This is one thing that you, the seller, have the most impact on.  It’s important to point out that these items should be done prior to listing your house and it’s also important to maintain these items until the house has sold. 

The following are a list of things to do just prior to having a scheduled showing.

Spot Clean-Up:

You will want to make sure that everything is put away and cleaned up.  This means all the kid’s toys go back into the toy boxes, all the dishes are put away, countertops are clear of extra items leaving about 70% of the countertop visible, carpets and floors free of debris and any pet droppings in the backyard are picked up.

Smell Of The House:

This is something that potential buyers are going to notice as soon as they walk into your home.  Ideally, you don’t want any strong smells.  Smells to watch out for are items like cigarette smoke, animal urine or the smell of animals in general.  Strong smelling foods like fish and garlic, powerful smelling candles and grabages that needs changing are also things to watch out for.  Smells that would have a positive impact on the showing would be smells such as freshly baked desserts, the soft scent of a candle, lemon cleaning products and odour neutralizers.

Avoid Distractions For Buyers:

There are actually several things that could distract the buyer’s attention away from your home.  For me, the most frequent thing would be pets.  I suggest to my clients to remove the pets, if possible.  For those buyers that love animals, their natural instinct is to play with them.  For those who dislike animals, they could lose interest in the home knowing that animals have lived there.  The other large distraction is children’s toys.  If the toys aren’t put away, the buyer’s children will gravitate to them; which forces the parents to focus more on their children than on the house.

Store Valuables In A Safe Place:

By removing any items of value, you remove any temptation from potentially dishonest buyers.  Some items to be more cautious of are things that could easily fit into someone’s pocket.  Fortunately, missing items are a rarity but you should never let your guard down.