House showings are a big deal for real estate agents and home sellers. They can make or break a sale, but they’re also a lot of work. That’s why having a solid house showing checklist is so important. In this article, we’re going to tell you what items should be on your house showing checklist to increase the chances of you securing a great offer.
Table of Contents
The Ultimate House Showing Checklist
Below are items to complete a few weeks before, one week before, and the day of your home showing. Everything is also listed on our free house showing checklist.
What to Do A Few Weeks Before a House Showing
Here are examples of things you should do a few weeks leading up to your showing.
Fix Minor Damage
Sometimes, little things can turn off buyers. That’s why it is so important to do some quick fixes on any minor damage in the few weeks leading up to a showing. This includes fixing a broken hinge or filling in small wall holes leftover from hanging pictures.
Make Simple Home Improvements
If you want to sell your house fast, there’s probably no time to do a complete kitchen renovation. However, you can do some simple home improvements. This includes painting, changing out light fixtures, and putting in new hardware on cabinets.
Deep Clean the House
No one wants to see your dirty laundry or dishes. Make sure you give your house a good deep clean before any showings. This includes scrubbing the floors, cleaning the bathrooms, and wiping down all of the surfaces, ceiling fans, and even closet doors.
If you want help, you can always hire a cleaning company to come in and do the job for you.
Clutter can be distracting to buyers, and it makes your house look smaller. Make sure you get rid of any excess furniture, toys, or other items in the few weeks leading up to a showing.
Buyers want to be able to visualize themselves living in your home, and that’s hard to do when there are tons of things crammed into every corner. So, take some time to do some home organization in the weeks leading up to a showing. Get rid of excess furniture, put away knick-knacks and pack away any extra clothes or toys.
A few weeks before selling my house, I booked five sessions with a professional organizer to help me. It was pricey, but she gave me the motivation I needed to buckle down and get rid of things and helped me save time.
Get our decluttering checklist here.
Remove all clutter from the garage
Make sure to remove any items in your garage before your open house. This will give buyers a better idea of how much space is available for them to use. If you have to store things in your garage, that’s fine too. However, make sure you store them in neatly stacked boxes and clear a path so potential buyers can see the space you have.
Get a storage unit if necessary
If you have so many items that they won’t all fit in your garage, then it’s probably a good idea to get a storage unit. This will allow you to store items like furniture out of the way but still keep them for your next house. This can also help create a more visually appealing space for potential buyers.
Remove all personal photos
Personal pictures or decorations can be very distracting during an open house. Consider removing family portraits, collectibles, and knick-knacks before having showings. Even though this might feel strange at first, don’t let sentimentality hold back getting top dollar for your house.
Stage what’s left
Now that you’ve removed clutter, stored larger items in a storage unit, and deep cleaned, it’s time to stage your home. This means arranging furniture in a way that makes the space look its best. You can also add some decorative touches like flowers, plants, or candles to make your home feel more inviting. Don’t forget about setting out some everyday towels, putting away dirty dishes, and sprucing up your front yard.
Staging can make a huge difference in the way your house looks and makes buyers feel. If you’re not sure how to stage, there are plenty of resources online that will show you how it’s done.
What to Do the Week of a House Showing
Now that we’ve gone over what you should do in the weeks leading up to a showing let’s go over what you should do the week of.
Deep clean the bathrooms
Even if you spent the past few weeks deep cleaning your home, bathrooms are the one area of a house that can easily get dirty since we use them several times a day. So, make sure to clean it thoroughly before your house showing. This will make it look much nicer and more appealing to buyers.
Make the kitchen shine
Again, we use kitchens a lot. So, the week of your showing, make sure to scrub it again. Clean the counters, appliances, and cabinets to make them shine. This will show buyers that you have taken good care of the home.
Remove pet hair
If you have pets, make sure to remove all of their hair before your showing. This will ensure that the home does not smell like animals. It will also make your furniture and floors look much cleaner.
Make sure all rooms are tidy and clean
If you have left any house areas messy, now is a great time to pick up or vacuum everything. This includes bedrooms and sitting rooms in addition to couches, tables, and chairs. Also, take this opportunity to put away anything that doesn’t belong out.
If there is an area that is still cluttered from when you were decluttering (for example: sheet music on top of piano), remove it temporarily so potential buyers can see how beautiful the room looks without extra stuff.
Give the yard a last minute clean up
Sometimes sellers leave cleaning up their property to the last minute before putting their house on the market. However, preparing ahead of time by mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and even planting new flowers can make a big difference. Plus, maybe your neighbors will notice, and more houses in the neighborhood will do the same.
What to Do The Day of Your House Showing
You’ve been working hard to get your house ready to show to potential buyers, and now the day is here. This is the most important section of our house showing checklist because it includes the final touches to make your house shine.
Here are a couple of things you can do the day of your home showing to set yourself up for even more success.
Open windows and doors
First things first, open up all of the windows and doors in your home to let in some fresh air while you clean and prepare. Don’t forget to close them when you leave, unless it’s a particularly nice day outside.
Open curtains and blinds
Letting in natural light is key to making a house look bright and welcoming. It also makes the space look bigger! So once you’re house airs out and just before you leave before showings, make sure all curtains and blinds are open to let the natural light in.
Make your home smell good
Put a vase of fresh flowers in every bedroom. Light some nice smelling candles (make sure you blow them out before showing the home.) Some people also like baking cookies before they leave their home so it smells welcoming.
Vacuum and mop the floors
Vacuum and mop all of the floors in your house, especially the kitchen and bathroom. Having clean vacuum lines on your rugs and carpet when potential buyers walk in will show you take care of your home.
Turn off background noise
Turn off TVs and music before you leave. If there is background noise in an empty house, this could distract potential buyers, and you want them to focus on your house instead.
Find a place for your pets to go
If you have pets, it’s best to find a place for them to go during showings. This will help buyers feel more comfortable walking through your home and not be worried about what the pet might do or where it is.
Make sure all areas are accessible
When potential buyers are touring your house make sure they can walk around easily without having to step over things or move any furniture out of the way. If there are any hazardous areas (like stairs with no railing) make sure these areas are blocked off so people don’t trip. You want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves living in your house, and if they can’t because of clutter or obstacles, then they’re less likely to put an offer in!
Lock up jewelry and other expensive items
Do not leave expensive jewelry or other valuables out in plain sight. Lock them up in a safe place before your home showing.
Remove all clutter from countertops
Make sure that you remove all of the clutter from your countertops before your showing. This will give buyers a better idea of how much space they have.
Turn on all lights
Make sure to turn on all of the lights in your home before your home showing. This will make it look brighter and more inviting.
Close Toilet lids
This one is pretty self-explanatory. No one wants to see a toilet when they’re touring a house! So make sure all the lids are closed before showings.
Make your bed
If your bedroom is neat and tidy, buyers will be able to imagine themselves living in the home. Make your bed and put away all of your clothes to give the room a neater appearance.
Hide personal items
Make sure to hide any personal items before your home showing. Buyers should not be seeing your toothbrush or underwear drawer! This will make them feel uncomfortable and like they are invading your privacy.
Turn on the central air or heat
Make sure to turn on the central air or heat before your showing. This will help buyers get a better idea of how the climate control works in the home.
Clean off the kitchen counters and appliances
Clean off all of the countertops and appliances in your home’s kitchen before your home showing. You do not want anything out on display that might make buyers think you have some sort of pest infestation or unsanitary conditions at home.
Disconnect or hide electronics
Just like with personal items, you don’t want potential buyers seeing things they shouldn’t see when scoping out your belongings–especially if it involves private communications. Disconnect or hide any electronics that you don’t want to be seen.
Leave your house
The last step of the house showing checklist is to leave. It’s common courtesy to remove yourself from your home while your real estate agent shows it to prospective buyers. This gives buyers a sense of privacy, and also allows you to avoid awkward situations between yourself, the buyer, and your realtor.
Plus, you’ve worked hard the last few weeks. You’ve prepared, made the beds, cleaned the closets, scrubbed the link, put away shoes, wiped the table, and made your home worthy of a home show. Now, all that’s left is to sit back and hopefully let the offers and money roll in.
The Ultimate Home Showing Checklist: Free Download
Want to be extra organized? Print off our free checklist and get the satisfaction of checking things off as you prepare for your showing. Good luck, and we hope you get an amazing offer on your home.
What Happens After Your Home Showing?
Once buyers have checked out your home, they will most likely talk with a Realtor and set up an appointment to discuss their offer if they want to make one. They may say that they are interested in seeing the house again, and they may try to negotiate a lower price than your list price.
It’s important not to get discouraged at this point! You never know what might happen during the first couple of showings, but following through on all the tips above will give you the best chance of success. Remember, if you need extra support, print out our house showing checklist and finish all the tasks before listing. Good luck!