Preparing Your Home For Showing

Once you've decided to sell your home, there are a number of things which you can do to help get the best possible price in the shortest amount of time.

Remember that first impressions count. You should do everything you can to make the first impression a positive one. People who consider buying your home will be as critical as you are in searching for a new home.

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Since the exterior of your home will be the first thing a prospective buyer sees, it is very important to create a good first impression.


  • Keep the lawn trimmed and edged. Weed and cultivate flower gardens. Trim shrubs and eliminate dead trees or branches. Pick up any debris, toys, and lawn equipment.
  • Repair any fences and gates. Give them a fresh coat of paint, if necessary.
  • Is the exterior wall painted, the roof in good repair, as well as gutters and downspouts?
  • Wash down driveways and sidewalks. Check for cracking and crumbling.
  • Replace any cracked windows and torn screens.
  • The entrance should be clean and in good repair. The doorbell and front door must be in good working condition.
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Start with a full housecleaning from top to bottom. Don't let dirt and clutter obscure your home's good points. Discard unused and unnecessary items in storage areas and closets. Eliminating clutter will give your home a more spacious look.

  • Walls should be clean and free of smudges, fingerprints, and dents. Consider a fresh coat of paint if a good washing doesn't do the trick. Inspect woodwork and wallpaper for problem areas.
  • Arrange furniture to make each room appear more spacious and attractive. If a piece of furniture is badly worn, store it temporarily in the attic or at your neighbors.
  • Wash windows and sills until sparkling clean. Curtains and drapes should be freshly laundered.
  • Shampoo rugs and carpets. Floors should be waxed.
  • Repair loose doorknobs, sticking doors and windows, and warped drawers.
  • Fix leaky faucets and eliminate water discoloration in sinks.
  • Tighten loose stair banisters, and be sure steps are free of objects.
  • Light fixtures should be in good repair. Replace discolored or cracked switchplates.
  • Clean out closets to display their roominess.
  • Be sure clothes are hung neatly and shoes and other objects tidily arranged.
  • Bathrooms should appear neat with spreads and curtains.
  • Clean and tidy the kitchen, including cupboards, stove, and oven.
  • Clean and organize the basement, attic, and garage.
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  • The television and radio should be turned off. Let the salesperson and buyer talk, free of distractions.
  • Send children and pets outdoors to play. This will eliminate confusion and keep the prospect's attention focused on your home.
  • Leave drapes open for light and airiness. If it's evening, all lights should be turned on to give the rooms a larger appearance and a cheerful effect.
  • If your home has been closed up or you have pets, use an air freshener before a potential buyer arrives.
  • Be sure the kitchen sink is free of dishes and rooms are uncluttered.
  • If you must remain at home, be courteous but don't force conversation with the potential buyer. They want to inspect your house - not pay a social call. For best results vacate during showing.
  • Never apologize for the appearance of your home. After all, it has been lived in. Let the trained salesperson answer any questions.
  • The salesperson knows the buyer's requirements and can better emphasize the features of your home when you don't tag along. You will be called if needed..