FAQ #13 for Sellers: How Do I Need to Prepare for Our First Open House?

Real Estate Agent with Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Lepic-Kroeger REALTORS S44645

In creating a list of "honey-dos" for one of my sellers, I realized that there are probably a lot of sellers out there that could use this information as well.  When you are getting ready to put your home on the market, you are all about making your home SPARKLE! 

to do list

How do I need to prepare for our first open house?

1.  Time for a deep cleaning! 

*wipe down all the baseboards

*clean or replace light switch plates

*clean the windows inside and out, including the insides of the sills where the winter dirt has accumulated

*clean the window treatments, window blinds, and ceiling fans  (no, they are not supposed to be furry!)

*steam clean the carpets  (and furniture whenever possible)

*use Febreze on furniture and other fabrics that cannot be steam cleaned

*cleaning heating and cooling vents, replace or repaint if necessary

*clean out all the appliances, yes, the buyer WILL open your oven AND your microwave!

2.  Curb Appeal!  NEVER underestimate the power of the look of your home from the curb!

*driveway and walkway should be clear of debris (snow, leaves, grass in the cracks)

   *plant flowers along the walk or bring in potted ones that you can take with you to your new home

*trim the hedges, trees and bushes to scale with your home

*powerwash the front of your home  (take out the screens so that you do not ruin them!)

*replace older, rusted exterior fixtures, mailboxes, door handles, and house numbers with new ones

*new mulch!

*repaint any peeling paint on your house or fencing

3.  Neutralize!

*now is the time to take down the family photo wall, patch up the holes and paint the room

*stage furniture with minimal accessories and show the space

*paint in neutral colors and use vibrant colors minimally

*remove all wallpaper and borders that reflect your home's true age

4. Declutter!

*every closet needs to appear bigger than it is  (get the other half of your wardrobe packed up, no bulging closets)

*organize your drawers and cabinets in the kitchen

*clean off the refrigerator and the countertops

5. Pre-sale inspections and maintenance items

*have the furnace, central air, and water heater inspected and serviced prior to showing your home

*if there is a repair item that you have been meaning to get to, well, this is the time to get all those items done too!


You live in your home.  I get that, really, I do.  But the buyers don't want to see it.  The minute that you decided to list your home on the market to sell, buyers are going to expect your home to SPARKLE from the inside out!  Especially if you want to list at the highest price that the sold comparables will support. 

Besides, you will get a head start on your packing for your new adventure!

Happy Selling!






Posted by


Karen Feltman, REALTOR®, ABR, AHS, CHMS,                                                                           CNE,CRS, e-Pro, green, GRI, SRES, TRC

Lepic-Kroeger REALTORS

2346 Mormon Trek Boulevard

Iowa City, Iowa 52246

Email: karenfeltman@gmail.com

Mobile  319-521-0701

Fax   1-888-370-3108


Licensed in the State of Iowa

© 2010-2017 by Karen Feltman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Relocation Specialist 


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Sharon Lord
Maracay Homes - Peoria, AZ
New Home Advisor

Karen - add to the list, "Clean all light switchplates".  I can't count how many times I have walked into an otherwise spotless home, to see all kinds of smudges and crud on the light switch plates - GROSS!

Apr 19, 2011 10:31 AM #1
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Lepic-Kroeger REALTORS - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist

@Sharon-I will add that one to my list.  I was thinking about it as I was typing about the baseboards!  Thank you for reminding me!

Apr 19, 2011 10:42 AM #2
Elizabeth Byrne
Keller Williams Realty - Arlington, VA
Arlington Virginia Real Estate

Karen, that is a great list for sellers. It is difficult to remember about all you have to do when selling a house - the sellers will appreciate your effort.

Apr 19, 2011 10:49 AM #3
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Karen Feltman

Relocation Specialist
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