Showing your home while you are living in it is a challenge at best and a hair-pulling nightmare at worst. If you have children, pets, and a job, getting your home ready for a scheduled showing is hard enough. Preparing for a last minute showing may seem impossible. Fortunately, the experts have weighed in with some helpful survival suggestions.
When the call comes, you need to hit the kitchen first, since it is one of the most important rooms to potential buyers. Assuming you've kept up on the major cleaning tasks, you should be able to stow most of the clutter on the table in tote bags kept handy for these situations. Get the dirty dishes out of the sink, putting them in plastic bags and then in the bags if necessary, and shine up the sink. Keep a spray cleaner handy to you can quickly get rid of the fingerprints on the appliances. Take a broom and quickly sweep the floor. Limit yourself to ten minutes on the kitchen tasks.
Bathrooms are another important feature for buyers and another area that continually needs to be cleaned. While you are trying to sell your home, limit the number of bathrooms that you use. If you have a guest bathroom, forbid your family members from even entering it. That way, you only have to deal with the main bathroom or bathrooms. Completely clean them once or twice a week, and before a last minute showing, remove all your personal hygiene products. Put down the toilet lid and wipe off the surface of the sink. Also, replace any damp towels.
Obviously, the major outdoor chores should have already been done, but you still need to duck outside and sweep off the driveway, sidewalks, and front steps if necessary. Take out the trash, but put the trash cans out of sight. Also, make sure the glass in the front door is clean so that the buyer's first impression is not of greasy fingerprints or dog paws.
You can get your home ready to show in 30 minutes or less if necessary, as long as the major cleaning tasks have already been done. Do not be afraid to stuff items in the trunk of your car, if necessary. The appearance of order is all that is needed, so concentrate on making the surface of things shiny and clutter free. You'll be surprised at how quickly your home can be ready for the real estate agent and the potential buyer.