You have your house on the market. You’re minding your own business when suddenly, you get a phone call. Someone wants to come show your house to a potential buyer, but your home is a little (or a lot) messy. What should you do?
Here’s is a 25 step checklist to help you make sure that your home is presentable and will create the right impression for your potential buyer.
Before you get the call, set yourself up with a plan for success
• Have a laundry basket or two handy. You can use it gather and remove clutter, and take it in your car with you as you leave.
• Have a set of “show towels” for the kitchen and bathroom that you only bring out for a showing
• Keep the show towels and cleaning supplies in the laundry basket. When you get a showing, take the laundry basket from room to room. Gather clutter and clothes and put them in the basket as you tidy up.
• Plan on leaving during the showing, and take the pets with you as you go
• Keep a short list of places for you to go during the showing… shopping, coffee, running errands, etc.
• Lock up your cash, guns, jewelry, and medications
• Always lock your doors on the way out
If you only have 30 minutes or less to prepare for a showing
• Take the laundry basket from room to room and pick up the clutter
• Make the beds, smooth the bedspreads, and fluff the pillows
• Wipe the counters and sinks with a damp cloth
• Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher
• Put out the “show towels” in the kitchen and bathrooms
• Put toiletries and shower items away
• Close the toilet lids
• Close the clothes hampers or cover them with a cloth
• Close closet doors
• Stuff your bills and personal papers in a drawer or take them with you
• Empty all of the garbage cans
• Turn on all of the lights
• Open curtains and blinds and let in some light
• Freshen the air, if needed
If you have more than 30 minutes to prepare for a showing
Do everything in the list above, and:
• Vacuum the carpets and rugs
• Sweep the floors
• Clean the toilet and shower
• Sweep the front porch
Here is a printable PDF version: How to Prepare Your Home for a Showing
With a plan like this, and a little advance notice on your showing appointments, you don’t have to worry about keeping your house squeaky clean all the time. It’s your home… live in it as you wish. Have a plan for getting the house ready for showings and set your self up for success. When the call comes, execute the plan. It’s a lot of hard work in a short period of time, but it is crucial that your home looks great for potential buyers.
And be sure to declutter your home before you put it on the market.