How to Prepare 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 sofet and fasia, 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.