You have decided it is time to move and put your house on the market. You have made a big decision, congratulations! When the for-sale sign is placed on your lawn, dozens of interested buyers and real estate agents will be trudging in and out of your entire house. You will have unfamiliar people examining every nook and cranny of your home.
Selling your home is a huge financial undertaking, so you will want to give your home the best chance to sell for the maximum price….while you still comfortably reside there.
Follow these steps to maintain a livable home and still sell it at the highest possible price.
Start Packing Now
As of right now, you may only have 3-4 months until the moving truck arrives and it is time to move. Therefore you need to remember that you are not going to need all of the decorative furniture or little knick-knack items that are currently filling your rooms and closets over the next few months. So if it is October and you lviein Maryland or Pennsylvania, you won’t need your spring and summer clothes; pack them up. The secret to getting a house clutter-free is to have the mindset of removing all the things you can live without while your home is on the market (it’s only a temporary). With that in mind…….
Keep it, Store it, Toss it or Donate it!
Clutter can eat away equity and kill potential deals. The concept of less is more – removing clutter – is at the heart of preparing to sell a home because space is an important commodity. Showing that you have a little extra breathing room and a sense of expansiveness in your home gives off the feel of luxurious, calming and uplifting. As obvious as this seems, buyers will be more attracted to a home that feels like it has extra space, which is why removing unnecessary clutter from your home is essential when preparing for an upcoming move.
After you have de-cluttered your home, it is time to start cleaning. Say farewell to all the cobwebs, dust, grime, rust, mildew and carpet stains. The windows, glass and mirrors must sparkle. The sinks and toilets should look ‘five-star hotel perfect.’ Most people dread cleaning, but the payoff is worth it in the end.
Maintain your Privacy and Safety
Believe it or not, people are nosy and may look through your drawers, closets, medicine cabinets, etc… at your open house or showing. Don’t keep anything in the house that you do not want other people to see; personal documents and valuables. Don’t leave mail sitting around, lock up all checks, credit cards or any other personal information. Be extra cautious about anything of monetary or sentimental value. Although this type of behavior is rare, it is better to be safe than sorry in this case,
Send your Pets on a Holiday
Animals are a wonderful addition to any household; however they may not be the best addition to an open house or listing. Therefore you should plan accordingly, ask friends and family to take your pet(s) for the day or at least a few hours, while the house is being shown.
Prep Like a Pro
When you are living in a house that is on the market, you need to be prepared to “Show Prep” you home for each showing. Even though your real estate agent is constantly working hard for you, they are busy and often arrive at the same time of the potential buyers. This means they may not have the opportunity or time to prep the house. When those buyers arrive, your house must be ready to go. Every light set perfectly, the doors and windows open if weather permits and the temperature exactly right.
Involve Your Kids in the Process
If you have children, you most likely have a lot of toys laying around to entertain them. And of course, your kids need to be able to play and continue on with their everyday lives. So how do you get the house looking perfect for every showing? Involve your kids. Make the process a game and get them to participate. Let them understand that it’s time to put the house “on show” and you all need to set the stage together. Have them pick up their favorite toy and stuffed animal to showcase in a perfect spot each time for the show, and put the rest of the toys away. You will be surprised how cooperative kids are and how much fun they have when you announce its “Show Time!”
Get it Ready and Get Out
Once you have gone through the checklist and completed everything that needs to be done before each showing, it is time to get out! You want the potential buyers to feel that this could be their future home. After you have worked so hard to create the perfect atmosphere for their experience, the last thing you want to do is ruin it by hanging around. The real estate agents and the potential buyers need to be able to speak openly and honestly with one another, and if you are present, this most likely won’t occur.
Final Panic – “I can’t live like this!”
Don’t let the pressure of maintaining a clean house overwhelm you. You will be concerned that you won’t be able to keep your house sparkling clean every day. But don’t worry, if you truly dress up your home for sale the process of prepping will be easy. Since your things are packed and organized, and your down to the essential basics, moving will be a easy-breezy.