When selling your home you love to get that call from your agent saying a potential buyer wants to see it. However, sometimes that call comes saying they’d like to come over ASAP! You never want to miss an opportunity for a sale, so it’s time for the mad dash to every room in your house to make sure it’s ready for your important visitors.  You’re worried because you know that your kids’ rooms look like a tornado rolled through, your bathrooms could use a good scrub, and there is stuff littering the countertops. As realtors we’ve shown some dirty doozies that we knew were great houses underneath all the clutter, but it was tough for buyers to see the good behind the grime.

We know that’s not the impression you want to give your potential buyers, so don’t fret friends! Even though you don’t have time to clean every nook and cranny, we know what to do to make it look presentable in a hurry. It’s time for all hands on deck, folks. Get the whole family involved and check off these quick cleaning items to ensure a great showing.

Clear counters

Remove everything from your counters except for appliances and maybe a decorative bowl of fruit. The kitchen is a key space for a sale and you want it to shine. This goes for bathrooms as well. Put curling irons, makeup, and shaving cream back where they belong before buyers arrive. Not only does de-cluttering your countertops make them look more appealing, but it makes them look bigger too.


You’ve heard this time and time again from Realtors, but put away any family photos or personal items. Ideally, you put these things in storage as soon as you put your home on the market. If not, at least store them away for each showing. Personal touches make the home yours and when selling you want buyers to envision this home as their own.

An extra little tip: when selling your home, keep a basket handy for these specific occasions so that you can quickly place everything- mail, homework, your kids’ artwork-into it at a moments notice.

Speed clean bathrooms

While you’re removing bathroom counter clutter, quickly pass over faucets and sinks with a sponge and some disinfectant and Swiffer over the floors. And don’t forget to scrub the toilet! A dirty bathroom will make a buyer run the other way and never look back.

Hide clutter under the bed

If you’re really in a rush, stash unsightly items under the bed. A lot of sellers tend to hide things they need to quickly put away in closets, but this is a big no-no. Buyers are absolutely going to check out the closet space in your home and the more you put in there the smaller they will look. Storage is a big time factor for a lot of buyers, so take it from us and use a spot no one is likely to look. Checking underneath the furniture is something that buyers seldom do. This is especially helpful in kids’ rooms!

Move pet paraphernalia

In the last minute showing scenario you probably won’t have time to take your dog or cat to the kennel, but do your best to eliminate as many signs of your pet as possible. Move food bowls, toys, and pet beds out of sight (under the bed, maybe) and quickly hand-vac any visible animal hair from floors and couch cushions. Also, try to either take your pet with you or to a friend or family member’s house during the visit. Some buyers may be allergic or even scared of them, which means the showing will be cut short and you want them to stick around long enough to see how amazing your house is.

Bring the light in

Dimly lit homes tend to feel smaller and, frankly, a little depressing. One thing that really draws buyers to a space is how much light floods in from outdoors. Natural light is something that buyers specifically ask for, so showing it off is a must. Take a few minutes to open drapes and shades to let in the light. Doing this will also let buyers in on the view your home has of the outdoors. Richmond homes certainly aren’t lacking in that area, so show off those outdoor assets.

If it’s dark outside during a showing, turn on every light in the house. Buyers love a well-lit home to be welcomed into. It just gives off a good vibe.

Straighten up

Faster than a speeding bullet, go through the living room and dining room to push in chairs, stack books, and wipe tables down with cleaner. Keep your eye out for artwork or anything else that need straightening.

Freshen the air

Your home could look like a million bucks, but all that de-cluttering and cleaning will be useless if you home has any bad odors. If you have pets or you just cooked salmon for dinner, do yourself a favor and open the windows and turn on vents for a few minutes. If you don’t smell anything, it may be because it’s your house and you’ve gotten used to it. It’s like those Febreze commercials where they say you’ve gone noseblind. Err on the side of caution and spray a mild air freshener or light a scented candle so that good smells are all that’s left.