Preparing Your Silicon Valley House on a Short 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. The main concepts are simple: declutter and make bright!
Start where the potential buyers will start. If they pull up and the driveway and front yard are a disaster, they may not even get out of their car to look indoors.
Show Ready Front Yard & Driveway:
- Make sure that the front door and porch area presents well: toys, shoes, and clutter should be removed.
- Pick up any out-of-place objects in the yard and store them away quickly, especially if they are tripping hazards, like garden hoses on the walkway or driveway.
- Do not leave your car(s) parked in the driveway or in front of the house on the street (it can make the area look crowded)
Show Ready inside:
- Tuck away any loose or out-of-place items so they are out of sight. Some examples: mail, charging cables, shoes, and toys.
- Spare laundry baskets can be used to quickly scoop up items, placed in a closet or in the garage, and sorted out later.
- Clear kitchen counters and sink. Put any dirty dishes into the dishwasher. (Do not put in the oven. Buyers WILL look there.)
- 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! (this is super important)
- Make the beds. If too rushed, just take non bedding off and pull up blankets to make it a little better.
Show Ready Backyard:
- Clear any obstacles in front of the doors, like toys or shoes. No tripping hazards!
- Keep hoses out of the walkway.
If you still have time:
- Run a quick vacuum and/or sweep to give carpets and floors a fresh look. (Sweep front porch and walkway if needed and if there’s time.) 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!
Another approach: get the house in top shape and then take a vacation for the first 7-10 days that it’s on the market. If that isn’t possible, consider staying with family or friends for some of that period – your life will be far less stressful, particularly on the weekend during the majority of showings.
Safely showing your home – important showing tips on our main blog
Selling your house or condo? Best to be gone from home during showings! – also on our main blog
4 biggest home seller mistakes – Mary Pope-Handy discussion on YouTube