When we were selling our home in New Jersey, there were a number of times when we needed a house showing checklist. Why? Because we were traveling, and our college-aged daughter was staying with our dogs while we were away. With the chance that our Realtor might have a showing or want to hold an open house, we needed to know that our home could be “show ready” with a few hours’ notice.
Now, having sold and bought seven homes, I’ve been through getting the house ready for a showing or open house dozens of times. However, this was all new territory for our daughter. All she ever experienced when we were selling our home was having to keep her room neat.
This time around, though, not only did she need to neaten up her room but all the rooms. And she needed to keep our home staging requirements in line.
Helping get the house ready for showings
So we did two things for her.
One, we took pictures of every room in the house. We did this with all of the staging done, such as beds made, pillows fluffed and lights one.
Two, we created a house showing checklist for her.
Why you should have a house showing checklist
Turns out having a house showing checklist is a good idea, not just for college students. Anyone selling a house would be wise to know exactly what they need to do before showing their home.
If, like me, you get a text from your real estate agent, with a showing request, you always want to say yes–even if the showing is just a few houses away. So, while keeping your home show ready is always a good plan, having a checklist you can reference is an even better plan.
In case your Realtor didn’t create a showing your home checklist for you, I did. This comes on the heels of my recent blot post about a selling your home checklist.
You can use this house showing checklist to get ready before every open house or showing. Whenever possible I’ve broken out tasks by area of the home.
Here’s a showing your house checklist for sellers to use
Here are the tasks you should complete, both inside and out, before the next home showing.
Outside the house
1. Sweep or shovel the front walk and driveway
2. Ensure any shrubs, flowers or greenery are looking their best
3. Mow the lawn, if appropriate
4. Rake leaves, if appropriate
5. Put away any gardening tools, children’s toys, sports equipment or miscellaneous clutter in your yard
6. Shake out any doormats that may have collected dirt or debris
7. Move all cars into garage or, if they don’t fit, onto the street, away from your home
8. Pick up any dog droppings
9. Clear away any cobwebs around lights, porch ceilings, doors, etc.
10. Neaten patio furniture and other backyard decorations
11. Fill birdfeeder, birdbath or anything else that needs regular upkeep
12. If showing is at night, turn on exterior lights
13. Store trash or rubbish bins out of sight
14. Put out your flag
15. If you have a pool, skim to get rid of any leaves or debris
Inside the home checklist
Here are some overall tasks to do before a house showing, then room-by-room tips.
16. Sweep or Swiffer all smooth floors (here’s a link to a Swiffer starter kit, in case you don’t have one)
17. Vacuum all rugs
18. Dust all horizontal surfaces
19. Wipe down all mirrors
20. Turn on all lights
21. Open all shades and blinds
22. Set thermostat to a comfortable temperature for the season (between 68 degrees and 72 degrees)
23. Empty all trashcans
24. If you have cats or other pets, put away dishes, toys, and clean out cages/litter boxes
25. Open doors to all rooms but close all closet doors
Front hall/foyer checklist
26. Stow away shoes, coats, backpacks, mail and other day-to-day clutter
27. Put fresh flowers in a vase on a foyer table
28. Hang a seasonally appropriate wreath on front door
29. Clear countertops to only bare minimum clutter (coffee machine, toaster)
30. Empty and wash sink include faucet and handle
31. Put clean dishes in dishwasher away
32. Load dishwasher with any dirty dishes and run
33. Wipe down any fingerprints or smudges on appliance fronts
34. Clean away food scraps in stove top, over and refrigerator
35. If you have a breakfast nook, set for a meal
36. Push in chairs.
37. Put away dishwashing liquid, spongers and other sink clutter
38. Place a bowl with colorful fruit (oranges, lemons, green Granny Smith apples) on kitchen island
39. Remove magnets or any other clutter from refrigerator door or sides of refrigerator
40. Make sure all cabinets are closed
Dining room checklist
41. Set table with placemats, napkins, plates, flatware and glasses
42. Put a vase with fresh flowers in the center of the table
43. Push in chairs
Den, family room and living room checklist
44. Neatly stack any magazines on side tables
45. Fluff seat cushions on couch and chairs
46. Add throw pillows for a pop of color
47. Put fresh flowers on coffee table
48. Organize TV and gaming system remote into a basket
49. If winter and you have a fireplace, light a fire
50. Put away children’s toys and games
51. Wipe down horizontal surfaces
52. Clean inside, on top of and around toilet
53. Close toilet lid
54. Wash sink and shower
55. Wipe down shower doors or shower curtain
56. Put down a clean bath mat
57. Replace everyday towels with white spa-like towels
58. Refill toilet paper holder if necessary
59. Fill up soap dispenser
60. Make all beds
61. Stand up pillows on bed
62. Neaten closets
63. Close all drawers to dressers and nightstands
64. Put away all clutter
65. Close cabinet drawers
Laundry room checklist
66. Put away all clean laundry
67. Wipe down tops and sides of washer and dryer
68. Empty lint trap
69. Neaten laundry products on any shelves
70. Empty dehumidifier if you have one down there
71. Neaten space of toys, sports equipment or however you use the basement
72. If basement unfinished dust rafters to get rid of cobwebs
Home gym checklist
73. Wipe down any and all equipment that you sweat on with a cleaning wipe
74. Stack weights neatly
75. Organize workout shoes or other equipment
76. Clear away water bottles
77. Put out fresh towels
Final thoughts on house showing checklist
Hopefully, if you find yourself needing to get your house reading for a showing fast, this checklist will help you do that. Or, if like me, you need to put the task onto someone else (like your child home from college), they’ll know exactly what to do before the next house showing or open house.