Your home is for sale. It’s 6:30 pm. You had a long day at work and have only been home for a few minutes. You took the dog for a walk when she decided to roll in the mud. So now you are giving her a much needed bath. The kids are running around, screaming and complaining that they are hungry. All you want to do is sit still for five minutes and have a glass of wine. Your phone rings. It’s your Realtor®. She has a qualified buyer that wants to see your home in an hour! Panic sets in as you quickly look around your home while listening to your agent. Your home is a wreck! Toys, clothes, dishes, the dog… Take a deep breath. I have a plan for you to quickly pick up before the showing. Before you know it, you will be enjoying a glass of well-deserved wine – after the showing. Follow this list that will help you tackle the important areas first. You’ve got this!
Start in the Kitchen
We all know that kitchens sell houses. It’s one of the first rooms potential buyers will see, so make a great first impression. Here’s what to do;
- Load dishwasher.
- Clear clutter from counters.
- Clean countertops.
- Wipe appliances – refrigerator, microwave, oven, stove…
- Bleach sinks (Method toilet bowl cleaner works great. Apply to the perimeter of sink, let it sit for a minute. Use a sponge to clean.)
- Empty garbage and lightly spray with Febreeze or Lysol, if needed.
Move on to the Family Room
If you have children, it’s likely that your family room is more like a toy room. Tackle this area next. It helps if you have storage ottomans nearby to load things into quickly. Here’s what to do in the family room;
- If you have storage ottomans use those to hide toys, blankets and other items.
- No storage ottomans? Grab a laundry basket and put toys in there. Hide in a closet, basement or garage.
- Fix pillows on sofa, turning cushions over if needed.
Tackle the Bathrooms
Nobody wants to see dirty towels, products and clutter. Spend a few minutes making your bathroom a bit more spa-worthy than kid-worthy. The idea, especially in a master bathroom is to make people feel relaxed and that they could move right in with minimal effort.
Bonus tip: Keep basic cleaning supplies in each bathroom. It will make a quick pick up even easier when you don’t have to search for products and paper towels.
- Place dirty towels in laundry room.
- Clear off countertop. Put as much as you can in cabinet or linen closet.
- Clean countertop and sink.
- Close toilet lids.
- Empty garbage can.
Now for the Bedrooms
Hopefully there’s not much to do in the bedrooms. Here are a few things to consider;
- Make the bed.
- Close closet doors.
- Pick up any dirty clothes.
As you finish the list and head towards your back door, make a stop in the laundry room to start a quick load of laundry. You likely picked up a few items from the bedrooms and bathrooms. Grab the kids, the pets and head out. If you follow these steps, your house should be presentable for a last minute showing.
Bonus Tip: If showing is in the evening and it will be dark outside, turn on all lights. If it’s during the day, open draperies and window shades to let as much light in as possible. Also make sure your home is set to a comfortable temperature.
The more organized you can be before you list your home and have to worry about last-minute showings – the better. Try recruiting family and friends to help you organize. It’s a good time to clean out closets, garage and the basement. Think of it as making your life way easier when it comes time to pack. You can read more about organizing here – How to Organize Your Home.
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