Potential buyers usually decide within minutes about whether or not a home is right for them. As you prepare your home to go on the market, try to view it through the eyes of a buyer. We have provided some tips below to assist you in preparing your home for showings and tours of interested buyers and their real estate professionals.

General Tips

A fresh coat of paint is the fastest, easiest and most affordable way to make your home more attractive to buyers. Consider repainting the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms or other areas that may need a quick facelift.

To make your home appealing to the most diverse group of buyers, use a neutral scheme when making any decorating choices. Avoid strong colors and patterns; choose white, pastel or neutral shades.

Neatness makes a home look bigger. Straighten up closets, put excess furniture in storage and avoid clutter.

Make sure the entire house is clean and uncluttered before any showings.


  • The kitchen is the most important room in your home for many prospective buyers. Make sure it is bright and attractive.
  • For a quick makeover, try new paint and new curtains.
  • Make sure the entire kitchen is spotless including the stove, countertops, floor, windows, cabinets and ventilation hood.
  • If any flooring is badly worn, replace it.
  • Replace any loose or cracked tiles on the counters and walls.
  • Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen sink or on the counters.
  • Clean and uncluttered counters add a sense of spaciousness. Remove any appliances or deco­rative items from the counters.
  • Bathroom Consider painting the bathrooms.
  • Repair any dripping faucets.
  • Always hang fresh, clean towels in the bathrooms.
  • Remove any stains from toilets, sinks, bathtubs and/or showers.
  • Unclog sinks, bathtubs or showers that drain slow.

Living Areas

  • Make sure wall surfaces are in good shape.
  • Repair all cracks and nail holes.
  • Wash the windows.
  • Replace cracked or broken glass and torn screens. Make sure windows open and close smoothly.
  • Check ceilings for leak stains. Fix the source of the leak, repair the ceiling and repaint.
  • Replace faded curtains or bedspreads.
  • If you have a fireplace, clean it out and put in fresh logs. Replace burned-out light bulbs and make sure light switches work.
  • Clean floors and vacuum rugs and carpeting.
  • Fix any doors or sliding glass doors that stick.
  • Keep toys in the kid's rooms.


  • Clean out your garage and dispose of anything you are not going to keep.
  • Make sure the garage door opener is in good working condition.


  • Make sure the front door and entry area are clean and welcoming. Repaint the front
    door if necessary.
  • Keep the lawn and shrubs trimmed and neat looking.
  • Freshly-planted flowers add an attractive and inviting touch.
  • Sweep walkways and/or driveways.
  • Consider painting your house. This can do more to improve the appeal of your home than any other item. If you don't want to paint the whole house, consider touching up trim, window frames and/or shutters.
  • Check the roof and gutters. Replace any missing shingles, tiles, broken gutters or downspouts.

Preparing For A Showing

  • Open the draperies and windows coverings to let in light.
  • Empty trash cans throughout the house. Make sure outdoor trash cans are sealed properly.
  • Keep radios, stereos and TVs off or at a very low volume.
  • Remember the importance of scent: consider burning lightly scented candles, or baking cookies to fill your home with an appealing scent.
  • lf your real estate professional has scheduled a showing or an Open House, make arrangements for you and your family to be out of the house. Let your real estate professional discuss the price, terms, possession and other factors with the potential buyers.
  • Take pets outdoors or with you when your house is being shown. Let the buyer's real estate professional show your home to the potential buyer. He or she knows the buyer's requirements and can emphasize the appropriate features of your home.