You’re having a surprise house showing in an hour (!), and the house—frankly, it could use work. You don’t have much time, so try these tips on for size:

  • Pick up. A key element of staging your house is creating order. Make your house look neat, and people will intrinsically remember it more fondly (their house is probably messy). 
  • Turn on lights. Another easy move—turn on all the lights in every room where people are likely to walk (almost all of them). That makes every room seem more inviting and gives your place a livelier feel.
  • Dust. Grab a feather duster or other quick-clean tool and go over the tabletops, chairs, counters, cabinets and (if you can) the blinds. Dust has a way of making things seem less impressive than they are, so don’t let it.
  • Display flowers. Before your visitors arrive, quick: Run to the store, buy a big bouquet of flowers and split it—one vase for the living room and the other for the kitchen. Flowers always, always brighten up a room, and they lend an air of thoughtfulness—sophistication, even—to your home.

Yes, last-minute showings are a pain, but a few simple things can add a lot to your visitors’ experience, and maybe your home-selling experience, too!