You’ve put a lot of energy and effort into getting your home ready for the photographer to take amazing photos for the MLS and websites so you can sell your home. And now it’s time for your first showing! Here are our five things every Home Seller should do before each showing.

1. Turn On All The Lamps And Open The Blinds

You want your home to fill open, bright, and airy. What better way to do that than open the blinds. We’re fans of simply turning the blinds so they are full open or tilted down just slightly if you’re looking for a bit of privacy. This lets the natural light flood in. Additionally, you’ll want to turn on literally every lamp you have in the house. Lamps add warmth to nooks and corners of rooms and are especially helpful to have on if it’s an evening showings. Our preference is to leave the overhead lights off. You don’t want to light up your house light a football stadium. If the showing agent or buyer wants more light it’s easy enough for them to just flip the switch and turn it on.

2. Pick Up And Put Away Any Toys (kids and pets)

We get that most people will be living in their home while it’s on the market. However, you don’t want to show it off to potential buyers in the same shape that you live in it every day; especially if that state includes kid and dog toys scattered all over the place. Pretend your Grandma or picky Aunt is coming over for a visit. You’d probably have those things stashed away. Same for a showing. A great option is to have one large laundry basket specifically for this. Got a last minute showing? Grab the laundry basket and do a quick walk through of the house picking up any stray toys. Pop the laundry basket of toys in the back of your car and leave for the showing. Keep it simple.

3. Remove Pets And Their Bed or Crate

Is your Fido one that loves to bark? Maybe he has his own giant crate that he sleeps in at night? Or that smelly blanket that he just loves? Pack them all up for your showing. Not all people are dog lovers like you. Some people might even have a fear of dogs. So the last thing we want to do is have a barking dog somewhere in the house. It’s best to remove your pets (especially dogs) for showings. And if you have escape artist cats, corral them in one room, close the door, and be sure to put a note on there!

4. Clear Off The Counters

Counter space is real estate! Especially in a kitchen. You might have a ton of counter space but if it’s covered with all kinds of clutter buyers won’t notice. Identify the 3-5 things you’ll leave on the counters for showings: maybe the coffee maker, a bowl of fruit, and the mixer. You’ll want to clear everything else off and let that kitchen counter acreage shine!

5. Tidy Up! Inside And Out

If you haven’t guessed it by this point, tidying up before every showing is key. We want to remove any potential obstacle for a prospective buyer. And don’t forget to tidy up outside too! Muddy boots on the front porch? Tuck them away? Garden hose strewn across the back yard? Roll it up. Deck covered in leaves? Blow it or sweep it off. The lawn a little too tall and unkept? Break out the mower and edger. You want to entice a buyer with the curb appeal from the front and make them want to call your place home when they step in your back yard oasis.