A REALTOR® wants to show your home…right now. What can you do to get your house into prime showing condition in 15 minutes or less?

In a perfect world, REALTORS® would give sellers 24-hour notice to show, but we know that’s not always possible, especially in a hot market. Here are 10 things you can do to get your home into perfect showing condition, in 15 minutes or less…for those times when a buyer takes “short notice” to a whole new level!

  1. Light an odor-reducing candle or turn on a diffuser while you prep. A lightly scented candle or difuser (we love subtle scents like vanilla or lavender) can eradicate odors while you complete the rest of the items on the list below. Avoid overly fruity or strong floral scents that can distract a buyer from your home. (And please remember to blow it out before you leave the house!)
  2. Put the dishes in the dishwasher. While buyers may open it to look inside, they expect to see dishes in there, and it’s better than finding them in the sink!
  3. Make the beds. A neatly made bed does wonders for a bedroom. It can instantly take the feel of a room from messy to neat.
  4. Wipe the counters. Keep a spray cleaner on-hand to quickly wipe down countertops in the kitchen. And don’t forget the bathrooms!
  5. Empty the garbage. This can erase odors instantly. Grab those trash bags and bring them out to the trash cans!
  6. Hide dirty clothes in the washer (and the dryer, if you need more room!). Empty your hamper into your washer to get rid of clutter (and odors).
  7. Take a deep breath! You’re almost done!
  8. Run a quick vacuum. 
  9. Turn on the lights and open drapes and blinds. All of them. Even on the sunniest day, having the lights on in your home will present it in its most flattering way.
  10. Leave the house before showing. Don’t forget to give buyers a chance to view your home with their agent and speak freely about the house. If you’re there, they won’t stay as long, see all its features, and ask questions of their agent. Make them feel most welcome by leaving.

Smile! You did it!

Short notice showings can be stressful, but you can do it. And that buyer may be the one who brings you a contract!


This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.