Best practices for preparing your home prior to a showing

An open house or private showing is one of the most effective ways to get your home off the market and proceed with a sale. Unlike static photos posted online, an in-person visit gives potential buyers a better sense of your property.

To maximize the possibility of a successful showing, there are many steps you should take to prepare your home. Spend a few days getting ready so you improve the odds a would-be buyer will fall in love with your house. Use these helpful tips for making your property more attractive:

Clean up
Most folks will know that a clean home is an important part of any showing, but to really be successful, you need to do more than tidy up or wipe down the kitchen counters. A full-scale operation is needed to make sure your property is ready.

Take on some of the tasks that you've been putting off. This may mean dusting ceiling fans, cleaning furniture or eliminating anything that would be considered unsightly or cause an unpleasant smell. Try hiring extra help if your home is especially messy.

Reduce clutter
Buyers will likely expect neatly made beds and clean surfaces, but there are ways you can make your home more alluring beyond simply straightening up. Trulia reported that cutting back on clutter is helpful because it makes your home feel more organized and less busy. This subtly calms visitors and also makes it easier for them to envision different decors and styles.

Work with your family to make sure shoes, jackets, toys and other belongings are neatly put away. Reduce the number of decorations you have around the kitchen or living room and replace them with simple art and other more relaxed items. 

Simple, minimalist design is attractive to potential buyers.Simple, minimalist design is attractive to potential buyers.

Bring in some color
While you don't want to let your private life shine too brightly during a showing, you still want your home to convey a sense of personality and character. The right accessories can be used to give any property a splash of the chromatic flair. Balance dark wood floors with lighter decor or use deep shades of red or blue to contrast white rooms or cabinets.

Go natural
To make your home both more colorful and more peaceful, use natural items. The National Association of Realtors found that the living room is perhaps the most important space in your house when it comes to a showing.

"Natural light may be quite alluring to would-be buyers."

Add a lush potted plant to make the area more inviting. Even a simple fish bowl can serve to boost your home's charm. 

Finding ways to leverage natural light may also be quite alluring to would-be buyers. Swap out dark, heavy curtains for a more opaque set. You can also try rearranging furniture to make natural light a bigger focal point in the kitchen or dining room.

Consider curb appeal
First impressions matter, and the outside of your home can frame an entire staging. Make sure you pick up clutter in the yard and do a bit of landscaping. Likewise, mend any broken fixtures, as potential buyers will be quick to make note of anything that doesn't work or looks unattractive. 

Make a small upgrade
Small investments can make a big difference in the overall value of your home. More to the point, this will impress any visitors and make your property stand out as they consider a possible purchase.

An electric tankless water heater is a smart choice because it represents a modern upgrade to your house that offers efficiency and convenience. Your family can enjoy endless hot water and reduced utility bills, while potential buyers will be enticed by such a stylish, helpful system.

Think like a buyer
Across the board, do what you can to remove any biases and think like a buyer. You may love the style and decor of your home, but you need to be honest about creating a space that is most inviting and attractive. Likewise, don't talk yourself out of taking on a big cleaning or repair project and consider moves that will make the strongest impression on visitors. Make sure every member of your family affected is on the same page when it comes to these efforts and do your best to stay proactive when it comes to making a meaningful change.