Ready. Set. Show! Prep your house for a showing in just 10 minutesNovember 16, 2016
At the end of every episode of PBS’ The Big Comfy Couch, Loonette looked around at her play area and declared, “Who made this big mess?” Then with a sheepish look, she acknowledged her mess-making and invoked the “10-second tidy”. While it might not be possible to get your house ready for a showing in 10 seconds, you can go for a 10-minute tidy with a few easy steps.
Stage your home
When you decide to sell, talk to your agent about staging your home. If you’ve priced your home to sell and staged well, you shouldn’t have to do showings for too long. Once the stage is set, the 10-minute tidy will be within the realm of possibility. Showings don’t take a ton of time, so there’s no need to plan an “outing”. You could just get in the car and drive around the corner. Or go for a walk or bike ride.
Yup, sometimes this is what life looks like. But when you sell, clean it up! We’ve pinned some great staging ideas on our Pinterest board!
Plan to show
It’s one thing to have the house ready and leave for work or school. It’s quite another to get ready when everyone’s home and, well, making a big mess. It doesn’t have to be a panic-induced frenzy to get out the door. Plan some of life’s essentials for an easier last-minute cleanup:
- Meals. You don’t have to spend money going out, just plan for simpler meals that can be cleaned up quickly. Opt for paper plates and other disposable service.
- Kids. Keep a go bag ready in your car with age-appropriate items such as diaper bags, toys and books. If you have school-age kids, make this a welcome homework break.
- Pets. Plan to take them with you whenever possible. Strangers traipsing through the house can be stressful and if they’re likely to bark a lot, it’s best they come with you. Keep their kennel, food and majority of their accessories in the garage or other space outside the main living areas.
- Bathrooms. Personal items need to be off the counter. It can be helpful to give everyone a basket, much like a dorm toiletry kit, that can be brought out when needed. Put out show towels only, including the hand towel. Personal towels can be put in closets on a hangar, and a daily use hand towel can be hung inside the sink cabinet. Clean bathrooms every day.
- Clean as you go. Get everyone in the habit of cleaning as they go. Make beds and tidy rooms before you go out in the morning. Clean up an activity before moving on to another. Eat and clean up right away. Deal with mail and put everything in it’s place right away (trash the junk mail). Who knows? Maybe it will become a habit that makes life in your new home that much better.
Ready. Set. Show!
Ready to give it a try? It’s always a good idea to practice before you get the first showing notice. This is especially true if you have some unpredictable variables (aka kids and pets).
- Minute 1: Kitchen. Wipe down counters, put away food, shine fixtures. Even if you can’t rinse off dirty dishes, stick them in the dishwasher to be addressed later.
- Minute 2: Bathrooms. Make sure everyone’s baskets are stowed. Wipe down the counters and mirrors, shine the fixtures.
- Minute 3: Main living areas. Get out those throw pillows and blankets just for showing the house (the ones without the dog drool on them!).
- Minute 6: Turn on all the lights. This lights every part of the room and brings warmth even in daylight.
- Minute 7: Open all the blinds/curtains. Make the rooms appear brighter and bigger.
- Minute 8: Light candles. You know, that one that smells like cookie dough. Or turn on diffusers. Gets your house smelling nice and makes things oh so cozy. If you’re worried about flames, get some battery-operated candles that flicker. Natural sprays based in orange or lemon are pleasing but not chemical smelling.
- Minutes 9-10: Get everyone out the door. Slip-on shoes or crocs kept in the garage, mudroom or coat closet might be a time saver. If you’ve got a bunch of kids and animals, it could take a bit longer.
Voila! In about 10 minutes, you’re out the door and your home is ready for a showing. If you can delegate, you could do this in less time. Make it fun by trying to beat your previous times. Given your life’s messy variables, you might need to allot more than 10 minutes, but you’ll have a plan that will take a lot of stress and panic out of showing your home.
BY SUSHA ROBERTS
Redefy sellers get free showing service with flat fee, full service!
Plus, you’ll save thousands for more important things to spend your equity on – like bikes, dog biscuits and cookie dough candles!