Keeping Your House for Sale Ready to Show While You Still Live in it
Even when you opt to show your home by appointment only, when your house is for sale, it needs to be ready to show at almost a moment’s notice. Keeping your house clean, staged and ready for potential buyers can be stressful. Here are some tips to make keeping your house ready to show while you still live there a breeze.
- Do a big cleanup before your home goes on the market. Prior to listing your home, do a major cleaning and decluttering. Use this opportunity to purge your home of items you don’t really use. Seasonal items like holiday decorations can be packed away and stored. This will give you a jumpstart on packing when it’s time to make the move. Throw away broken items and sell or donate things you just haven’t used in a year or more. Make your house a neutral ground so that your buyers can envision themselves living in your home. This means pack away personal items like family photos and knick-knacks.
- Organize the remaining items in your home. If you have a place to store everything that you haven’t packed up, sold, donated or trashed, it will be much easier to do a rushed tidy-up of your house when prospective buyers are on their way. Use attractive baskets, shelves and hooks to organize items. Pinterest has lots of great organization and home staging ideas.
- Set weekly chores and divide and conquer. Have a list of weekly cleaning duties and split them up amongst household members. Get the kids involved, too, so cleaning will be less stressful for you and they will have a sense of pride in accomplishing something. Get your house to a base level of clean each week, preferably before the weekend when buyer traffic is usually higher.
- Have a speed cleaning routine down. When an agent calls and says, “We want to show your home in 45 minutes,” have a game plan. Have the kids do a quick toy roundup. Make sure coats are hung up, there are no dishes in the sink and things look generally tidy. Turn on all the lights and open draperies (if it’s daytime) to let some natural light in. If you have time, make a quick pass with the vacuum in the main living areas. Have a place where you and your family can go hang out for a while as buyers view your home. Go to a nearby park, or window shop at a local store so that buyers can explore your home without feeling the pressure of the homeowners looking in on them.
- Clean as you go. When you’re cooking dinner, wash dishes and wipe counters as you go along. Immediately after your dryer dings, take out the clean clothing, fold it and put it away. As kids pull papers out of backpacks, choose one to go on the fridge, file some and recycle the rest. This avoids having clutter pile up that could interfere with your quick cleanup plan.
There are many things to take care of when you’re going to sell your house. We at the Chris Colgan Real Estate Team want to make it as easy as possible. Have questions? Feel free to contact us.
Chris Colgan is the CEO and Team Leader of the Chris Colgan Real Estate Team. Chris was born and raised in Gainesville, Virginia and has been in real estate for 10 years. He is a member of the Re/Max Hall of Fame and is in the top 25 for sales in the state of Virginia out of all Re/Max agents. He has been recognized as one of the United States’ and Canada’s Top 500 Marketing Experts by the National Association of Expert Advisors.