How to Keep the House Showing-Ready When you Still Live There

Congratulations! Your house is on the market! You’ve spent the past month (or six) decluttering, donating and scrubbing your house until you can’t scrub it anymore. The professional photos look amazing and your Realtor has just submitted your listing in the MLS. It may feel like the hard part is over but don’t forget – now you’re going to have showings.

Your Realtor has undoubtedly discussed with you the importance of decluttering, less-is-more, depersonalization and cleaning as it relates to getting ready to go on the market. But it’s MOST important to remember that these things do not end when the photographer leaves. Potential buyers will walk through the door as a result of the beautiful photos but what they see once they are inside is the most important thing of all….and it may be the difference between them writing an offer or turning right back around and leaving.

Potential buyers want a house that feels like it has been well-cared-for. Let me repeat that.

Potential buyers want a house that feels like it has been well-cared-for.

No matter the age of the house, If it’s tidy and clean it FEELS like the current owners care about it. We can spend hours (and we do, during our seller consultations!) discussing each and everything you need to do to get your house to this point but this blog is meant for quick tips so I have compiled a little cheat list of things you can do to make your life easier while you live in a house that is on the market and you’re going to have a showing.

1. A Place for Everything, Everything in its Place

As I type this I think “wow I really HAVE turned into my mother!” But seriously, everyone in the family needs to be on board with this while you are on the market. If something is taken out, it needs to be put back IN ITS PLACE. Showings can happen anytime and it’s a lot easier to buff up the house without a bunch of stuff lying around.

2. Freshen the Kitchen

If you’re having a showing but just couldn’t get to the dishes (and/or pots & pans) – throw them in the oven! Most potential buyers will not open the oven during an initial showing. Clear the countertops of anything that shouldn’t be there (ahem, see #1). Wipe down the counters and clean the sink. Also, if you have a window above your sink it probably has water drips on it – give it a quick clean on the inside.  

3. Do a quick cleaning in the bathroom(s)

Right before a showing, wipe the counters and mirrors down. Get rid of dirty towels (No, don’t hang them on the bar…get them out of there!). Use a duster to collect debris from the floor and do a quick mop if necessary.

4. Quickly run the vacuum and/or Swiffer

This does not have to be spring-cleaning type floor cleaning….just enough to fluff the carpet and make sure there is no dust or animal hair resting on top of the hardwoods.

5. Keep an empty laundry basket handy

After everything else is done, run through the house one more time and put anything that is out of place into this laundry basket and stash it in your closet, basement, garage, or somewhere else out-of-site.


 *All of our web content is based strictly and solely on our Real Estate experience and Real Estate laws in the State of Georgia. It’s important to remember that Real Estate laws and customs vary by state.