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Tips to be Showing-Ready

So you’ve listed your home for sale, and now you need to be ready for showings. Real estate agents may call to show your home anytime, day or evening, week day or weekend. Keeping your home showing-ready can be challenging, especially if you have children and pets. It can be stressful trying to handle showings and still live in your home, but a few tips can make it easier.

First, in an occupied home we do ask for 24-48 hours notice normally. However, sometimes we may get an exception to the rule. Sometimes a buyer is in for only one day on showings, and your home may be added at the last minute to the tour (if you allow). Don’t panic. Last minute showing appointments need to understand you are accommodating their lack of planning with grace.

Involve the whole gang! When you get the call that buyers are on their way, give everyone a basket and assign them each to a room to pick up clutter quickly. Set a timer and tell everyone to grab up any toys on the floor, clear tabletops and countertops of junk. Run the vacuum quickly and check for hazards such as toys or dog chews on the floor.

Turn on all the lights, and get ready to vacate the house. Give the buyers privacy so they can feel comfortable walking through without you hovering over them. Take the kids for a trip to the store or visit the playground. Crate the dogs or take them with you.

Keep your home showing-ready with these tips:

Eliminate clutter: Not only is clutter unattractive, it’s time-consuming to sort through and expensive for you to move. If you have a lot of stuff, collections, and family keepsakes, you are better off packing it away or renting a small storage unit for a few months. Do you want buyers looking at the house or looking at your stuff?

Keep, donate, or toss: Go through your belongings and put them into one of the three categories.

Remove temptations: Take valuable jewelry and collectibles to a safety deposit box, a safe, or store them in a secure location. Remove guns or store them in a locked gun safe. Figurines, china, crystal and other breakables should be packed and put away in the garage or storage. Don’t leave anything that is valuable or priceless to you out in plain sight.  Agents are careful but accidents happen, and sometimes children accompany adults on showings. We cannot control who will be looking at your home and who will be on the appointment.

Remove prescription medicines and financial papers: Despite qualifying by the buyer’s agent, some buyers have other intentions than buying your home. It’s also a good idea to lock your personal papers such as checkbooks away. Do not leave mail out.

Be welcoming: You want your home to look and feel comfortable.

Have a plan of action: Sometimes showings aren’t convenient. You can always refuse a showing, but try not to if you can at all avoid it. If you have a showing with little notice, get the baskets at the ready to hide items lying about and throw everything in the dishwasher. Get in the habit of washing dishes immediately after meals. Clean off countertops daily. Make beds in the morning. Keep pet toys and beds washed and smelling fresh.

Clean out the garage and attic: Buyers want to see what kind of storage there is. Even the garage and attic should be neat and tidy if you can box things away and clean out.