We often use the term “show ready” when preparing our clients to list their homes. However, everyone tends to have their own view or definition of what “show ready” really means/looks like. It’s about the difference between your husband’s interpretation of cleaning the bathroom and your own. It’s all in the details (wink, wink). The key here is to “see with buyer’s eyes”. Drive up to your home and take a moment to view it from a buyer’s perspective. How does your home compare to those around you? Do you want to see more? Then walk through the home as a buyer would. Is the home inviting? Can they envision their own family and items in the home?

I won’t just leave you with that though.  Let’s talk a bit in detail on what you can do to prepare your home to sell. Now, some of these tips may seem a bit extreme or over the top. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these items will have a huge impact on the impression you make on the buyer which can help you sell your home fast.

  1. Declutter

Get rid of the unnecessary. Don’t wait until the move to purge your closets and cabinets. Remove everything from your countertops. (Yes, everything). Take those magnets, coupons, and take-out menus off the fridge. Hide those dog beds! Leave those focal points, such as your fireplace or woodstove clear of debris and clutter. Keep the floor space open.

  1. De-personalize the space

Take down your family photos. Remember, you want buyers to visualize themselves in this home.

  1. Create square footage

This goes along with decluttering, but in a larger way. Remove any bulky or unnecessary furniture. You are staging your home, so try to make each space look as large as possible. Keep the space open and create flow so the buyers may stroll through each room with ease. Think clean and simple.

  1. Get it squeaky clean

Pull out all the cleaning supplies and deep clean the house. Clean the windows inside and out (pay special attention to the window frames). Get those carpets cleaned. It might be worth it to pay for the home to be professionally cleaned. You want the place to shine.

  1. Make those small repairs/fixes

You know what I’m talking about here. That door knob that has been loose and doesn’t quite latch when you shut the door, or that hole in the drywall from when you first moved furniture in. The buyer will see these items and start making a list of all the “to-do repairs” they will incur with the house, and they may just ask you to repair them yourself during negotiations anyway. Save yourself some time and get them done. Your home will show better for it.

  1. Keep the house “show ready” at all times

Remember the less you have to clean and tidy, the easier it will be. Try to get in the habit of sweeping, dusting, and cleaning those mirrors daily. Keep up with your dishes and laundry. Put down those toilet seats. If you stay on top of this, then a last minute showing won’t throw you into full panic mode.

  1. Open the blinds and let the light in

Natural light and windows really make the space feel open and airy.

  1. Turn on all the lights

Your buyers will do so if you don’t. Make it easy on them and highlight all the work you just did to prepare the home.

  1. Make it inviting

Air the home out about 30 minutes before your showing, light a few homey candles beforehand, or leave a candle warmer on. Some clients will even bake cookies and leave them for the potential buyers- it’s always a hit.

  1. Create curb appeal

Landscaping can be challenging in Kodiak, but keeping the yard mowed, the bushes and trees trimmed, trash collected, and the front porch decluttered will go a long way.

  1. Ask for Agent for their opinion

Your real estate agent has seen the good and the bad. They have an understanding of what a buyer will see and how they will judge the home. If you are open to suggestions and truly want their opinion, they are the best person to ask.


Hopefully, reading through these tips took you back to your own house-hunting experience. Do you remember those homes that stood out or those you just couldn’t wait to escape? I urge you to think about this when you are preparing to sell your home. My last piece of advice here is to hold off listing your home until the home is totally “show ready”. It’s easy to let time pressure you and for you to feel the demand of getting the home on the market as soon as possible. However, marketing your home before its ready can do more damage than you know. You may only get one chance to make an impression on that buyer, make it count.