by Debra Rosser of Staging Matters
2. Clutter is removed and everything is in it’s place. Take a moment to gather any items that are out of place. Keep an empty laundry basket at all times. When a showing is coming sometimes it is easiest to just put anything out of place in the laundry basket (I’ve even known people who put dishes into the basket when they were in a hurry). Put the laundry basket in the car so the mess drives away from the house when you do.
3. Check the kitchen and quickly wipe down all counter tops and kitchen table.
4. Either let some fresh air in the house for a few minutes or spray a clean smelling fragrance. Remember that some people are very sensitive to smells so avoid flowery fragrances using ones that smell like vanilla or fresh laundry instead.
5. Turn on every light and open every blind. People buy bright, well lit houses.
6. Keep the yard free of children’s bikes and toys.
7. Wipe down sink areas so they sparkle.
8. Close every toilet lid, and remove any toothbrushes.
9. Turn on some soft music, classical or “elevator” type music is best.
10. Turn down the volume on your answering machine; your messages are private and you wouldn’t want someone looking at your house to hear them.
11. Remember to remove from the home anything of value.
12. It is a serious mistake to be home during a showing. Plan ahead of time where you will go when there is a showing (park, neighbor’s home, mall, grocery store, on a walk, etc). People viewing your house shouldn’t have any distractions!
13. When you leave if it is at all possible take the animals in the home with you. You only have this one shot to get people comfortable enough to seriously consider buying your home. If you can’t take a dog with you then at least confine them to a crate. Your animal could become a liability if left loose.
14. Any cat litter boxes should be covered, clean and out of the way.
15. Spend time each week looking at the front and back of the home. Keep yards mowed neatly, leaves raked up and weeds out of the garden!
Doing these things will help your house sell! Living in a house that is on the market is very inconvenient but doing these things consistently will increase your chances of a sale with every showing.