How to stage your home for showings and open houses

Planned open house appointments will allow you time to prepare, but many times, the window of opportunity to expose your property to a motivated buyer can be small.

Every time you leave your home, make sure it is ready for an unexpected showing.

General Preperation

When preparing your home, think about the techniques used to show builder’s model homes or what you might do to prepare for honored guests.

  • Be mindful of cleanliness, clutter, and repairs – interior and exterior
  • Create as light, cheerful, and serene an environment as possible
  • Open drapes and light lamps, including those in closets, basement, or attic
  • Add a welcoming touch by filling candy dishes and putting out fresh flowers


  • Make beds, put clothing and toys away, keep decor pillows orderly
  • Turn blinds so slats are uniformly open; put on light if room is dark


  • Put out a clean hand towel, fresh soap & soap dish
  • Put commode lid down and ensure tissue supply is adequate
  • Potpourri dish can provide a nice sight and scent


  • Put away last minute dishes and conceal countertop articles
  • Simmer a few drops of vanilla on stove

Dining Room

  • Arrange inviting centerpiece
  • Consider setting the table with fine china and linen
  • Light chandelier

Living Room/Family Room/Den

  • Straighten pictures on walls
  • Adjust couch cushions and throw pillows
  • Dispose of newspapers and drink containers (polish tables)
  • Light fireplace in winter

Notify your neighbors of scheduled open house days, and assure them they’ll be welcome. Their eagerness to discover decorating ideas for their own homes may actually result in them turning up a buyer among their friends.