What it takes to be Show Ready
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Before any showings:

  • Initiate a family “game plan” for getting the house ready to show / Practice keeping the house neat all the time … this minimizes time and effort required to get ‘show ready’.
  • Make sure all light bulbs throughout the house are working; replace if needed
  • Wash all windows inside and out
  • Remove all smoke and pet odors
  • Hide small appliances from the counter
  • Keep closets clean and neat
  • Check Laundry room
  • Dust and vacuum regularly / air out the home regularly
  • Fix and paint the garage door if necessary
  • Replace doormats, if needed
  • Be sure the front doorbell is in good working order.
  • Be sure the front door and screen door works perfectly.

Preparing for a showing:

  • Open the draperies, pull up the shades, and let in the sunlight
  • Turn on all lights, day or night, and install higher wattage light bulbs to show your home brightly.
  • Remove any loose clutter from each room.
  • Lightly spray the house with air freshener so that it has a chance to diffuse before the buyer arrives
  • Remove and/or hide excess extension cords and exposed wires.
  • Open doors to areas you want potential buyers to see such as walk-in closets, pantries, attics, etc.

In the Kitchen:

  • Highlight an eat-in area in your kitchen with a table set for dinner.
  • The kitchen and bathrooms should always be spotlessly clean.
  • Optional: microwave a small dish of vanilla a few minutes before a showing and place in a discreet place.

In the Bedrooms:

  • Depersonalize bedrooms and decorate in a neutral scheme.
  • Make sure that the beds are made and the linens are clean.
  • Organize your closets, remove unnecessary items and put them in storage.

In the Bathrooms:

  • Do not leave towels around and wipe down the sinks and shower areas after each use.
  • Replace shower curtains and keep them clean.
  • Put out fresh towels and decorative soaps.


  • Keep the yard mowed and raked at all times.
  • Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkway, and patio.
  • Remove all toys, bicycles, tools, unsightly patio furniture, and trash from the yard.
  • Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios, and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept, and in good condition.
  • Make sure the garage door opens easily.
  • Clean and shine all hardware and accessories indoors and out (door knobs, knockers, lamps, mail box, address numbers, etc.)
  • Trees and shrubs should be trimmed and pruned.