The process of selling your house requires significant adjustments in your lifestyle, particularly if you are going to live in your home while it’s listed for sale. Your house, while on the market, needs to look different than the house you have lived in. Creating the ideal look and feel of a marketable house while carrying on with your daily tasks is a difficult process; but there are ways to make it more manageable.
Think about what you are going to do with your belongings. Go through all the rooms, and picture how they should look when you show the house to potential buyers. Start by decluttering. Go through everything, and throw out what you don’t need or use. Parting with some items may not be easy, but remember you can better organize the things you are going to keep if you have less to deal with. Whatever you haven’t used in a year should go- this includes clothes, kitchen utensils, and miscellaneous items. Clean up and organize the closets. Pack up the seasonal items if you have to. Neat closets add to the appeal of the house and help to show off the available storage space.
If you have a lot of decorations hanging on the walls, take down a few pieces. Any artwork, vases and decorations for which you don’t have a permanent place should be thrown out. Keep one or two items that you really like or work well with the room, and get rid of the rest. If you can’t bring yourself to throw them out, give them to someone else or donate them to charity.
Now that you have decluttered, you can create a routine to keep your house ready for showings. Don’t let magazines and newspapers pile up. There should be no more than one or two copies on the coffee table. Dealing with the mail and magazines as they come in is easier than having to go through a big pile just before a showing.
The personal items that you normally keep on a shelf or dresser should be tucked away as well. Get a basket for each member of the family to put their personal items such as cell phone, daily planner, wallet, etc. The basket can easily be kept out of view. One book and a clock on your nightstand is fine. Anything else should go in the personal basket or in your closet. Get in the habit of putting away your personal items so that they don’t make your space look messy during showings.
Putting things away at the time you use them is much easier than rushing to clean up every time you show the house. Developing a routine that works for you will make it easier to carry on with your life while you keep the house looking presentable and appealing to buyers. Ideally, you want to keep your home in “show ready” condition at all times, especially when leaving for the day. You never know when a last minute showing will come up, and that could just be the buyer!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know where to begin, ask us for help! We will be glad to come by and give our opinion or set you up with one of our professional home staging partners.
Have any tips that you’ve found useful? Let us know!