Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do You Have a Pre-Showing Checklist?

The cleaner your home is, the more buyers will love it.
 But you have to live there, too!

Your Realtor calls to ask if she can bring someone over, like now.

You don't dare say no.

Are you ready?

Having a checklist on your phone, or else printed (but not left out for home buyers to see!) will come to your rescue at times like this.

Keeping clutter under control and creating the illusion of a spic and span home are two of the best ways to win a buyer.

This list was originally created by my friend Laurie who had a house on the market. She has four children.

You can label her compulsive if you like, but I love the way she balances her preference for cleanliness with sane living.

She knew it was important to keep her house show-me ready until it sold. 

And sell it did! Here's Laurie's list:

Baths

Cover any laundry in hampers.
Put toiletries away in vanities.
Check shower and tub for toys, stray hairs, and facecloths.
Wipe counters, sinks and faucets with microfiber cloth.
Bring out the good towels.
Pour some scented cleaner in toilets and put lids down.
Collect prescription medicines and throw in go-bag to take to car.

Kitchen

Relocate anything in sink to dishwasher. Quickly once-over sink, faucet, counter, and stovetop with microfiber cloth.
Empty kitchen garbage, and take outside.
Swiffer the floor.

Bedrooms

Stash small rugs under beds.
Put magazines, etc, under bed.
Fluff pillows, pull bedspreads tight.
Close closet doors.

Living Room, Family Room, Dining Room 

Swiffer floors, check carpet for bits of debris.
Plump pillows and seat cushions.
Hide newspapers and remote under seat cushions.
Gather all toys and toss into chest and baskets.

Whole House

Walk through house and throw any stray, embarrassing, personal or small items into designated clean laundry basket. Put laundry basket in car.
Double check desk top, refrigerator front and all tables to be sure all personal stuff like credit cards, mail, calendars and valuables are securely out of sight. When in doubt, stuff into go-bag.  
Turn on ceiling fans and lights.
Open all blinds, drapes and curtains. 

Outside

Sweep steps.
Check for cobwebs near entrance. Hit them with broom.
Move bikes, toys garden house, etc. to side of house.

Use Laurie's list. When you get a short notice call, ask the broker to stall for 30 minutes, so you can run down your list. A checklist helps you focus, gives you peace of mind, and simplifies your tasks when you have to pickup on the fly. Find other ways to be prepared for home buyers in my $4.99 eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and for Top Dollar.    

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