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Preparing Your Home For A Showing

As the saying goes…

“You never have a second chance to make a good first impression”

This is especially true when marketing your home. Try to view it through the purchaser’s eyes, and review this check list to see if it measures up. Preparing your home for showing takes some work.

Curb Appeal:

  • Lawn and Garden: mow, trim, weed, and clean away any dead foliage.
  • Extra vehicles: Remove from curb view.
  • Clean windows and sills.
  • Repair peeled and chipped paint on doors and trim.
  • Repair doors, windows, screens, and hardware.
  • Shutters should hang straight.
  • Doorbell works, door hand in good repair.
  • Locks work.
  • Gutters and downspouts in good repair and free of rust.
  • Add potted flowers or planters, wreath or new doormat at the entrance, if it would enhance.
  • Add new house number or brass fixture if it would enhance.
  • Paint the front door if needed.

Driveway, Walk and Front Entrance:

  • Patch holes, so there are no major puddles.
  • Clear snow and ice.
  • Front steps in good repair.
  • Front door opens and closes easily/ no squeaks.
  • Doorbell rings.
  • Exterior light works.

Decks and Porches

  •  Stain or paint.
  • Repair rot.
  • Secure railings.


  • Remove clutter.
  • Remote control works and door opens and closes smoothly.
  • Sweep floors, clean grease spots, store garden tools.

Interior Inspection

  • Clean all rugs and broadloom.
  • Clean all floors.
  • Clean all doors and frames (i.e. fingerprints).
  • Wash or repaint soiled walls. (Note if repainting the walls, it is best to “keep it bright”)
  • Patch and paint wall and ceiling cracks.
  • Fix grout and caulking in bathrooms and kitchen where necessary.
  • Wash all windows.
  • Clean lighting fixtures.
  • All windows should work freely.
  • Wash or clean all curtains and drapes if needed.
  • Organize closets, drawers, and basement.
  • Give away, sell, box or store excess clothing and toys
  • Repair and leaky faucets or toilets as required.
  • All drains should drain easily.
  • All mechanics and appliances should be clean and in good working order.
  • Re-glue loose wallpaper.
  • Burned out light bulbs should be replaced.
  • Use a dehumidifier in the basement if musty odor.
  • De-clutter countertops and cupboards.
  • Clean fireplace.

Now all the major items are repaired or checked, following is an outline of last minute items to show to the best advantage.

Final check list for showings:

  • Garbage containers emptied.
  • Towels clean and matching.
  • Kitty litter changed etc. and pets removed or contained.
  • All lights turned on.
  • Exterior light left on during the evening.
  • Air conditioner turned on in warm weather.
  • Fireplace lit or on in cooler weather, where possible.
  • Halls and foyers clear of obstacles.
  • Out-of-season coats, boots etc. put away.
  • Clear and polish coffee tables and furniture.
  • Straighten bookshelves.
  • Drapes opened during daylight hours.
  • Fresh flowers, potpourri, etc. arranged in various rooms.
  • Put linens on the table and perhaps arrange a setting in dining room or kitchen, where appropriate.
  • Jewelry and valuables locked away.

A few last minute tips:

  • Many purchases are made on an emotional basis. Keep your home warm and cozy, if in winter; or cool and fresh in the summer.. so it feels inviting.
  • Be courteous and friendly if you are home, but never force the conversation with a buyer. It is better if you can arrange to be out for showings, so the potential buyer feels more comfortable and can get a better feel for the home.
  • Don’t discuss price or terms with the buyer. Let the salespeople work with their customers or clients in your best interest.
  • Leave the feature sheets, surveys, and marketing material on display and notify me when you are running low.
  • Never let an agent show your home without a confirmed appointment from our office.
  • Never let anyone wander in off the street, no matter how interested they say they are. Give them our card and have them call us for an appointment and details.

These are the basic things that you should review and do where able or appropriate. There may be some other things that we can assist you with in terms of furniture arrangement and décor, that would make it easier for a purchaser to view your home.

If you need any assistance regarding names of dependable trades people or suppliers to help you get the job done, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are constantly adding to the list from satisfied clients. Visit our Concierge Services for more information