Successful Showings and Open Houses


When you plan open house appointments, it allows you time to prepare, but there are times when you won’t have the luxury of advanced notice and your property needs to look the best that it can to entice the motivated buyer. Remember, every time you leave your home, you need to make sure it’s ready for an unexpected showing. Here’s how:

General Preparation

  • When preparing your home, think about the interior decorating ideas used to show builders’ model homes and how you would be wowed if you were the potential buyer.
  • Remember the pointers from “First Impressions” checklist, especially regarding cleanliness, clutter and repairs – interior and exterior.
  • Open drapes and light lamps including those in closets, basement or attic – creating as light, cheerful and calm environment as possible.
  • Make the potential buyer feel welcome by filling candy dishes and putting out fresh flowers.


  • Make the beds; put away clothes and toys.
  • Turn the blinds so slats are uniformly open and don’t forget to put on light if room is dark.


  • Put out a clean hand towel, fresh soap and clean soap dish, and make sure there is a full box of tissues.
  • Put toilet lid down.
  • Potpourri dish can provide a nice sight and scent.


  • Put away all dishes and discreetly conceal counter-top articles.
  • Simmer a few drops of vanilla on stove for a relaxing fragrance.

Dining Room

  • Arrange inviting centerpiece and turn on the lights/chandelier.
  • Consider setting the table with fine china and linen.

Living Room / Family Room / Den

  • Straighten pictures on walls and wipe all tabletops.
  • Fluff and arrange couch cushions and throw pillows.
  • Dispose of newspapers and drink containers.
  • Light fireplace in winter.


  • When exiting just before buyers arrive, turn around at front door and review the “First Impression” checklist. What is the first thing that catches your eye from that viewpoint?
  • Will it help or hinder the appearance of your home?
  • Notify your neighbors of scheduled open house days. You never know if they have friends or family that are in the market for a home.