Showing Your Home: Focus on the Details that Matter

by - May 08, 2019


Article written by Danny Knight

Selling your family home? In a perfect world, you’d be able to keep your home spotless in every moment of every day, ready to be shown to each prospective buyer.

 But in reality, life is busy, and kids are messy. 

Depending on how long your home is on the market, you may find it impossible to keep your home perfectly clean and tidy.

Instead of going crazy trying to keep your kids from touching anything and spending every waking moment cleaning the trail behind them, let’s focus on the few details that matter most when showing your house.

What’s That Smell?

One of the first things that you notice when you enter a room is the smell.

Unfortunately, because you live in your home every day, you may have become accustomed to a smell in your house that others would find off-putting.

You can combat this phenomenon by just simply seeking out smells in your house. When you are aware and looking for odor, you are more likely to notice it. 

Be sure to check obvious places of odor like trash cans, garbage disposals, and toilet areas.

 When preparing for a showing, take the extra step to light a candle, turn on the diffuser, or simmer some citrus and cinnamon on the stovetop.

According to Reader’s Digest, the right smell can immediately trigger a sense of happiness, which is exactly what you want your prospective buyers to feel in your home.

No Crumbs Left Behind

An easily overlooked detail by a homeowner that is an immediate turnoff to a buyer is a dirty countertop.

In addition to keeping your counters clear of clutter, it’s important to keep them sparkling clean. 

Whether it’s the remnants of the toast you made for breakfast, or it’s a week-old cereal that your toddler has secretly shoved behind the banana stand, you need to take the time to thoroughly wipe down every counter and surface. 

Get in the habit of wiping off your kitchen counters after every meal and snack.

You can leave cleaners in each room so that you can quickly wipe off bathroom counters or tabletops every time you leave.

Take the 60 seconds to wipe down surfaces as you pass them, and your potential buyers won’t be put off by mystery crumbs and debris.

Let There Be Light

Have you ever noticed that scary movies seem to always be set in dark lighting? Or that when you see commercials for beautiful homes and vacations, sunlight is always pouring in?

Lighting sets the mood of a space. 

When showing your home, you want to highlight the beauty of your home and create a sense of joy and peace.

Natural light is the best choice as it invokes warmth and happiness, so open up your curtains and blinds to let the light shine in.

HomeLight points out that lighting on the outside of your home is also important.

Make sure that your exterior is well-lit and the bulbs are new and bright.

Fake It 'Till You Make It

Lastly, fake it ‘till you make it. Even if your home isn’t tidy all day, you need to make it look as though it is.

If you have young kids that are constantly leaving toys all over, consider keeping an empty bin in each room.

When you have a last-minute showing, you can quickly gather all clutter into the bin and store it neatly in the garage.

 If laundry is your nemesis and your baskets are caught overflowing when a showing is minutes away, cleverly store that laundry in empty suitcases before you leave (just don’t forget about them!).


The ultimate goal is to keep your home clean and spotless, but with these tips, you will be able to focus on the details that matter most when the time comes to show your home.

By checking for odors, wiping the countertops, opening the blinds, and hiding away the clutter, you will sell your home in no time!


About the Author: Danny Knight
Danny is a dad living in Philadelphia. He enjoys DIY projects almost as much as raising his two children. He is the co-creator of, which offers tips for home improvement projects.

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