The Trader Joe’s Staples That Real Estate Agents Buy Before Showings

published Sep 4, 2022
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Canvas bag filled with Trader Joe's groceries on countertop.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

The housing market is pretty volatile right now — so with that in mind, it’s important to make sure your home looks as best as it possibly can for showings, photo shoots, and open houses. You want to draw buyers to your house and make them feel like it’s fresh and fun, as well as easy to imagine as their own space. But between the costs of staging, food, and decorations, prepping for that all-important viewing can be pretty costly. Hopefully your agent is savvy and knows how to save money on the event — a process that can start by getting these three things from Trader Joe’s to save cash.

Credit: Trader Joe's


For the team at Coldwell Banker Warburg, Trader Joe’s flowers are a staple item for house showings. They’re inexpensive and really brighten up a home.

“​​Trader Joe’s orchids are a good value, and are always welcome on a bathroom vanity, entrance hall console, or living room coffee table,” says broker Gerard Splendore. “If the homeowner over-waters them, or they do not flourish, they can be replaced without a huge expense.”

Plus, your agent can embrace seasonality to make your home look more appealing. All it takes is the right selection.

“Their flowers are fresh and reasonably priced,” says agent Mary Hall Mayer. “With their wide selection, I can always find what’s appropriate to the season and the apartment’s decor.” Some of her favorite flowers to grab from the store include tulips, hydrangeas, roses, peonies, and freesias.

Credit: Shutterstock


Forget messy snacks and drinks that will get crumbs everywhere. Instead, Hall Mayer picks up some fruit for decor before photo shoots (and that can also be used to feed people who come to tour your home). Her go-tos are lemons, limes, avocados, apples, and oranges. Of course, you’re not limited to those. Some great low-mess options for a house showing also include bananas, vegetable platters, infused water, and crumb-free finger foods.

Credit: left: Sarah Crowley | right: Joe Lingeman

Greeting Cards

Picking up greeting cards at Trader Joe’s for house showings may seem a little odd. And truthfully, it benefits your agent more than it benefits you. Splendore uses them to say thanks to people that come to look at your home — and he also grabs some “welcome home” cards for those who are just moving in. They’re “a bargain at 99 cents,” he says. Sounds like a tip we can all use to celebrate our loved ones.