Prepping For a Last-Minute Showing
It's nearly impossible to keep your home in a "show-ready" state day in and day out. In many cases you may find that your home will be shown to a prospective buyer with very little advance notice.
Even if you're keeping things as clutter-free as possible, a little preparation for the actual showing is probably in order. Here are some short-term ways to get your home looking and feeling its best.
Step 1: Cleaning Frenzy
- Scrub tile in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Thoroughly clean hardwood floors.
- Vacuum carpets. If time permits, rent a steam cleaner to shampoo carpets, particularly in high traffic areas.
- Dust all wood furniture, TV screens and computer monitors.
- Clear counters of all clutter. If time permits, move unnecessary appliances and decorating touches into storage areas.
- Clear the kitchen sink and counters of all dirty dishes.
- Pick up all dirty laundry. Avoid over-filling any open air hampers - laundry is better kept out of sight inside your washer or dryer.
- Remove stains from bathtubs, toilets and sinks.
Step 2: Critical Eye Test
- After doing the first round of cleaning, take a walk through the house with the perspective of a buyer. Look for clutter, excess furniture or highly personal touches that might turn off prospective buyers.
- Try taking pictures of main rooms with a digital camera for an "instant review".
Step 3: Curb Appeal Checkup
- Sweep the entryway, porch and walkways.
- Mow and water the lawn.
- Store any toys or garden equipment.
- Clean up pet droppings.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Add potted plants to the porch or deck.
Step 4: Closing Touches
- Turn on all lights.
- Open drapes and blinds.
- Open windows to let in fresh air.
- Burn scented candles or open jars of lightly scented potpourri. If you don't have either on hand, you can always bake cookies (the oldest trick in the book) or simmer a few drops of vanilla extract on the stove.
- Turn off all TV's, stereos and computers.
- If possible, relocate pets to a friend or neighbor's home during the showing.
- Clean the litter box thoroughly to rid your home of smells. If pets can be temporarily relocated, remove the litter box entirely.
- Hang fresh towels in every bathroom.
- Put fresh liquid soap or bar soap in each bathroom.
- Remove rugs to showcase hardwood floors.
- Put out fresh flowers and fill candy dishes.