-level are clean

▢ Hide the garbage cans

▢ Remove cars to make space for buyer & agent

▢ Be sure the house looks inviting from the street