6 Steps To Prepare A House For Showing 

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As a seller wanting to make top dollar for your home, you want to do whatever it takes to make that possible. In order to do so, one of the most impactful things you can do is to ready your house for buyers to see. Whether you’re looking to sell your home on the Houston real estate market, or anywhere else in the U.S., you’ll want to prepare your house to sell.

What is a House Showing?

A house showing is where you open up your home to give potential home buyers a chance to preview your house and determine if it’s a place they’d like to buy. In order to get your house “showroom ready” you’ll need to clean your house from top to bottom, inside and out, basically making it as beautiful as it can be. This is a very broad statement that needs some explaining. Continue reading to learn 9 steps to prepare a house for showing.

Preparing your house for showings


The very first step to prepare your house for showings is to go through all your belongings and put them somewhere else. By taking your own clutter out of the house, your home will appear bigger, which is always attractive to buyers, and it allows the buyers to envision what living in your home with their own belongings will be like.

Tips for decluttering: When you’re decluttering your house to show, think about the things you need. The necessities to help you get through each day. Those items can stay.

Consider making three piles:

  1. Pack Up (keep)
  2. Donate
  3. Trash

Next, get the piles out of the way. Take them to be donated or to the curb. Also, think about where you’ll store the items you’re packing away. Consider renting a storage unit at best, but if you don’t want to do that, you can store them in an outbuilding or garage. Regardless of what you do, you want everything you’ve decluttered out of the way for the house showing.

Deep Clean

After you’ve decluttered, take time to deep clean your home to prepare for showing. Wipe walls if needed, dust corners for cobwebs, baseboards, ceiling fans, and blinds. Wipe everything down, including drawers, cabinets, appliances, and closet shelves. Though people don’t see these things on first impression, it’s good to assume they will open cabinets, drawers, and closet doors. Seeing them clean helps buyers know you took good care of your home.

You’ll also want to deep clean showers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets. Be willing to scrub grout lines and corners if needed. We know it can seem like a lot of work, but it pays to have a sparkling clean bathroom since buyers judge the bathroom and kitchens for cleanliness. Be sure to shampoo and vacuum carpets, mop floors, and clean baseboards too, which makes a huge difference in showcasing how clean a room is.

Clean Exterior

Once you’ve decluttered and cleaned the inside, it’s time to focus on the exterior. The number one thing to keep in mind when preparing the exterior of your home for showing is to think about curb appeal. How does your home look when people drive up? Does it have the wow factor of a nicely manicured lawn and trimmed bushes? Does the exterior itself look bright and fresh? Most importantly, does it look easy to maintain? Here’s how you can make sure you can say yes to all these questions.

Let’s start with the house itself. If you have access, use a power washer to clean off any dirt and bugs. By doing so, your home will look brighter even if you haven’t given it a fresh coat of paint. Next, clear out any clutter or dead greenery, pull weeds, spread fresh mulch, mow, and weed-eat (or weed-wack). There’s usually no need to go all out on new landscaping. If all you have are simple shrubs, mulch, and grass, that’s okay. The main thing you want to keep in mind is making sure the yard appears pleasing to the eye and easy to maintain.

Relocate Pets

If you have any pets, we strongly recommend finding a place to relocate them and not keeping them in the backyard during a house showing. Home buyers want to be able to walk in and around your home and if they’re not able to get to a certain part of your property because of animals, it could turn them off from wanting to make an offer. In addition, seeing pets in the home during the showing could make them assume that there is residual pet hair or damage elsewhere left in the home.

Set A Welcoming Mood

Next, you want to set a warm and inviting mood for those walking through your doors. Think about smells, lighting, and thermostat. Does your home smell clean? Consider using something like a scented wall plug-in to freshen up the smell of your home.

Don’t be afraid to turn on every light in your home. In fact, we encourage you to do so, as this aids in a light and welcoming atmosphere. In addition, open all the curtains and let windows and doors provide as much natural light as possible. Many buyers will walk away from a home if there is not enough natural lighting available in it.

When thinking about the temperature of your home, go ahead and turn the air down a little cooler than you normally would in the summer or raise the temperature a few extra degrees in the winter. This shows the buyer the air conditioner or heating units are working well.


Lastly, we strongly encourage you to leave your home for showings. We get it, you love your home and want to share all about it, plus get to know potential buyers, but when homeowners are there during showings it makes it harder for the buyers to bond and fully picture themselves in the place.

To piggyback on this last step, be flexible! You can expect people to start booking showings almost as soon as your home hits the market. For a good week or two, you can expect to be inconvenienced by the number of times you have to leave your home, but hang in there, the end result is worth it!

3 Optional Steps

We recommend running these ideas by your local real estate agent as they may have other ideas or perspectives to weigh in on, but here are three other steps or ideas to consider.

  • Set out refreshments – Consider setting out cookies, crackers, or even just bottled water. Oftentimes, buyers are seeing multiple properties in a day or evening, and providing a simple refreshment is seen as a kind gesture and helpful to the buyers.
  • Set out a flier – If there’s information about the home the realtor may not know, you could add them to a flier to share. Some ideas for the flier could be possibly something cool like the exposed beams are from the 1700s, average costs of utilities, or what type of internet connection the property has.
  • Consider Virtual Tours – It has become popular to do as much online as possible, including touring homes. Most buyers find their homes online and when it comes to sharing pictures or videos of properties, homebuyers can’t seem to get enough. Whether you’re good with the camera, or your agent has connections to a videographer, this may be something to consider.

Ready for House Showings

If you’re wanting to buy and sell a home at the same time, or just wanting to help someone get their home ready to sell, we hope you’ve found these 6 steps to prepare a house for showing helpful in organizing your tasks.

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