You are getting ready to sell your home…what are some things you need to think of in order to put your best foot forward? Even in a seller’s market, you want to make sure that you are not turning off any potential home buyers. There are several things that are big no-nos that turn buyers off immediately upon entering a house and leave a bad impression in their mind.

Bidding wars can and do still happen for homes, and what seller wouldn’t want to be in this position? When your house is on the market and you are looking to get top dollar and potentially into a bidding war situation, your home must be in a convenient location for that buyer and show in a museum-like quality. You can’t change your location, but you can change how well it shows. It takes daily discipline to keep your house show ready, but it will pay off (and remember, it is only for a short period of time).

Two of the biggest turn offs for buyers are bad smells and clutter. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are ready to show your house:


Pets –

  • Nobody wants to see a dirty kitty litter box or random dog bones lying around the house

  • Get rid of lingering pet odors (clean carpets and upholstery, air out your home, etc)

  • Pets should be out of the house or at the very least crated or confined to one area during showings (if possible, let them stay with family or friends or in a pet hotel while your home is on the market)

Cooking –

  • Strong smells from cooking tend to linger. Things such as bacon, onions, garlic and other strong spices are the biggest culprits

  • Leave a window open slightly when cooking

  • Spray a neutralizing spray to help eliminate the odors

Candles and incense –

  • Not everyone likes the same scents, or they may have sensitive allergies. It is best to not burn candles or incense when you are selling your home. Different scents can turn people off and it is best to just steer clear.

Cigarettes –

  • For many people, the smell of cigarette smoke throughout a home is a deal breaker.

  • For smokers, you may need to paint the entire house and get all the carpets cleaned or replaced. It all depends on the severity of the smell. While your home is on the market, limit any smoking to outdoors and pick up all discarded cigarette butts.

    • Again, declutter counter tops

    • Put away make-up, perfumes, grooming items, toothbrushes, etc

    • Ensure there is no hair in the sink or tub/shower drains

    • Clean up the mirror for smudges

    • Wipe off the counter tops, in the sink, and the tub/shower – you don’t want people seeing smears of toothpaste or soap scum

    • Ensure the toilet lid is down (and that it has been flushed!)


Remove some personal items and paint the rooms in neutral colors

Toys –

  • Not all potential buyers will be parents so ensure that toys are put away (neatly) in closets or cabinets

Babies –

  • If you have a baby, make sure that there are no dirty diapers anywhere and that the smell isn’t noticeable either

  • Clean bottles and feeding supplies, including the breast pump, and store them in a cabinet

  • Having a baby is a wonderful thing, but you must prepare for any home buyers that come your way. Having these items put away will make your home show better to the masses

Dishes –

  • Ensure that there are no dirty (or even clean) dishes in the sink or on the counters. Put them in their proper place

Countertops –

  • Declutter the counter tops. Put away small appliances and anything else you seldom use.

  • Having your counter tops clean and clear will make the space appear larger and allow people to visualize their stuff in the space

Bathrooms –