Get your home in tip-top shape for showings.

Alison Gootee

During the home buying and selling process, showing your abode can be both stressful and exciting. It’s your chance to present your space at its best so that potential homebuyers can picture themselves making it their own. Let us help you break down the home staging and prep process so that you can tackle the cleaning, organizing, and arranging in a manageable manner. With just a few easy tips for selling your house, you’ll be ready for a real estate showing or open house in no time.

Remove Personal Items

Walk through your home with a box, and remove any photos displayed on tabletops or hung on your refrigerator. It’s important to keep personal items out of sight so that the families walking through the home can picture themselves there.

Keep Things Squeaky Clean

When your home is being shown to potential buyers, it’s vital for the space to be as clean as possible, and that doesn’t just mean boxing up the toys and fluffing the pillows. Be sure to vacuum the floors and carpets and wipe down all surfaces. (It also doesn’t hurt to take a second or third run at everything with a broom and duster, just in case.)

Showcase the Selling Points

Think about the most attractive features of your home, and try to showcase those as much as possible. If you have great hardwood floors, don’t hide them with rugs. If you have a beautiful mantel, don’t draw attention away from it with bold art or showy design objects.

Empty the Trash Cans

No one wants to encounter strangers’ trash when they’re touring a home, so be sure to empty all of the home’s garbage bins the morning before the showing.

Add Fresh Flowers

A few vases of fresh flowers can go a long way to making your home feel warm and inviting. Arrange a simple vase of flowers on the dining room table or wherever it feels natural and organic to display flowers in your home. Stop by the grocery store for a few bouquets, and follow our instructions for making the most of inexpensive flowers.

Make Sure Your Home Smells Lovely

Scent is a strong sense, and when people walk into your home, you want it to smell fresh and clean, but not overwhelming. Open the windows the day before the showing to air out any odors, and add subtle fragrance in key areas, but only if you need to. Don’t spray any super strong scents. Keep things neutral and natural, fresh and clean.

Keep Clutter to a Minimum

One of the most important features for potential homebuyers to see is the architecture of your home. While you may love some of your interior design choices, pare down any extraneous distractions, whether that’s a mass of pillows, objets d'art, or bulky storage features. Get rid of anything than can be construed as clutter so that visitors’ eyes are focused on the basics.  

Act Like a Buyer

Walk through your home as if you were a potential buyer. This will allow you to notice any awkward furniture arrangements or any impediments to the flow of movement through the home. You certainly don’t want anyone to trip over a hidden ottoman.

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Stow Your Valuables

Lock away any valuables, like jewelry, electronics, or important paperwork. Anything you wouldn’t want a stranger to access should be hidden away—or powered off, in the case of desktop computers.