Get Your House Ready to Present in Ten Minutes

Oh my gosh, quick! You just received a phone call and the house is going to be shown! You need to quickly get the house show ready before the buyers and their agent get there. Here are some tips to help you have the house shown in the best light, quickly.

  • Turn on all lights, even during the day
  • Open all drapes and shades to let in the natural light
  • Pick up the rooms. Hide clutter
  • Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Take everything off the countertops
  • Put toys in the toy box or under the bed
  • Move bikes, wagons, and skateboards to their place in the garage
  • Turn on the radio to a classical or light rock station and turn off the television
  • Take the family out of the house during the showing
  • Keep pets outdoors or caged when your home is being shown
  • Let the real estate professional show your home to the buyers they are representing. If you happen to be at home during the showing, try to remain in an area of the home that is not being shown by the real estate agent
  • When evening showings occur, have your home well lite. Be sure to turn on outside lights, both in the front and the back of the hosue
  • Smells are important. Pop a frozen bread product into the oven
  • Park the cars down the street
  • Sprinkle salt on the frozen steps
  • Take out the trash

A Sale Tour Ready Home

Here are some tips on getting your home ready for a buyers tour:

Living Areas

  • Repair any damages that may have caused ceiling or wall stains, then repaint
  • Have all walls and ceilings painted and crack free
  • If repainting, stay with neutral, off-white colors
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs with higher wattage bulbs
  • Add higher wattage light bulbs if rooms are dark
  • Be sure all lighting switches are clean and in working order
  • Wash and polish floors
  • Remove stains from the carpeting, if possible
  • Clean and organize closet space. Remove out of season clothing to make closets appear larger. Take storage to offsite storage areas
  • Consider adding fresh flower arrangements throughout the house
  • Sweep and clean the fireplace
  • Make sure that all doors and windows open and close easily, without squeaks


  • Clean and organize all storage space
  • Avoid clutter. Store small appliances. Take everything off the counter tops
  • Clean ventilating hood and exhaust fan
  • Sink, cabinets, appliances, and counter tops should be clean and fresh. It is not expensive to refinish
  • Wash and reorganize cabinets. New knobs do wonders!


  • Check all faucets. Repair any dripping faucets. Clean rust stains or replace
  • All surfaces should be spotless. Clear all vanity countertops
  • Replace worn shower curtain(s)
  • Remove all personal care items from sigh and neatly store
  • Clean and organize drawers and linen closets
  • Clean and repair caulking
  • Take all prescription medicines out of cabinets and put out of sight

General Interior Items

  • Entry areas should be spotless
  • Entry area closet should appear roomy. Remove out of season items and add extra hangers
  • Eliminate cooking, smoking, and pet odors
  • If there are smoking odors, have furniture, drapes, and carpets cleaned or replaced
  • If there are pet stains, carpet and padding will need replacement
  • Stick to neutral colors, if painting or replacing carpets
  • Wash all windows. Take advantage of natural sunlight
  • Window screens should be in good condition and free from holes
  • Make sure all lighting fixtures have working, high wattage light bulbs
  • Knick-knacks don’t sell. Box and store them offsite
  • Clean all wood and tile floors
  • Get rid of cluttered closets. Leave very few items on the floor of closets. Box and store offsite
  • Consider moving large pieces of furniture into offsite storage
  • Clean and polish woodwork
  • If the season is appropriate, open windows and let the fresh air into the house


  • Dispose of everything you are not going to move
  • Pack all items that you wont need until after the move and arrange neatly
  • Increase bulb wattage
  • Sweep the floor. Remove stains or dirt
  • Organize tools and garden equipment
  • Wipe off any dust and dirt from the water heater and furnace