Showing Your Home

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions.

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

  • Make sure your front entrance is clean and inviting
  • Spruce up the landscaping in the spring / summer
  • In the winter months, make sure the driveway and walkways are shoveled for showings

Tips for Getting your Home "Showing-Ready".

  • Keep windows and floors clean.
  • Repair worn woodwork.
  • Repaint scarred or dirty walls in a neutral color.
  • Repair loose knobs, sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet drawers, broken light switches and other minor flaws.
  • Check and repair caulking in bathtubs and showers.

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

  • 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 or a garage sale to dispose of extra items).
  • Arrange all your rooms neatly and remove excess furniture. Keep fresh, clean towels in the bathroom. Use candles or air fresheners to make the room smell pleasant.


  • Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house.
  • Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops. 
  • Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, pictures, etc. (A sparse kitchen helps buyers mentally move their own things into your kitchen.)
  • In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from countertops, tubs, shower stalls and commode tops. Keep only your most needed cosmetics, brushes, perfumes, etc., in one small group on the counter. Coordinate towels to one or two colors only.
  • Rearrange or remove some of the furniture if necessary. As owners, many times we have too much furniture in a room. This is wonderful for our personal enjoyment, but when it comes to selling, we need to thin out as much as possible to make rooms appear larger.
  • 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 the lights and lamps.


  • 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.
  • Check gutters and/or roof for dry rot. Make sure they are swept and cleaned.
  • Look at all plants…prune bushes and trees. Keep plants from blocking windows. 
  • Weed planting areas. Keep lawn freshly cut and fertilized. 
  • 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. 

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.

Prior to a Showing

Here are some quick things to prep prior to a showing:

  1. Sight: Turn on the lights in the house (day or night) and open every drape and blind (day time only). 
  2. Kitchen: Wipe kitchen counters, place dirty dishes in dishwasher.
  3. Bathrooms: Wipe counters, flush and close toilets.
  4. Living/Family Rooms: Hide magazines, newspapers, and games; remove clutter.
  5. Bedrooms: Straighten beds. Hide clutter under bed (preferred over the closet).
  6. Exterior: Put away toys and clutter. Keep walk clear.