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Did your realtor just call giving you an hour’s notice before wanting to show it to a potential buyer? Do you have an open house coming up this weekend and want to make sure everything is perfect? Currently trying to sell your home yet you have kids and kid stuff everywhere? Download my free printable checklist to make sure your home is open house ready in just 20 minutes!
First go back and read my on tips to staging your home to sell. These are tasks to be done at least a week or two prior to putting your house on the market. Ideally I’d suggest doing those steps before you get pictures of your house for all the realtor sites so the house is similar to what people see online. It includes getting rid of lots of overflow items to make your house look more spacious and depersonalizing it to welcome any type of new owner.
Today’s post is most focused on those last minute details you need to do before showing your house in an open house or to a personal visit from a potential buyer and tips to make it happen. Once your house is up on the market you have to be ready for any of these requests. Since I work from home I was pretty flexible and accepted a few showings within an hour’s notice! If you work out of the house, you may need this quick checklist to help you get everything ready before leaving the house each morning. Download the free printable so you can check things off before each showing.
- Grab you laundry basket and gather up bathroom stuff! Take the bathmats, kids’ potty training seats if you have them, and faucet extenders and load them up in the car. Use this as a your catch all container to collect items and throw it in your car. Yes your car is your secret weapon for last minute clutter and storage!
- Turn on ALL the lights at their brightest setting. Everything in our home is on a dimmer so we made sure it was on and bright!
- Open all the curtains and the blinds. Let the light in!
- Vacuum. If you have time, give it all a last minute run with the vacuum but do your best not to leave crazy vacuuming lines! That drives some people crazy and makes the room look smaller and messy.
- Disengage any non obvious locks on cabinets or doors. While it’s ideal to try to remove as many baby proof locks as possible, when living in the home your staging with little kids you might still need them until you move out. Remember to disengage them but also warn your realtor about them in case you forget!
- Clear the kitchen countertops. I’m sure your house is like most with dish soap and hand soap by the kitchen sink but put them underneath to make it look more clear.
- Hide any kid toys. We cleaned out 2 cabinets from our entertainment unit and allowed the girls to put their toys in there. During our selling season where showings could be more than an open house time, we used this space to hide the limited amount of toys we kept home. People WILL open your closets but they shouldn’t be opening your furniture drawers and cabinets that wouldn’t come with the house!
- Throw out all the garbage. It’s a given but you don’t want any weird smells in the house to make sure this is the last thing you grab before heading out the door!
- Start early in the day. By this I mean make the beds and take a shower in the AM first thing. Otherwise you may get caught mid take having a bigger workload getting your home last minute ready and trying to make yourself presentable for any place you have to go to hide out.
- Use cleaning spray early. This tip is more for scheduled open houses and showing. If you can, do any cleaning with sprays earlier in the day so hopefully the spray smell dissipates by the time people show up. Even a nice lemon cleaning smell can turn people off. By the way, if you’re looking for a nice stainless steel cleaner, this is my favorite which should definitely used with a microfiber cloth!
- Keep a bag packed. When your house first goes on sale, hopefully you have some interest from realtors wanting to do some private showings. To make it easier on yourself, keep a bag packed with any essentials you may need in case you’re already out and someone wants to see the house. I kept extra snacks, my laptop charger and cell charger in a bag in case I had to run out of the house and hit up a Panera for a few hours.
Read all the topics and tips in my moving 101 series here!