Selling your home is a big decision and usually involves alot of emotions. But with selling being the end goal requires not only getting your home ready for photos but keeping it "Show Ready" at all times. For many of us with kids in the house, this can be a challenge, so here are some tips to help with the process and hopefully make it slightly easier when it comes time to take the big step!
ENLIST A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Many homeowners feel like they need to get their home ready to sell before bringing in an Agent to evaluate their home but if you hire a good Agent, they will be able to guide and assist you with suggestions for your home. They may bring in a stager for a consult or use their experience to tell you what changes need to be made to ensure you receive the most value from your home.
DEJUNK YOUR HOUSE
Go through each room in your home to remove clutter. Throw away or donate belongings that you no longer need, or use and box up items that you won’t need during the listing period. Too much stuff can crowd your space and make it feel smaller than its actual size.
Even though dejunking an entire house can seem overwhelming, it’s actually the most important and best step! Getting rid of all the excess we've accumulated over the last years always feels so liberating. Plus, it means less for you to pack up, move and unpack later!
MAINTAIN CURB APPEAL
While this tip might seem obvious, it is surprising at how many sellers put no effort into their home's outside appearance. It is not uncommon for Buyers to pull up to houses and drive away before even going inside! Remember, the exterior of your home represents the state of the inside of your home. First impressions are crucial
During the listing period, you should take extra care to make sure your lawn is mowed, your garden is weeded and flowers are planted. At the very least, make sure your front porch is swept and you've sprayed for bugs; nothing turns someone away on a house tour like staring spiders in the face while waiting for the agent to unlock the door.
In the fall and winter, make sure leaves are raked, stray branches are picked up and sidewalks are shoveled and salted.
Don't worry, this doesn't mean you have to go crazy and eliminate everything with personality. For instance, if you have a nice focal gallery wall of family photos, leave them as it might give potential buyers decorating ideas. Plus, it looks more appealing than a big empty wall. But while prepping for house tours, take out anything that is specific to your tastes. The goal here is to make your home appeal to as many different people as possible.
STAGE YOUR HOME
Staging your home means rearranging furniture and decor or even repainting to make it look most pleasing to the eye. For example, your side tables might typically not be decorated because you’re worried about little people breaking things, but for the tour, it’d be nice to place little plants and candles on them. You don't have to spend a ton of money doing this; sometimes just rearranging items from room-to-room or shifting around furniture can make a huge visual difference. Getting an outside consult or help from friends is always a good option!
THINGS TO DO FOR SHOWINGS
CLEAN AND BRIGHT
Make sure your home is clean and shown in it's best light. Turn on all of the lights, open the blinds, and keep all bedroom doors open before any showing. Basically, do anything to make your home feel brighter or bigger.
Don’t worry, you don't need to freshly vacuum before every showing if you aren't able to, but make sure to make the beds, stow away toys and generally ensure everything is neat and tidy!
It’s especially important to ensure your bathrooms are clean -- make sure toilets are flushed, seats are down, towels are picked up and counters are wiped. This can be especially difficult if you have a baby but it’s worth it!
Make sure your home smells appealing...a freshly cleaned home is always a positive scent, or if you have time baking some banana bread or cookies in the morning will keep your home in their thoughts when Buyers leave. If you don't have time for this, a mild scented candle or room spray is effective as well.
DISABLE ALARM AND LEAVE THE HOUSE
Leave your house! I know some people stay in their home for various reasons during showings, but honestly, I don’t believe it's the best idea. It makes potential buyers feel uncomfortable and want to leave more quickly. Often homeowners want to give tips about the house or gush about the neighborhood, then unknowingly say the wrong thing and turn off prospective buyers. Even if you have a house full of kids and nowhere to go, ask a neighbor if you can hang out in their backyard for a bit, or load everyone up in the car and go get yourself a treat. (You've earned it!)
I hope these tips will make you feel a little more comfortable throughout the listing and selling process!