showing tips

A Seller’s Guide to Home Showings in Alexandria

July 29, 2016 | Selling Your Home | By: The Goodhart Group

A home showing is when a prospective buyer tours your home with either the listing agent or the buyers’ own Realtor. It’s critical for you, the seller, to be prepared for any and all showings as this is when the buyer might decide to make an offer. Therefore, while your home is on the market, it’s important to have it “show ready” at all times. 

We know, we know… showings can be hard on your schedule, but the more open you are to showings, the sooner your house will sell. The first weekend (or the first weekend after a price adjustment) is typically when you will see the most showings on your home – so it’s a good idea to make yourself scarce during those times so the house can present at its absolute best when it will have the most showings set up. 

There’s a strong correlation between the number of showings and the number of offers a home receives. The more showings that are booked, the more likely you are to receive an offer – or more than one offer – quickly. Showings offer potential buyers a private VIP tour of your home.  They can see what it would feel like if the home were their own, versus seeing it when there are lots of other people present at an open house.

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In addition to having your home showing ready, it’s also key that you (and your pets) not be present. Buyers want to be in the home without feeling any pressure. Based on how you have set up your showings, you may have anywhere from one hour to over 24 hours’ notice before the prospective buyers arrive, so it’s best to have your home “showing ready” at all times while it’s listed on the market. Our best tip is to act as if you are now just a visitor in your home – putting things away as you would if you were a guest. Plan on being out of the house for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour while the showing takes place. See below for our top tips for being ready and to make a great first impression on potential buyers.

  • Clear the sidewalk of weeds in the summer, leaves in the fall (which can be slippery when wet) and snow or ice in the winter.
  • Keep temperatures cool in the warmer months and warm (a comfortable setting) in the fall/winter.
  • Declutter all surface spaces throughout the house, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Purge closets and keep them tidy.
  • Place a mat at all entrances and exits during inclement weather. If it is raining, have a place where people can put umbrellas and wipe their feet.
  • Keep fresh flowers in the dining areas and anywhere else that might work.

 Just before leaving the house before a showing:

  • Remove trash from all bins.  
  • Refrain from using any harsh smelling cleaners for quick touch up cleaning. Try not to cook with any pungent spices/herbs and foods (onions, etc.) if you can right before a showing.
  • Avoid spraying perfumes and air fresheners and lighting candles.
  • Turn ALL lights on (yes, ALL lights – closets, etc).
  • Make sure all beds are made.
  • Make sure all blinds/shades are open and up. You want the home to look as bright as possible.
  • Have soft music playing and turn all TVs off.
  • Avoid running any appliances (dishwasher, laundry, etc).
  • If you have a gas fireplace, have a fire going (if you feel comfortable with doing so).
  • Wipe down all appliances, countertops and light fixtures.
  • Sweep floors and vacuum carpets.
  • Make sure no dirty dishes are left in the sink.
  • Flush all of the toilets and close the toilet lids.
  • Remove personal products from sight in the bathrooms (toothbrushes, deodorants, etc).
  • If you have a cat litter box, move it to the garage.
  • Secure or remove all valuables and breakables.
  • Lock away any prescription drugs (or at least hide from sight), as well as any firearms and weapons.
  • Remove any pets from the home.
  • Set out cold bottled water if it’s a very hot day — always a nice touch.


To talk through any of these showing tips or anything involving selling or buying a house, contact us. We are always happy to guide you to getting your home looking its best! If you want to know the current value of your home, click here!

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