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Surprise Showing! What to Do

by William Ervin 12/01/2019

Photo by Sussi Hj via Shutterstock

Your home is on the market, but you still live there. Now your agent called to see if a potential buyer can look at it in an hour. What do you do?

You Don’t Need to Panic

Instead of holding your head in despair, grab some tools, and clean the most visible areas of your home.

  • Sweep the front porch, steps and any cobwebs lurking in the corners. This is the first place your buyer sees, so it gives them an impression they’ll carry into the rest of the house.
  • While you’re at it, use the broom to give the front door a once over. If you have a cloth handy, use that too. If your door is glass, remove smudges from the kids and dogs. You can use vinegar and water, glass cleaner or simply warm water.
  • Grab a laundry basket and clear clutter from your entryway. Grab stray boots and shoes, hats and coats, school bags and anything else that gets dropped there. Put the basket in your car. You can organize it where it belongs later. Pick up any mail too and stick it in a drawer.
  • Sweep your kitchen floor and run a damp mop over it in the high traffic areas. To simplify this for the future, invest in a mop with a bottle of cleaner attached — no need for buckets.
  • Light a candle or diffuse essential oils in the kitchen to remove any odors from last night’s dinner.
  • Replace all the towels in the kitchen and baths. Set aside towels just for this purpose so that you always have a clean, matching set.
  • While you’re in the bathrooms, run a damp paper towel over the faucets and fixtures, wipe out the sink, and run a quick brush around the waterline of the toilet, then flush it.
  • Grab all the trash from your trash cans in the kitchen, bathroom, office, bedrooms, and laundry room. If you have a container in your garage, put it in there. Otherwise, throw it in a nearby dumpster(law permitting). Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean your visitor won’t notice.
  • If you have time, take a feather duster to dark, visible surfaces, light fixtures and art frames.

Finally, grab your family and the pets, hop in the car and head to the park. You don’t want to be near your home while the agent is showing it to buyers. When you’re nearby, the folks visiting might not feel free to ask the questions they need to. When they’ve gone, head back home and reach out to your agent for feedback. 

About the Author

William Ervin

Bill was raised in a real estate family. In 1997, Bill founded a real estate software company called Envision. He sold that company to a large national bank in 2004 and spent the next 14 years in the mortgage business working with Realtors around the country. 

In 2018, Bill and his wife Kristin decided to form The Ervin Team and sell real estate full time. They joined Signature Sotheby's International Realty in Birmingham and sold over $6 million in their first year.

Bill and Kristin have been married since 1991 and have moved 9 times. They use their vast experience to help sellers prepare their home for the market through staging, professional cleaning, virtual tours, aerial photography and a strong social media presence.

The Ervin Team has earned numerous designations including: 

  • Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)
  • Real Estate Negotiating Expert (RENE)
  • Seller Representative Specialist (SRS)

The Ervin Team provides the highest level of service to their clients to help them achieve their real estate goals.