Preparing for Showings

Once you have staged your home for sale, it is important to do some “touch up” work before every showing.  Use this checklist to prepare when you are walking out the door before SHOW TIME!

Leave the Home

Many buyers become very uncomfortable encountering the homeowner of a house they are viewing.  They feel as if they are “intruding” and just will not be able to enjoy the tour of your home properly.  In addition, they may not feel comfortable speaking with their agent in front of you to ask questions and learn the many reasons why this is the home they should buy!  Consider showing times a great time to take the kids to the park, make a trip to the grocery store, grab a coffee or run a few necessary errands!

Lock Up Valuables

Jewelry, important documents, firearms, prescription medicines, etc —  Make sure your valuables are locked away so they are safe from visitors and visitors are safe from them!


Open all the blinds, shades, shutters, and draperies in the home and turn on all the indoor and outdoor lights, even during the day.  Turning on the lights during the day prevents shadows from sunlight and brings cheer to any dark spots in the home.  At night, having a well lit home brings a homey impression when buyers pull up.

Tidy Up

We do not all make our beds every day, but you absolutely need to when your house is on the market.  Make sure all dishes are clean and out of the sink, flush all the toilets, keep your house freshly dusted, floors mopped, and the carpets vacuumed.  Store toys out of the main living spaces.  Wipe the kitchen and bathroom counters.  Your goal is to keep your home looking as much like a model home as possible which means making it look homey but like nobody lives there!


Avoid cooking pungent foods (fish, garlic, etc) when your house is hot on the market!

Avoid strong scented sprays, carpet powders, and pungent plug-ins as many people find these smells offensive or they may even be allergic.  Instead, opt for a subtle bowl of potpourri or a natural scented item.  A few real estate tricks:  Try putting a drop of vanilla extract on a stove burner or in the oven and then heating it for a few a minutes.  It will subtly smell like you were baking something delicious!  Another option, grind fresh lemon into the garbage disposal or boil a cinnamon stick ahead of time.

Kitchen and Bathroom Trash

Empty your trash cans!  It may sound wasteful, but, even if the bags are not full, take out the trash.

Invisible Pets

It is always best to take your pets with you while buyers tour your home.  If this is not possible, try to keep dogs in a kenneled area of your home or the back yard and make sure your agent warns guests about pets in the home.  You want buyers to be able to move about the home as freely as possible and not everyone will love your pet as much as you do.  Remember, many people are afraid of pets and/or are just not “pet people.”  Making your pet’s presence unknown is your best bet for a quick sale.  Clean food/water bowls and tuck them away, remove litter boxes, put chew toys away, and keep pet “piles” to a minimum in case the buyer wants to explore your back yard.

Noisy Appliances

Run your washers, dryers, dishwashers and other appliances when your home is not being shown.  These sounds can be off-putting.


If you have the option, play soft, appropriate music in the background (on a TV or radio). This may help drown out background noise (such as a noisy street or neighbor’s dog) and create a calm environment for touring your home. My favorite Pandora Station for showings is the Harry Connick Jr. station!

Clear Paths

Either part your vehicles in the garage or move them down the street.  Make sure the driveway is clear for buyers to pull in and walk freely from their vehicle to the front door.


If you have questions, contact me any time!


(This article is from my personal blog at: