Beaux R'eves

Monday, April 7, 2014

Checklist for Showing Your House: 10 Must Do's

Spring is here and you have been working hard 
on getting your home ready for sale.  
Once you put that sign in the front yard 
the real work begins;  
Showing your house!  

I have a list of  

Ten Must Do Tips 

Every time you show your house! 
Yes, every time!

1.  CLEAN  

 And I mean CLEAN.  White Glove Clean!  Make the beds, sweep the floors, polish the tables, do not leave dishes in the sink, scrub the showers and clean around the toilets.  

2. SMELL  

You get used to the smells in your own home.  Make sure while you are selling your home that you refrain from cooking heavy smelly foods like fish, bacon or extra garlicky foods.  Pet smells are a huge turn off.  Even pet lovers don't want to smell pet smells.  Wash your dog AND clean your carpets and furniture before you list your home.  My best advice is NOT to use those perfume-y plug in air fresheners or sprays.  And, baking cookies, or boiling cinnamon on the stove is trickery that savvy home buyers are wise to these days.  A much better alternative is a fresh and clean smelling home.  I like those solid air fresheners that you can buy at Bed Bath and Beyond.  They come in a round plastic jar that you can twist to open and you can hide them in strategic places.  A fragrance like Clean Cotton or Linen Breeze is great for closets and Boys rooms.  The best thing you can do for a clean smelling home comes from Mother Nature!  15 minutes before your showing spray some Febreze Unscented or a light scent and then open all the windows and doors and let the fresh air into your home.  Really!  This Works! 

3.  While we are on the senses let’s not forget about  

  Turn off all TV’s and turn on light music on a very low volume in the home.  Home buyers sometimes feel like intruders when they are looking at your home.  This puts them at ease and helps them relax and enjoy their home tour.


Yes, you still have to LIVE in your house while it is listed.  So here is a trick that I always tell clients (and use myself).  Keep 3-4 laundry baskets around the house in the rooms you use most.  On the showing day (or each night before you go to bed) run around and put all objects lying around the house into the laundry baskets.  It takes less time to just scoop everything up than it would to put everything into its rightful place.  Now, shove those laundry baskets into your car!  I’m even talking about dirty dishes and smelly laundry!  In the car!  No one will ever know!


Keep your shampoo, conditioner, soap etc. in a shower caddy in your bath or shower.  That way during showings you can tuck them under the sink.  Personal items should not be left in the showers for buyers to see.  Buy some white towels at Costco or Walmart and only put them out for showings.  Roll them up and put them on your bathtub for a spa-like effect.  White towels say clean and spa/hotel like and who doesn’t want to go on vacation?

6.  LIGHTS  

 Yes, it’s still a good idea to turn on ALL of the lights in your home during a showing.  Remember too, open all of the drapes and blinds to let in light. The best way to disguise a not so pretty view (if you have one) is to angle the blinds tilted ¾ of the way UP.  That way you get the light in but you can’t see directly out. 

Make the dining room or the breakfast room or bar counter, but NOT all three, a warm and welcoming setting.  That way buyers see themselves entertaining or feeding the kids at the kitchen island.  I say not all three because that would be overkill!  And it doesn’t have to be a full blown table setting.  A charger and a pretty napkin in a napkin ring would do just fine. 


 Fresh flowers are a great touch, but I know it can be expensive and a hassle to run to the market or wherever you go to get your flowers. 

 A great alternative to fresh flowers is fresh fruit.  Green Apples or Lemons are my favorite.  Not only do they look inviting but they smell good too!  AND they last a long time!  If you don’t have either, go pick something from your yard.  Something has to be growing out there.  Even tree branches from the yard look pretty in a clear vase

9.  Close Closet Doors, Put the Toilet Lids Down and Hide your valuables, including your medicines.  

Putting the toilet lids down is a big pet peeve of mine.  I’ve seen lots of MLS photos where the toilet lids are up and it really bugs me!  Hiding your jewelry and valuables should be obvious but you would be surprised at what people leave out; laptops, iPads, prescription medicines etc…  And a word of caution: Put your knife block away for showings.  I know it is a creepy idea but things have happened.  Better to be safe than sorry! 

10.  EXIT  

Yes, you HAVE to leave!!!  And do it at least 15 minutes before the showing!   People show up early.  And, take your pets with you!!! Never leave them in the house.  Not even in a crate!  It is distracting to buyers to have your pets in the house.  Put their pet dishes away too! 

If you have been following my Home Staging Tips Series and have been getting your home ready or already have it on the market I wish you good luck!  I know it is hard and we get attached to our homes but look at it as an adventure onto the next chapter of your life.  Once you place your home on the market it is no longer yours… It is a marketable commodity…. So make it the best looking house on the market and you won’t have that sign up for long!
Until Next Time,
Beaux R’eves
Sharing at
Be Inspired Party @ Elizabeth & Co.

Swing Into Spring Wednesday @ DIY by Design 

French Country Cottage
Vintage Inspiration Friday @ Common Ground
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home


Photo Credits:

12 click here to Comment:

Christine @ Rustic-Refined said...

Wow....a ton of great tips! It is so amazing to me when I think back while house hunting what owners didn't do...We saw homes that looked like they hadn't been cleaned in months...or you walked in and smelled cat litter...LOL

I loved your tips, I never would have thought of the laundry baskets all over...wonderful tip!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Great tips Cindy!

This N That said...

I did most of those things..House sold in ten days so something must have been right...Good tips Cindy..Have a wonderful day..

Anonymous said...

I can see I have to rent a warehouse before listing this place. Then hire a housekeeper. Plant a flower garden. Park the car someplace where the laundry baskets don't show…….or maybe move first, then sell ……..Oh, my…. so glad i don't have to do this more than once every 20 years…....LOL

But i do recall seeing a tv program early in the house-selling program cycle, in which a couple had their lifetime collection of "stuff" out on display and then complained no one was interested in buying, Once they had a cleanout, they sold the house quickly.
Hmmm, now how much rent is that storage locker down on the highway??????
Thanks for the great tips….so glad i dont have to do this more than once every 20 years……oh, i already said that…let's make it "so glad i don't have to do it again more than once in my lifetime……"

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

These are great tips, Cindy. Having just sold our house, I know all of these EXCEPT the laundry basket idea!!!! That is genius!!!

NanaDiana said...

You are so right on all those things, Cindy. We have bought and sold at least 16 houses that we rehabbed over the years. The only other thing I did was to bake a batch of cookies or a loaf of bread just before the showing. There is nothing like "fresh baked" in the air! xo Diana

Jeanette said...

Great tips I'm sure most of forget these things!

Cathy's World said...

I use some of those tips everyday. I love a clean house and I wouldn't dream of someone walking into my house unless it was spotless...Ever!

Lulu said...

Your home should show beautifully. We keep thinking about selling, but the thought of paring out the unnecessaries keeps us just talking.

Alison Agnew said...

Great list of tips! Would love for you to share at Fridays Unfolded!


Unknown said...

Those are really helpful! We tend to get too familiar with our home, so we tend to overlook some details that may leave a significant impression for prospective buyers. This will raise the value of your house and increase the risk of it being sold at a good price. Good luck!

Steve Jamieson

SharonFromMichigan said...

You're tips are really spot-on. We sold two houses in southeast Michigan right after the housing collapse. Talk about a tough market in a tough part of the country. One house sold in a weekend and the other house sold in one day - both sold for over asking price. We did our research well (we spied on the competition by viewing their houses online and actually walking through a couple). I couldn't believe how dirty and messy most of the houses were when people list them. (We sold two small houses and bought one larger house after we got married.)

Post a Comment

Leave a Comment and let me know what you think, or just say "Hi".