Your Realtor calls to say a buyer wants to arrange a showing. You dare not say no.

Are you ready?  if not here is a home showing check list to help you have your house tip top shape for showings.

Remove clutter. Clear off counters and pack unnecessary decorative items. Put extra furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season items. Don’t forget to clean out your garage, too.

Let it shine. Cleaning windows and screens will help bring more light into your home. Replace burnt bulbs, and consider higher wattage in low-light areas. Clean the walls or brush on a fresh coat of bright, neutral paint. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones and show off your view.

Keep it clean. A deep clean before listing your home will make upkeep easier and also make those picky buyers happy. Consider

 hiring a cleaning service to help.

Maximize comfort. In summer, shut A/C vents on the first floor so more air will get upstairs. Reverse the process in winter and make sure the house is warm.

Perform a smell test. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate odors. Open the windows to air out the house. Consider potpourri or scented candles and diffusers. For quick fixes in the kitchen, cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract or orange juice can instantly make the fridge a nicer-smelling place. Boil lemon juice in your microwave, then add it to your dishwasher to eliminate odors. You can also run lemon rinds through the garbage disposal for a similar effect.

Take care of minor repairs. Sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.  Staying top of these small items will pay dividends.

Tidy up outdoors. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. in the winter make sure to keep the driveway and walks shovelled.  A pot of bright flowers near the entryway adds a nice touch.

Set the scene. A bright afghan or new accent pillows easily jazz up a dull room. Pretty dishes or a simple centerpiece on the tables can help buyers picture themselves living there.  If you have a fireplace, lay fresh logs or a basket of flowers there.

Make the bath luxurious. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight, along with old towels and toothbrushes. Add a new shower curtain and fancy guest soaps.

Send the pets to the neighbors. If that’s not possible, crate or confine them to one room, and let the real estate practitioner know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.  Pets are not the best selling feature even though they are such great companions.

Lock up valuables and medication. Agents can’t watch everyone all the time and it’s sad to say not all people are honest and upstanding.

Leave the house. It can be awkward for the buyers and he Realtors if you are home at the time of a showing. Make sure to leave about 20- minutes before a showing.