Getting Ready for a Showing

    You just got the call–someone wants to see your house!  This is great news…until you start to panic. Where do I start? What should I do?

    You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can get your house looking great if you prioritize. Here are 10 quick tasks that make a big difference in how your home looks:

    1. Clear the kitchen counters and/or island of personal items. These areas can become the dumping ground for every family member’s items–purses, books, mail, ball caps, purchases, dog leashes, lunch boxes. For a home showing, it’s imperative that the counters be clear and clean. The good news is, it really doesn’t matter where you store things. You might even buy a large rubber tote for stashing these items before each showing.
    2. Empty the trash cans.  If you have children, ask them to grab a garbage bag, and run (okay, walk briskly) through the house and empty all the trash cans. Haul that out to the garbage can and you’re good to go.
    3. Load the dishwasher.  Kids come in handy for this, too. Go through the house gathering up empty of half-empty dishes and plates and get them into the dishwasher. Same for the dinner dishes you didn’t get to last night. Hide them in the dishwasher but don’t start the wash cycle. (You don’t want it running during the showing.) 
    4. Make the beds. We’re not looking to bounce a quarter off them, but your beds should be made.
    5. Pick up the laundry. Gather any dirty clothes from the closet floor, hallway, bathroom, or wherever and dump into your laundry baskets. If they’re overflowing, you can stash some in the washer and/or dryer until the showing’s over. We won’t tell.
    6. Vacuum the carpet. Nothing says clean like vacuum tracks. Start with the front entryway and just do as much as you can.
    7. Lighten up. Turn on at least one light in each room. Open drapes and adjust blinds so some daylight comes in. This quick fix makes your home brighter and more inviting.
    8. Spot clean the hard-surface floors.  A quick swipe with a wet paper towel will take care of spots and spills on the kitchen floor. 
    9. Shine on. It doesn’t take long to wipe the water spots off bathroom fixtures, countertops, and sinks or lavatories. Keep a dispenser of bleach wipes on hand. Throw the used ones away in the garbage bag you’ve started. If you have stainless steel kitchen appliances, give them a quick spray of WD-40 and wipe down. It removes fingerprints and leaves them gleaming.
    10. Straighten up. Last thing, straighten up hand and bath towels, and throw rugs, and arrange pillows.

    Head out the door for a fun diversion while your home is shown. Ice cream is always a good choice.