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  • Writer's pictureAron Pinto

Avoid Quick Staging Panic with a Pre Showing Checklist

Your Realtor just called; can they bring a very motivated couple of home buyers over to look at the house in an hour? They know it’s short notice but these folks are really keen and it’s the only time they have this week. Not wanting to pass up the chance to snag some hot buyers you agree, and plan to clear out to Starbucks for an hour so your Realtor can work her magic without too big of an audience.

Before you go however, you do stop to wonder if the house is really in the best shape for showing, as you hadn’t expected visitors today. You run around a little like a headless chicken at this point, scurrying to get the place in nicely staged shape before the potential buyers arrive. What a pain!

It does not have to be this way though. By brainstorming a simple pre-showing staging checklist, one that can be followed every time you show this kind of prep can become an easy routing to be followed every time. Keep it by the phone, by your desk or taped to the fridge and before you know it it’ll become second nature.

Here’s a sample list that should cover everything you need to do:


  1. Cover any laundry in hampers.

  2. Put toiletries away in vanities.

  3. Check shower and tub for toys, stray hairs, and facecloths.

  4. Wipe counters, sinks and faucets with microfiber cloth.

  5. Bring out the good towels.

  6. Pour some scented cleaner in toilets, flush and put lids down.

  7. Collect prescription medicines and throw in go-bag to take to car.


  1. Relocate anything in sink to dishwasher. Quickly once-over sink, faucet, counter, and stove top with microfiber cloth.

  2. Empty kitchen garbage, and take outside.

  3. Sweep the floor.


  1. Put magazines, etc, under bed.

  2. Fluff pillows, pull bedspreads tight.

  3. Close closet doors.

Living Room, Family Room, Dining Room

  1. Check carpet for bits of debris, vacuum quickly if necessary

  2. Plump pillows and seat cushions.

  3. Hide newspapers and remote under seat cushions.

  4. Gather all toys and toss into chest and baskets.

Whole House

  1. Walk through house and throw any stray, embarrassing, personal or small items into a designated clean laundry basket. Put laundry basket in a cupboard.

  2. Double check your desk top, refrigerator front and all tables to be sure all personal stuff like credit cards, mail, calendars and valuables are securely out of sight. When in doubt, stuff into go-bag.

  3. Turn on ceiling fans and lights.

  4. Open all blinds, drapes and curtains.


  1. Sweep the steps.

  2. Check for cobwebs near entrance. Hit them with a broom.

  3. Move bikes, toys garden house, etc. to side of house.

There you go, not so hard is it? Follow a list like this every time and you’ll always have a great looking home for sale to show, leading, hopefully, to a quick sale so that you don’t even have to use this checklist for too long anyway!



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