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How to Get Better Home Showings

Real Estate Agent with Carolina One Real Estate

I know a lot of us have been in the real estate industry for quite some time, and some of these points are completely obvious...But I still find it unbelievable at how many of these tips are often overlooked when trying to get good showings for a house.  Again, it's not a ground-breaking list, but if you follow these items I think you will benefit from better home showings.

How to Get Better Home Showings

1. Remove clutter and clear off all counters in the house. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. These things may have been fun collecting, or for a hobby, but they are just clutter! Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.  Take down all of your photos and magnets on your fridge.

2. Wash all of your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home, and I can't tell you how many times my buyers have commented on dirty, filthy windows.

3. Make sure you keep everything extra clean! A clean house will make a great first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Sweep, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs and address numbers. It’s worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it. But if you can't, make sure it gets done!

4. Get rid of those smells. Clean carpets and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Pet smells will ruin a showing if the buyer does not have a pet. Pet smells make some people think that dogs have been running loose in the house and have worn down the house. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri (not too much) or scented candles will help.

5. Brighten up the place! Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint. New paint smells do wonders for homes.

6. Repair those minor repairs that need to get done. You know what I'm talking about...the ones that have been there for the last year. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.

7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, edge the walkways, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, and clean the gutters. For added curb appeal, place a pot of bright flowers near the entryway.

8. Patch holes. This is a must. Repair any holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable. It will come up on the inspection, so you might as well have it done.

9. Add a touch of color in the living room. A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa. Git rid of the floral patterned pillows.

10. Get some green in the house! Buy a few plants, some fresh flowers...anything to make things seem fresh and alive. It's amazing how plants can make a house seem "clean".

11. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers. Apples, oranges, avocados...

12. Set the scene. Set the table with fancy dishes and candles, but make sure you don't clutter. Leave a book open in the study (or next to your chair) where you have been reading. Possibly a chess game "in progress" somewhere.

13. Replace heavy, dark curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. Show off the view if you have one. Keep the place open and bright.

14. Accentuate the fireplace. Lay fresh logs in the fireplace or put candles there if it’s not in use.

15. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. Lay a hand towel over the sink like in an expensive resort. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight. Please make sure that shower is CLEAN, because the buyers will look!

16. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (ideally in the garage), and let the real estate agent know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises. Make sure when photos are done for the house (for the MLS), make sure there are no pets in sight. Unfortunately, pets may eliminate a buyer if seen on the MLS, before they even view the home.

17. Remover or lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. While a Realtor will be on site during the showing or open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.

18. Most important is to leave the home. It’s usually best if the sellers are not at home. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there. How will the Realtor get good feedback if the seller is right there in front of everyone? It is just too awkward.


Again, these aren't ground-breaking ideas, but if follow these simple steps- your home should be show-ready.