Showing Your Home

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

The exterior of your home often determines how buyers will view the interior:

  • Make sure your front entrance is clean and inviting
  • Clean, paint of replace (if feasible) your front door if it's faded or worn
  • Add some paint to shutters and trim if showing signs of wear
  • Add some colorful vibrant plants and put down some fresh mulch

Accentuate the Positive

Try to see your home with a fresh perspective and arrange each room to bring out its best attributes, including:

  • Keep windows and floors clean
  • Steam clean carpeting
  • Repair loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, broken light switches and other minor flaws
  • Check and clean or repair caulking in bathtubs and showers
  • Open draperies and curtains to let the light in during the showing
  • Remove all unnecessary clutter from your attic, basement and closets to better display spacious rooms (consider storage container or a garage sale to dispose of extraneous items)
  • Arrange all your rooms neatly and remove excess furniture
  • Keep fresh, clean towels in the bathroom
  • Use candles, wax melter or air fresheners to make the room smell pleasant

Put Your Home in the best possible light

Strategically lighting your home, even during daytime showings, can create a cozy mood and highlight positive attributes of each room, so:

  • Avoid the use of overhead lighting that makes rooms look washed out and lifeless
  • Be creative and arrange lamps to help smaller rooms seem larger, and large rooms seem more intimate
  • Use lighting to highlight the "living areas" of your home, such as a pair of chairs near a fireplace, or a table in a breakfast area


  • Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house
  • Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops
  • Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, pictures, etc.
  • In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from countertops, tubs and showers
  • Rearrange or remove some of the furniture if necessary
  • Take down or rearrange certain pictures or object on walls
  • Patch and paint if necessary
  • Review the house inside room by room
  • Paint any room needing paint, clean carpets or drapes that need it, clean windows
  • Leave on certain lights during the day. During "showings" turn on all lights and lamps
  • Have some light music playing during the day for all viewings
  • Lockbox #1 Importance: "If we don't have it, they won't show it."


  • Trim landscaping to reveal architectural detail (bottom of windows, etc.)
  • Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans, discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, etc., into the garage
  • Look at all plants, remove any dead plants or shrubs, prune bushes and trees
  • Keep lawn freshly cut
  • Clear patios or decks of all small items, such as small planters, flower pots, charcoal, barbecues, toys, etc. (put them in the garage)
  • Check paint condition of the house-especially the front door and trim "curb appeal really works!"

In General

Try to look at your house "through the buyer's eyes" as though you've never seen it or been there before. Any time or money spent on these items will bring you back more money in return, and hopefully a faster sale.

Nine Minute Showing Drill

Occasionally you will receive a call to schedule a showing to take place within the next few minutes. The following is a checklist for this type of panic:

  1. Sound: Turn off the television and tune the radio (low volume) to classical music
  2. Sight: Turn on all the lights in the house (day or night) and open every curtain and blind (day time only)
  3. Odors: If you have a wax melter turn it on
  4. Kitchen: Wipe kitchen counters, place dirty dishes in dishwasher
  5. Bathrooms: Wipe counters, flush and close toilets
  6. Living/Family Rooms: Hide magazines, newspapers, and games; remove clutter
  7. Bedrooms: Straighten beds and any clutter in rooms
  8. Exterior: Put away toys and clutter and keep walkways clear
  9. Children & Pets and You: If you can go outside with the children and pets it is best so the buyers can view the house comfortably; even better would be to take a long drive around the neighborhood or run an errand.
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