Having your home on the market is a stressful time for even the most organized person.   Keeping your home in a show-ready status at all times can be a challenge.  There are many things you can do in advance to ease your stress level and make your home stand out.  The amount of preparation you put into it before you list will definitely keep you ahead of the game, but what about everyday living?

Here are ten tried and true tips from some very clever sellers.

  1. Keep a list of to-do tasks, and review it every night before bed.

  2. Enlist the help of your kids.  Make them responsible for making their beds, tidying the bathrooms, and putting away all toys and clothes.

  3. Do you have pets?  If so, vacuum and sweep daily.  Also, keep the yard picked up after the pets and clean the litter box daily too.

  4. Empty the dishwasher as soon as the dishes are clean.  For those crazy days when it’s not all done and you have a last minute showing, throw the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

  5. Keep a couple of empty laundry baskets handy.  When the call comes for a showing, dump everything you can’t find a place for in the baskets.  Load up the baskets, the kids, and the pets in the car and take your messy house with you.  When it’s time to return home, bring in the baskets and work from there.

  6. If you have kids – and they have homework – remember to take bookbags (and laptops if you have them) when you leave for a showing.  Keep a box of pens, pencils, erasers and paper in the car.  A table in the park or at a fast food restaurant can substitute for a desk.

  7. Before you leave, take a quick walk around the house to shut toilet lids, turn on lights, and open curtains and blinds.

  8. If there is time, a quick sweep of the front porch adds to curb appeal.  (Check for cobwebs, too.)

  9. Playing soft music for your guests can be a welcoming treat.

  10. While you’re selling, consider the slow cooker your friend.  If you get a last minute showing call, dinner can be left plugged in and it will be ready to eat when you return.  It’s also easier to clean up the kitchen at night.  Be conscious of cooking odors while your home is on the market.  Strong odors may fade to you, but to a new buyer walking in the door, it can be overwhelming.

Use these ten tips to create your own “show prep” plan.  As your agent, I will help you customize your strategy so you can live comfortably – and know that your home is ready to show whenever a buyer is ready to look!  Call me.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Diane Lominac is an Associate Broker for Century 21 Realty Partners in the Greater Houston, Texas area.  Diane is a Centurion® top producer, President’s Award winner, and Pinnacle Quality Service Award winner. She’s a native Houstonian currently living in Montgomery County, Texas.  Diane can be reached at 713-515-9775 or diane@dianelominac.com