Once your home goes on the market, real estate agents may call and want to show your home to buyers at any time, day or night. Keeping your home clean and ready to show can be challenging, especially if you have children and pets.
Everyone gets their baskets and cleans up clutter. Check for hazards, like toys left on the floor or things left on the stairs. Make sure all toys, including bicycles, are put away.
Put pets in daycare, sleep crates, or take them with you. In the listing instructions, there should be a warning if there is a big dog on the premises. Buyers with allergies will also appreciate knowing in advance if you have pets.
Turn on the lights and open the drapes so buyers can see well.
Give the buyer privacy. The buyer cannot come to your home without being accompanied by an agent. The buyer can assess your home more honestly without presence and you can avoid misunderstandings that could arise if the buyer asked you a bunch of questions during the showing.
Make sure you stay in touch with your agent and let them know if you will be traveling or otherwise unavailable. When an offer or counteroffer is received, your agent will want to communicate that to you right away and get it to you for review. Time is of the essence when responding to buyers and their agents during this period. Keep in mind your agent is obligated to send every offer to you, even if it is one you would never consider accepting.
In most sales, the buyer will obtain a general home inspection, and perhaps other types of inspections. Often home inspections will reveal minor things that need fixed. It's very rare for a home inspector not to call anything to the attention of the buyer related to the house. Sometimes, there will even be latent (hidden or non-obvious) defects uncovered that you might not even have realized existed. The buyer will send an inspection notice that we will need to respond to, and there will often be things that need to be repaired. Don't be offended by this, it is a normal part of the process.
Inspection issues can be dealt with in multiple ways, including repairs paid for by the seller or the buyer, repairs that might be covered under insurance or warranty, credits given to the buyer for the cost of the repair, or by termination of the contract if the buyer and seller are unable to resolve issues raised by the inspection. Keep in mind, the next person to be interested in buying the property is also likely to get a home inspection so serious inspection issues cannot avoid being addressed in some manner if you want to sell the home.