In a perfect world, you’d have at least 24-hours notice before a house showing. This allows you to have plenty of time to make your house as presentable as possible—many homeowners prefer to clean before a showing so that their house looks as appealing as possible to the buyer.
Sometimes, however, you may not be given advanced notice. While most realtors prefer to give plenty of notice, sometimes they might have a potential buyer that requests a same-day showing.
If this happens to you, you’re going to find yourself quickly scrambling to make your house presentable. You’re going to need to be strategic about what areas you choose to clean and what areas you leave alone.
One area you’ll want to pay attention to is your kitchen. Kitchens are a selling point for some buyers and you want yours to look as nice as possible.
Here are six tips to make your kitchen as clean as possible when you’re in a rush.
Wipe down appliances and counters
Potential buyers are going to be especially interested to see what type of appliances come with the house and what material your countertops are made of. Take the time to wipe the fingerprint smudges off your stainless steel fridge or clean that sticky spot off of your granite counters.
Wiping down your appliances and countertops shouldn’t take long, especially if you routinely clean your kitchen. Only worry about cleaning the outside of your appliances. A damp, soapy cloth should be sufficient for a quick clean.
Hide dirty dishes
If you store your dirty dishes in the kitchen sink until you have time to put them in the dishwasher, find somewhere else to put them for the showing. Either put them in the dishwasher or hide them under your sink. Potential buyers may want to test out the faucets or check out your water pressure.
Also, try not to run your dishwasher during the showing. There is a chance that potential homeowners might want to look inside of it to see the condition.
Vacuum the floor
While you might not have time to mop your floor before an unexpected showing, you should at least take the time to vacuum the floor. This will help remove any crumbs or debris. No potential buyer wants to walk through your kitchen and accidentally step on a piece of cereal.
If you don’t want to lug out your main vacuum before every showing, consider getting a lightweight electric broom, such as this model. Electric brooms are easy to manipulate and are great for picking up dirt, hair, and other debris.
Get rid of any odors
If you’ve recently cooked something that left a lingering scent, find a way to cover up the odor. Even if you don’t mind the smell of last night’s fried chicken, it could be an unpleasant scent to the potential buyer.
Try to replace strong odors with a more pleasant smell, such as citrus, vanilla, or a flowery scent. Avoid spraying air freshener right before the showing (they might assume you’re trying to cover up something other than a cooking odor). Lightly-scented candles often help cover up smells without being overwhelming.
Put away any clutter
If you casually toss bills onto your kitchen counters or store your cereal on top of your fridge, put them away before the showing. Potential buyers want to envision themselves in your home—they don’t want to see your electric bill cluttering up the counters.
Even if you only have time to shove clutter inside a closet or cabinet, it is still better than leaving it out in the open. If you have a lot of clutter, consider getting rid of some of it.
Freshen up the decor
While decor isn’t an absolute must, featuring some light decor such as a vase of flowers can be a nice touch. It can help make your kitchen seem more homey and welcoming.
Adding decor shouldn’t be a top priority when you’re trying to quickly clean a kitchen before a showing. If you only have a limited amount of time to clean your kitchen (and the rest of your house!), you may not have time to find the perfect boutique of flowers.
If you’re trying to quickly clean your kitchen before a showing, focus on making it look presentable at the surface level. Dirty dishes under the sink or a dusty ceiling fan might not look great, but it is definitely better than having leftover tomato sauce smeared across your counters.