How to Get Your House Realtor Ready in 20 Minutes Flat

I’ve shared my favorite tips and strategies for Staging a House to Sell here before, but what’s an exhausted mom to do when she’s rocking a thrown-out back, an especially messy house, and a Realtor calls first thing in the morning because she’s “in the area and wants to show your house right now”?

#1) Say yes. Just do it. This is why you have a big ugly sign in your yard. Of course you’d prefer a few hours notice, but put your big girl panties on and make it happen.

Note the time my phone rang informing me of the showing vs. the time logged when I texted from down the street and around the block saying we were gone.

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note the time my phone rang…

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#2) Forget your shower, or looking decent, consider this an opportunity to get an extra workout in. Pound the remaining bit of coffee from your mug and have your oldest child buckle the toddler into his car-seat (remember your tweaked back), unless you prefer doing every bit of cleaning four times over.

#3) Re-home the laundry you were just painstakingly ignoring folding on the couch BACK into the dryer.

#4) Shove mountain of soggy snow-gear from children’s winter wonderland morning adventures into dryer right on top of clean clothes.

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this morning, about an hour before the showing

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#5) Menagerie of rouge toys scattered about the living room? You guessed it: Into the dryer.

#6) Scoop up the colossal stack of Christmas greetings you’ve spent the morning hand-addressing (thereby neglecting all regular cleaning and rendering the house especially messy), relocate to passenger seat of crusty minivan.

#7) Send big kids to their room to make beds & pick up toys, bribe them with Starbucks, Taco Bell, or whatever nasty confection will inspire their Grade A tidying. Sidenote: My kids know the difference between merely making beds, and Making Beds for a showing.

#8) Sweep the kitchen of breakfast dishes and half-drunk post-snow-play hot cocoa mugs, start dishwasher, windex counters, turn tea kettle on low and add a few generous drops of essential oil to water.

#9) Send kids to car and start at furthest room from the garage, walking sprinting room by room double check everything and flip on the lights. Grab guinea pig cage on the way out and load up in the car, slipping on flip-flops despite the blanket of snow outside.


#10) Exit stage left. Praise God that your house is being shown and pray this is THE buyer. Pay up on bribe and finish Christmas cards in the car.


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