Showing Your Home

When it comes time to show your property, here are some suggestions that will help make the process go more smoothly.


Consider adding color with hanging baskets or pots of flowers.



Sparkling clean windows let the sun shine through.




How to Show Your Home at its Very Best

People who wish to sell their home often ask me: "what can I do to sell my house faster and for more money?" As a basic rule of thumb, I advise them that whatever can be done to cosmetically improve your home, it would be worth considering. Cosmetic enhancements can make all the difference in the world.

Sometimes it is important to spend a little bit of money and time to reap greater rewards when an offer comes in on your home.

I wish to draw an analogy to impress upon you how important it is to create a warm and welcoming "experience" to potential purchasers who are viewing your home. If you walked into a new car showroom and saw a poorly kept and dirty car, would you be impressed? Probably not. Selling your home is like turning your home into a showroom. I am not suggesting for a moment that you go out and buy new furniture. I am however suggesting that you do everything in your power to create a very pleasing environment in your home to put potential purchasers at ease. First impressions are lasting ones.


Based on my experience, most potential purchasers, when viewing a home, look for the negative aspects. They look for all of the reasons why they should not buy your home. The logic is quite simple and clear: when they have a great selection of resale homes to choose from, they need to weed out those which are not appealing and create their own short list.

Given today's strong economic climate, potential purchasers are busier than ever. They are looking for a home that is in as "move in" condition as possible. People visualize themselves better when homes are in "move in" condition.

Here are some highly practical ways to cosmetically improve your home:

1/ paint is one of the least costly and most effective ways to make your home look like new. A word of caution on paint: avoid bubble gum pink, intense yellow (soft yellow hues are great), and harsh colours

  • repaint any rooms that are not looking fresh or touch up paint
  • repaint rooms where the colour may not appeal to the majority of people (for example, hot pink)
  • always choose light beige or light taupe for resale purposes. A renovator friend of mine always says "paint it taupe"!
  • paint your front door an enticing color to lead people to the front door. High gloss black looks great against orange, grey, and red brick homes particularly if the roof shingles are black. Also, put a nice wreath on the outside of the front door.
  • if the paint around your windows & doors at the front of the house is chipping, repaint it to be a neutral colour
  • if your basement recreation room or any other room has lower grade dated veneer panelling, look at painting it with a French cream colour. Do not paint solid wood panelling or tongue and groove panelling. Today's buyers consider veneer panelling to be out of date.
  • if your bathroom doesn't have an exhaust fan, look up at the ceiling. If there is mould or mildew, cleaning it with a potent cleanser and repaint

2/ replace light bulbs with higher wattage bulbs where your electric light fixtures permit higher wattages. Keep all lights on when potential purchasers are viewing your home, even in broad daylight. I always advise clients "pretend you own shares in PGE. Your electric bills will definitely go up while you are selling your house!"  Most buyers love bright and cheery homes.

3/ keep your home clean and tidy. Keep lawns and gardens well groomed. Plant flowers when the weather permits. Keep interior air fresh particularly to remove strong cooking odours and never smoke when your house is being shown. Organize the basement and tidy closets. "Less is better!" Steam clean rugs and wax hardwood floors. Open blinds and drapes to expose sparkling clean windows.

4/ keep kitty litter bins fresh and clean. Try to keep animals outside or in cages when your house is being shown.

5/ if you have an asphalt paved drive, look at resealing (also referred to as "black topping.")

6/ during showings and open houses, where possible, have fresh flowers in some of the rooms on the main floor and soft jazz or classical music playing. This creates a "restaurant-like" relaxing atmosphere. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes! If you are interested in selling your home, I would be very pleased to visit your home and offer other tips on showing your home your particular home.

For safety purposes, it’s wise to show the home to buyer only if the agent working with them is present. You should also put away your most valuable items such as jewelry and collectibles, extra keys to home.
In some cases, silence can be golden. If you are present for the showing, it’s best to reserve comments until the buyer has left your home.
Give the carpets a good cleaning to remove stains and odors, or even re-carpet if you feel it’s appropriate.
Showcase your home as if you are receiving guests... turn on lights or open drapes, hang your best towels, light a fire in the fireplace if it’s cold outside, etc.
Maintain the home in ready-to-show condition with beds made, clutter removed, dishes put away and so forth. Then, you’re always ready for a showing as soon as you get the phone call.
Enhance drive-up appeal by removing clutter (old vehicles, dying plants, etc.), cleaning stains off the driveway.