Are you intending to put your house on the market? If so, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes… and try to see through the buyer’s eyes. What would attract your attention if visiting your home for the first time with the intention of purchasing a home?



Here is some food for thought… with a word of caution. The objective is to achieve the most “first impression” improvements with the least amount money. It usually never pays to over-invest in costly upgrades. Rather… de-cluttering, cleaning, dusting, polishing and minor repairing is the way to go. And only when absolutely necessary… we may recommend such things as repainting a room; repairing a broken window or door, replacing a pet-stained carpet or the like.


What are your impressions when driving up to your home? Often buyers will do a drive-by to determine if setting up a showing appointment is worthwhile. So do everything you can to lure
them inside!

  • Is the grass cut? Are leaves raked and twigs & branches removed?
  • Flowers in bloom? Dead plants removed?
  • Driveway, walkway, steps and front porch presentable?
  • Tools and toys put away?
  • Tarp-covered storage dealt with appropriately?
  • Windows washed?
  • Exterior washed… or painted/stained/repaired, as needed?
  • Gutters cleaned?
  • Are front porch, deck, patio and/or pool areas camera-ready for all showings?

The buyers’ first impression of the exterior will set their expectations for the interior. If positively impressed when approaching the entrance… they’ll have a positive pre-disposition for the interior as well.


Staging requires that all clutter and unsightly materials be cleared away… either in on-site storage areas or, if necessary, offsite. Big and small items alike. From exterior excess lumber, past holiday decorations and old play equipment… to daily kitchen stuffs and bedroom cosmetics and medicines. The more your floors and counters are open and clear… the better a buyer can imagine himself or herself in the space.

I understand it is unrealistic to live like your home is being photographed for a magazine article… HOWEVER, it is important to plan your daily life with the capacity to quickly stage your home for a showing.

Perhaps add a few more green plants, baskets with dried or fresh flowers to spread around the home… and a few decorative settings for the kitchen like a bowl of seasonal fruit or veggies, a bottle of wine with decorative glasses or the like.

These are things you can leave out when quickly putting the other stuff in the dishwasher, pantry, drawers or closets when preparing for a showing. Whatever is left out should be decorative and pristine.


Cigarette and pet odors can greatly reduce your chances of attracting an offer. Do your best to thoroughly clean carpets and all surfaces to eliminate these odors as best you can… and maintain a daily regimen of de-odorizing.

Bathrooms need to be spotless with fresh towels, empty trash bins, clean showers, sinks and toilets. Only decorative soaps and other decorative bath items should be exposed. Daily soap dishes, shower shampoos and the like should be temporarily removed.


Do not expect your prospective buyers to be imaginative… to see through the clutter of years or even days of living. Preparing for a showing is not necessarily easy… but it gives you the best chance of finding a buyer at the best price… which means it will be time and effort spent that is well worthwhile!

Gail Masson-Romano
RE/MAX Ridge Real Estate