Preparing your Home for Showings

Always Have Your Home Show-Ready:

Once you decide to put your home on the market, you should commit to having your house ALWAYS ready and available for showings. This may occasionally be inconvenient for you.  Let your listing agent (hopefully me) put a lock box in a convenient place to make it easy for other agents to show your home to buyers, even when you aren’t home. Otherwise, agents will have to schedule appointments around your schedule, which is an inconvenience, and could result in you losing a potential buyer.

Most agents will call and give you at least a couple of hours notice before showing your property, although that is not always the case and on the rare occassion, you may have someone ride by your house while seeing something else and decide that they want to look inside.  Reasons like this are why I say to leave your house “show ready” every morning before you leave for work/school/etc..

Refusing to show your home at “this time” or even asking the agents to come back later may result in that buyer not seeing your home at all.  Please consider the out of town buyer, who may only be in town for one day or the weekend.  There’s also the Buyer who the agent is showing 15 homes that day, throughout multiple communities and areas.  The likelihood that they will back-track back to your area and community is slim to none.

Try Not to be Home:

Home buyers will feel like intruders if  you are home when they visit, and they might not be as receptive toward viewing your home. Visit the local coffee house, yogurt shop, or take the kids to the local park.

If you absolutely cannot leave, try to remain out of they way. Do not volunteer any information, but instead direct any inquiries back to your agent, who you are paying to represent you.

Your Lighting Matters:

When you know someone is coming by to tour your home, turn on all the indoor and outdoor lights – even during the day. At night, a lit house gives a “homey” impression when viewed from the street. During the daytime, turning on the lights prevents harsh shadows from sunlight and it brightens up any dim areas. Your house looks more  cheerful with the lights on.  Also, open up your curtains and blinds.  


Aside from what a Buyer sees when coming in the door, the smell of the home can also leave a lasting first impression.

If you smoke, don’t smoke in the house! Period!  Clean your walls, repaint if you need to, and even have your duct-work cleaned if you need to.  This is one of those smells that Buyers can usually NOT look past.

If you cook with curry or other fragrant meals, open up your windows when you cook to help air out the scent as soon as possible.  Better yet, try not to cook those fragrant meals while the home is listed for sale (and still air out the house as much as possible).

Dogs, Cats, and Kitty Litter smells can literally make a buyer refuse to even step in your front door.  I know you love your pets.  I love mine too!  But please ask your Realtor, neighbor, or best friend for their honest opinion of if your house “stinks’ of these animals before you put your home on the market, and do something about it

Be weary of heavy scented sprays & strong candle scents. Many people find those smells offensive, some may be allergic, and others may think you are trying to cover up something much worse.

Pet Control

If you have pets, make sure your listing agent puts a notice with your listing in the multiple listing service. The last thing you want is to have your pet running out the front door and getting lost during a showing, or biting/barking people either.

If you know someone is coming, it would be best to try to take the pets with you while the home buyers tour your home.  If  you cannot do that, It is best to keep dogs in a penned area in the back yard. Try to keep indoor cats in a specific room when you expect  visitors, and put a sign on the door.

Some potential buyers may have allergies to dogs and/or cats and therefore will not be able to view your home if they are “allergic” to it.  Because of this, its always best to make arrangements for the animals to not be home when possible.


Make sure you empty it before someone comes to look at your home – even if your trash can is kept under the kitchen sink. Remember that you want to send a positive image about every aspect of your home, and we want to eliminate odors as well.

Keep  the House Tidy

Not everyone makes his or her bed every day, but when selling a home it is recommended that you develop the habit. Pick up papers, do not leave empty glasses in the family room, keep everything freshly dusted and vacuumed.

For more information on how to sell your home in the greater Savannah, GA area, contact me,  Trisha Cook. at 912-844-8662

or contact me here.  I would love the opportunity to earn your business.

Trisha Cook


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