Keep your Home Looking Good for Showings: Tips from a Portland Stager


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When our Portland home staging company works with sellers and Realtors, we give them Tips to keep the house looking great for the Open House & showings. Before the house goes on the market, sellers are usually advised to clean their home like there’s no tomorrow, remove excess furniture to create a great traffic flow, pack away all the personal photos, collectibles & “stuff” that everyone accumulates, clean up the yard, etc.

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But how to KEEP the house looking ready for a showing with short notice?

Whether the sellers did the staging themselves or had a staging consultation with a professional stager, having a handy “check list” can help a busy household remember what to do – so that potential buyers fall in love with your home and want to move right in!

Open all window coverings to let in the light & allow buyers to see the views; Turn on lights & lamps in each room (even during the day)

To keep your home smelling fresh, use one of these safe products on carpets, drapes, & upholstered furniture: Pure Citrus spray or Pure Ayre spray (both are free of chemicals and are safe for people & pets). Air out the house often and don’t allow anyone to smoke inside.

Dealing with pets in your For Sale homeIf you have pets, keep their food & water dishes out of sight; remove the cat litter box to the garage (or outside) for showings. It’s best to take pets out of the house and yard during showings since some buyers may be allergic, afraid, or not fond of pets

Ensure that the kitchen & bathrooms are kept sparkling clean

Kitchen counters should have just a few items (a bowl of fresh fruit, plants, a pretty cookbook on a stand; limit small appliances to 1 or 2).

Kitchen Trash should be removed daily and hidden away out of sight

Dining tables should be staged with a simple centerpiece (plant or flowers) stage your house, make your bed! 

Make beds daily, standing up all the pillows for a hotel look

Keep the “good” towels folded on towel bars (put your wet towels in the dryer as you leave the house)

Make sure that toilet seat lids are always down

Keep bathroom toiletries stored out of sight; wastebaskets & cleaning supplies should be out of sight, too

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Replace burned-out light bulbs throughout the house & yard

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For safety, remove family photos & items with a family member’s name; hide bills, bank statements, mail; hide valuables, prescription medicines, & firearms

The walkway to the front door should be swept & tidy; colorful pots of flowers are a welcoming touch; a new doormat makes a great first impression

Follow these tips and before you know it, your home will sport this sign:

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