Showing Your Home

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

The exterior of your home often determines how buyers will view the interior, so consider the curb appeal of your home including front door, shutters and landscaping.

Accentuate the Positive

How we live in a home and how we sell a home are often two different things. Try to see your home with a fresh perspective and arrange each room to bring out its best attributes, including:

  • Open draperies and curtains to let the light in during the showing.
  • Remove all unnecessary clutter from your attic, basement and closets to better display spacious rooms (consider storage or a garage sale to dispose of extraneous items).
  • Arrange all your rooms neatly and remove excess furniture. Keep fresh, clean towels in the bathroom. Use candles or air fresheners to make the room smell pleasant.

Put Your Home In The best Possible Light

Strategically lighting your home, even during daytime showings, can create a cozy mood and highlight positive attributes of each room, so:

  • Avoid the use of overhead lighting that makes rooms look washed out and lifeless.
  • Be creative and arrange lamps to help smaller rooms seem larger, and large rooms seem more intimate.
  • Use lighting to highlight the "living areas" of your home, such as a pair of chairs near a fireplace, or a table in a breakfast area.


  • Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Keep decorative objects on the furniture restricted to groups of 1, 3, or 5 items.
  • Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops. If it hasn't been used for three months…put it away!
  • Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, pictures, etc. (A sparse kitchen helps buyers mentally move their own things into your kitchen.)
  • In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from countertops, tubs and shower stalls. Keep only your most needed cosmetics, brushes, perfumes, etc., in one small group on the counter. Coordinate towels to one or two colors only.
  • Rearrange or remove some of the furniture if necessary. As owners, many times we have too much furniture in a room. This is wonderful for our personal enjoyment, but when it comes to selling, we need to thin out as much as possible to make rooms appear larger.
  • For questions about cosmetic or functional updates, we can connect you with our trusted staging & contracting partners. 


  • Trim landscaping to reveal architectural detail (bottom of windows, etc.). 
  • Check gutters and/or roof for dry rot. Make sure they are swept and cleaned.
  • Look at all plants…prune bushes and trees. Keep plants from blocking windows. 
  • Keep lawn freshly cut and fertilized. Remove any dead plants, weeds or shrubs.
  • Check paint condition of the house-especially the front door and trim. 

Try to look at your house "through the buyer's eyes" as though you've never seen it or been there before. 

Pre-Showing Checklist

The following is a checklist before a showing: 

  1. Sound: Turn off the television and music.
  2. Sight: Turn on the lights that are going to best accentuate each living space. 
  3. Odors: Whether it's a candle, diffuser or fragrance spray, be sure that your home smells inviting.
  4. Kitchen: Wipe kitchen counters, place dirty dishes in dishwasher.
  5. Bathrooms: Wipe down and put away anthing on the counters as well as close the toilet seat.  
  6. Living/Family Rooms: Hide magazines, newspapers, and games; remove clutter.
  7. Bedrooms: Straighten beds. Hide clutter under bed (not in closet).
  8. Exterior: Put away toys and clutter. Keep walk clear.
  9. Pets: Be concious that not all buyers are pet people. Therefore, please have a plan for your animals during a showing.
  10. Leave: This is the single most important thing you can do in a showing to help sell your home! Buyers must get emotionally committed to your home to buy it and they cannot become emotional about "their new home" if you, the current owners, are hanging around.