Selling your home can come with a few headaches. One of the not-so-fun parts of selling is having to keep your house prepared for guests at a moment’s notice. It is not uncommon for eager home buyers to want to check out the property on the same day that they contact you or your agent. While it is always preferable to have your home in tip-top shape for guests, it is especially important to have it presentation-ready for potential buyers. We outlined a few tips and tricks to make your house guest-ready in a matter of minutes!

  • Cleanliness goes a long way

The most important thing that you can do to help your home look its best is keeping it clean. While this might not be a shocking or surprising tip, it’s important nonetheless! We know that kids, pets, and life can turn a room from tidy to messy in under an hour, but there are a few major points that you can tackle to minimize the damage.

Making sure that there are no dishes piled in the sink is a great first step. An empty sink and clear counters will help hopeful home buyers visualize what their kitchen would look like. And in the living room, decorate the couch with a few throw pillows and possibly a blanket folded over the back. This can help the room look inviting! In the bathroom make sure there is no hair in the sink, the shower curtain and toilet seat are closed and there are clean towels folded on the towel rack.

  • It just has to look organized

If you aren’t a naturally organized person, don’t worry! Colorful bins, baskets, cabinets and shelves can all do a great job at hiding messes. Keep a few large decorative bins or baskets strategically placed around the house. When guests need to come over at the drop of a hat, you’ll have an easy place to stash toys, clothes, blankets, and any other miscellaneous items.

If you’re in the middle of planning a move while you’re selling, there’s a chance that you’ll have moving boxes around your home as well. If possible, try to put them in a closet, garage, or other storage space before guests arrive. If you don’t have the time or space to store them, make sure that they are placed in a corner and out of the main footpaths of the home so that guests can easily navigate and tour.

  • Keep the decor as neutral as possible

When buyers are looking for a house to make their own, they want to visualize their own life and future there. Try not to keep too many personal pictures out, and make the home decor as neutral as possible.

While you may love looking at your coin collection, and bright strands of twinkle lights every day, others might not. It’s best to keep your decor at it’s most basic state when showing the house to potential buyers so they can imagine what it will look like with their own decor style.

  • Scent is just as important as sight

Especially if you have pets, it is important to be aware of any scents that are coming from your home – and to make sure they are pleasant. Before house hunters come by, be sure to clean out the litter box, remove any pet hair from furniture, and spray surfaces with a cleaner that has a light, fresh scent. It may also be a good idea to ask a neighbor to pet-sit while you have people touring the house.

If you want to quickly affect the aroma of your home, try using a wax melt, or go with the tried-and-true strategy of baking fresh cookies. Some people prefer to set out a bowl of lemons or oranges to add a fresh and natural scent to the room!

  • Don’t underestimate the power of good lighting!

Another important thing you can do to make your home look its best, is to make sure it is well-lit! If possible encourage buyers to come by during the day. If your visitors are coming during the day, open all of the curtains to let in natural light and brighten the look of your home. If your visitors are coming in the evening, make sure all of the lights are on in your home, and none of the rooms look dim or dark.