Tips for Living in a For-Sale Home
One of the most challenging aspects of selling your home can be keeping it “show ready” while you’re still living in it. Let’s face it, our lives don’t fall in the lines of a cookie cutter, photoshoot-ready mold. Our day-to-day habits are often messy, especially when you throw kids and pets in the mix. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful tips to keep your for-sale home show ready no matter what life throws your way:
- Pack, Pack, Pack – Whether you know where your next move is going to take you or not, it’s important to pack and store most of your personal things as soon as you list your home and begin staging. We recommend starting with all non-essential items like those rarely used appliances, off-season clothing, family decorations, etc. Getting rid of clutter is one of the most important steps you should take when prepping your home for showings. To make it easier on yourself, consider renting a storage unit to safely house and organize all of your belongings while your home is on the market.
- Only Keep the Essentials – Only keep what you and your family are actually using in the house. This goes for children’s toys, books, movies, and anything else that you don’t absolutely need to get through your daily activities. Remember, prospective buyers are going to look through everything, all of those nooks and crannies as well as all of those storage spaces. The last thing they or you are going to want is them finding trash bags of old clothes and toiletries hidden away in cabinets.
- Clean as You Go – Nothing turns prospective buyers away like a dirty, smelly home. So, don’t let messes pile up. Instead, wash dishes as soon as you’re done using them, don’t let laundry pile up, and keep all of your cleaning supplies readily available for those unexpected spills, stains, and odors.
- Make Plans for Pets – If you have pets, be sure to plan ahead for their sake as well as your guests’. During showings, you should have a safe place outside of the house for them. Take them on a nice, long walk, go to the park for a couple of hours, or let them stay with friends. This is another clean as you go responsibility, as you’ll want to make sure that there are no signs of pets (or their fur, waste or other odors) present during a showing. And, don’t forget to put away all of those pet toys, litter boxes, and other accessories.
- Do a Walk-Through Yourself – Before scheduled showings, do a quick walk-through of both the inside and outside of your house just as prospective buyers would. Check to make sure everything is in order. This includes making sure that all personal belongings like mail and valuables are safely out of sight, and don’t forget to turn off your computer screen.
- Do a Final Clean – Whether you have scheduled visitations or last-minute drop-ins, before opening your home to guests, do a quick, final sweep through. Wipe down bathrooms and kitchen counters, sweep or vacuum the floors, take out the trash, make the beds, fluff all pillows, turn on all of the lights, and open the window shades to show off your home in the best possible light.
It can be challenging to live in your home while it’s on the market. But, it is certainly doable. You just need to remember to go into it with the right attitude and make the extra effort to keep your home sparkling at all times so that you can make a quick and profitable sale.