Showing and Open House Checklist


If you are living in your home while it’s on the market, you need to be ready to show at a moment’s notice, even if you request advanced notice. People want to view the property without interference or scrutiny from the current owners. Therefore, it is important that you not be there when an agent makes an appointment to show your home. This interactive checklist has some quick things you can do to get your home ready, and assumes that your home is already relatively clean and depersonalized.

ELIMINATE CLUTTER— Remove all non-decorations from counter space and floors. This includes papers, dishes, boxes, the vacuum, jackets on the backs of chairs, keys, toothbrushes, and anything else that is loose evidence of somebody living there. When in doubt about whether or not to leave something out on display, stash it. If there’s time, wipe down the counters after clearing.

MAKE THE BED— Think “hotel room.” People will feel more comfortable in a bedroom with a neat bed.

EMPTY GARBAGE CANS— Especially if the can is out on the floor. Even if it looks neat, it might not smell that way, and you might be too used to it to notice.

LOAD THE DISHWASHER (If you have one)— The kitchen sink is a feature of your home. Let people see it.

LOAD THE LAUNDRY MACHINE— Nobody will open your washer to see what’s inside. People might open the closet where you keep your hamper.

TURN ON LIGHTS AND OPEN WINDOWS— Make the rooms as bright as possible for a first impression. Plus, it keeps people from getting discouraged because they can’t find the light switch.

TAKE PETS WITH YOU OR PUT THEM IN DAYCARE— You can put up signs to not let the cats out, but there’s no guarantee that anybody will read them. Dogs tend not to like strangers in their space.