Getting your home ready to show

If you're planning an open house or are expecting buyers to be looking at your home, make sure their first impression is a good one. Here are few tips for making your house look great to potential buyers:

Exterior
-  House in good repair
-  House number easy to read
-  Eavestroughs, down spouts and soffits in good repair
-  Garage/car port clean and tidy
-  Litter picked up
-  Cracked or broken window panes replaced
-  Lawns and hedges cut and trimmed, garden weeded and edged
-  Walks shovelled and salted
-  Boot tray inside front door
-  Doorbell and door hardware in good repair
-  Porch and foyer clean and tidy

Interior 
-  Chipped plaster and paint touched up or replaced
-  Doors and cupboards properly closed
-  Leaky taps and toilets repaired
-  Burned out light bulbs replaced
-  Squeaky doors oiled
-  Mirrors, fixtures and taps cleaned and polished
-  Seals around tubs and basins in good repair
-  Floors cleaned & garbage containers emptied
-  Inside of closets and cupboards neat and tidy
-  Appliances cleaned
-  Countertops neat and polished
-  Turn on all the lights, even during the daytime, including outside entrance, closet, basement, and attic lights
-  Turn off the television, stereo, and radio (easy listening music is OK)
-  Air conditioner turned on in warm weather
-  Fresh air in house
-  Fireplace lit in cooler weather.  If not in season, make sure the fireplace is clean
-  Halls and stairs cleaned
-  Drapes opened during daylight
-  Carpets freshly vacuumed
-  Fresh flowers in various rooms, hang decorative hand towels in the bathroom, and place an attractive tablecloth on the dining room table
-  Jewellery and valuables locked safely away or taken with you
-  Valuable property, such as art, vases and figurines out of reach, out of sight or locked away

If possible, pets absent or contained during the showing.  Better still, ask friends to look after them. Some people may be allergic, others may be afraid of animals. Clear any pet odours and clean litter boxes.

If possible, leave! Some buyers are uncomfortable when the owner is in the house. In their hurry to get away, they may miss important features, or fail to ask important questions. If you must remain, be courteous, but try not to make conversation. The buyer's Realtor knows what the buyer is looking for. He or she can discuss features and answer questions.