Selling your home isn’t always a fun or easy process. People are constantly in and out of your home can feel overwhelming. So besides having an awesome realtor to take some of the stress off, here are 6 tips to survive living in your for-sale home.
Tip #1 Declutter
The best tip is to declutter your home. Since you are moving, it would be best to invest in a storage unit. Then start putting boxes of items away that you won’t need. For example, in January, I would pack up all the Christmas items and put them away in storage. You aren’t going to need those items for another year so might as well put them in storage. If it’s spring, your best bet would be to put away the heavy winter coats and any extra blankets. Take inventory of your home. Then see what else you can just live without for a few months or at least be able to store in a storage unit for the time being. Find a way to make the clutter disappear so that you aren’t caught off guard when people come over to view your home. Nothing is worse than someone wanting to view your home and the house is full of stuff!
Tip #2 Fragrance
Buyers will notice if there are strange odors throughout your house, even your refrigerator! Yes, the buyers will open up the fridge, oven, and microwave. So therefore you want to make sure your house smells inviting. Baking cookies right before a showing helps draws buyers into the home for an open house. We always bake cookies during an open house. Not a baker? There are a lot of store bought fragrances that will help your home smell delectable. During the fall, pumpkin spice or apple spice would be a great scent! There are also home based businesses out there that sell essential oils, candles, and wax that can help your home smell inviting. Just be sure not to have candles lit while you are not home!
Tip #3 Clean Machine
Does the thought of cleaning your toilet make you gag? Cleaning the carpets sounds like a drag? Steam cleaning the carpets seem too much of a daunting task? Well, now is the time to make sure that you have your home squeaky clean! Dirty houses tend to turn off buyers. It can also cost you anywhere up to $10,000 off your list price to get the buyer into your home. So spend a weekend of deep cleaning your whole home. Then continue staying on top of it throughout the process. It is worth saving that up to $10,000 I would encourage you to clean. I know cleaning can just be a daunting task. This is especially true after a long day at work and helping with the kids' homework. But trust me, as a realtor, it’s really important.
Tip #4 Pick Up Those Toys!
If you have children (both small and big kids) make sure their toys are picked up and put away. Going back to the decluttering from Tip #1 no buyer would want to step on Legos right? So pack up some toys, donate, store, or sell them. This goes back to having a storage unit. Has your 2 year old taken over your home? It is time to take it back! Pick up any extra items laying around and store them, but be sure not to store your items in the closet. Having too many items in the closet is not a good idea. Because, yes, you guessed it! Buyers look in the closets and will be opening them.
Tip #5 Fido Goes on Vacation
We love dogs a lot! But while you are selling a home, a dog can be in the way. So if you are able to send your dog/cat/animal over to a day care program (if you work in the daytime) or send them to a family member’s home would be a great idea! Pets give off an odor including cat litter boxes. This goes back to Tip #2 and trying to keep the odors away while your home is for sale. You will either need to have a good air freshener or send your beloved family member to stay with someone close by. Now is not the best time to get a puppy. Puppies are not yet potty trained and if they have an accident on your carpet it can be very tough to get the stain/odor out. This again goes back to Tip #2 and even Tip #3 of keeping your house in the best tip top shape.
Tip #6 Privacy Does Matter
This tip is between Tip #1 and #3 of decluttering and cleaning. It needed its own category because of the importance. If you have valuables or privacy information such as social security numbers, birth certificates, and bank account information. You need to either secure them in a safe/fireproof box or store them outside of the home. There are people who will go through anything and unfortunately a lot of dishonest individuals so this is an important step. If you do not have a family member close by, I would resort to purchasing a file cabinet safe (or other size depending on your needs) that is only accessed through a lock/key and hidden. This is a very touchy subject in real estate but it must be addressed.
I hope that these 6 tips for living in your for sale home have been able to help you. Sometimes it is hard to figure out how to live in your home that is for sale on the market. Selling your home takes a lot of work between your real estate agent and yourself. While as real estate agents, we strive to make it the least stressful for you. There are situations that you can help us with. Leave a comment below if you have any other tips you would like to see added.