Getting Ready for Open House Showings

How to create the most favourable impression with buyers when they visit your home

Home Staging, Room By Room

Jamie’s clients often ask him about staging their homes.  In most cases, hiring a professional staging or decorating company who will bring in furniture and décor just isn’t necessary, if you are willing to put some time and effort into the process.  If you’ve already completed any needed repairs/renovations as outlined in the preceding sections, and your possessions are half-decent, you can easily and inexpensively make your home ready for viewing.  In fact, you can even make it look like a model home!

In preparing your house to sell, ask yourself if your house looks like someone else’s dream home. Houses that are not only in move-in condition, but that are actively inviting to buyers, typically sell the fastest and achieve the best price.

With that in mind, here are a few things to consider when getting ready to sell – from your yard to your kitchen and all points in between.  If you feel that any of these projects would be better left to a professional, Jamie would be happy to recommend cleaning services and other trusted professionals to you.

red door by Sukanto Debnath
red door by Sukanto Debnath


  • Mow the lawn
  • Rake leaves
  • Trim trees and shrubs that keep light out of the house
  • Remove dead plants
  • Shovel snow
  • Pick up tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys, and building materials and store them neatly in a storage area
  • Replace broken or missing roof shingles
  • Straighten and clean the gutters and downspouts
  • Clean all windows and mend torn screens
  • Consider painting the front door, window frames and shutters
  • Paint or replace your mailbox and post
  • Dress up the front yard with some simple landscaping.

Clean & Polish

  • Clean, dust and de-clutter every room to remove your own personal stamp from the house as much as possible
  • Steam clean carpets
  • Wash and/or wax the floors
  • Wash the walls, insides of windows and light fixtures
  • Tighten loose stair railings and clean all woodwork


  • Use bright light bulbs in the foyer
  • Use a fragrance diffuser or incense (not artificial air fresheners) to fill the house with a pleasant aroma

Living Room

  • Patch cracks and nail holes in the walls, and repaint walls in neutral colors
  • Nail down creaking boards
  • Oil any sticking or squeaking doors
  • Open all curtains, and wash them or replace them if they are getting old
  • Add lamps and additional lighting if the house is dark
  • Set out fresh flowers


  • Rearrange or remove furniture to make your rooms look more spacious (you can rent a temporary storage locker if need be
  • Remove personal knick-knacks that make rooms look cluttered and small.  The rule is one or two decorative items per surface is plenty!
  • Get a head start on packing away unnecessary/unused items

Kitchen and Baths

  • Clear off counters
  • Clean all appliances and fixtures
  • Scrub the floors and walls
  • Re-caulk tubs and showers
  • Be sure these rooms smell fresh.


  • Take under-used items to Goodwill
  • Organize shelves and straighten shoes
  • Be sure that sliding doors operate smoothly and knobs on drawers are secure

Laundry Room

  • Dust and wash the washer, dryer and water heater
  • Remove junk and recycling
  • Sweep floors
  • Make sure cat litter is clean and fresh

Light and Bright

  • Replace dark wallpaper with white or off-white paint
  • Open the blinds, and fix any windows that won’t open
  • Always maintain a comfortable temperature inside the house, even if you are away for an extended period of time.

One thought on “Getting Ready for Open House Showings

July 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm
Deidra says:

Nice post on Staging, the basic element is to DE-clutter the home; however, do you believe it is an important component to selling real estate properties quickly?


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