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Ranch style house typical of tract areasWhen your house is on the market and occupied, you may or may not always be ready for last minute showing appointments. Here’s a list of quick tips to get your home “show ready” fast.

Preparing Your Silicon Valley House on a Moment’s Notice to be Show Ready

Follow these quick tips to ready your home for its best showing when you have 30 or fewer minutes’ notice.

Start where the potential buyers will start.


  • Make sure that the front door presents well. Sweep steps, if needed.
  • Pick up any out-of-place objects and store them away quickly, especially if they are tripping hazards, like garden hoses on the walkway or driveway.

Head inside:

  • Tuck away any loose or out-of-place items so they are out of sight. Some examples: mail, charging cables, shoes, and toys.
  • Put any dirty dishes into the dishwasher.
  • Put any dirty laundry inside the washing machine or in lidded hampers, and put away clean clothes (or hide them in the dryer).
  • Open curtains and blinds and turn on the lights. Make it bright!
  • Make the beds.

If you still have time:

  • Run a quick vacuum and/or sweep to give carpets and floors a fresh look. Avoid mopping and wet sweepers!
  • Wipe down counters and tabletops.
  • Light scents like a little Febreze on the couch or warmed vanilla on the stove can give the house a welcoming scent, but avoid lighting a candle (don’t leave an open flame) or strong sprays and air fresheners that might offend or arouse suspicion. Also: some air fresheners can create a mist which turns into a puddle – just saw that on a home we showed recently. It was puzzling and could have caused a visitor to slip and fall.

While we would all like to have our houses in show ready condition 24 hours a day, we also acknowledge that we live in them. Do your best to present your house in its best light AND make sure that every potential Silicon Valley home buyer has an opportunity to view it—accommodate all showings possible!