You want to sell your home. Right now's a great time. Spring brings all the buyers out of hiding. You want to get your home in tip-top shape before you list it. That way, it's "show-ready" at any time. Here are a few tips and tricks for getting your home ready to show with little to no notice.
Getting Your Home Ready to Show - Before You List
When getting your home ready to show, some things take more time than others. You need to perform some tasks well ahead of time, like, before you even list your property to sell. Then, you'll just need regular maintenance afterward. For the best results, the following items should be tackled before you list.
Do Some Deep Cleaning
First of all, you want your home to shine from top to bottom. That means cleaning everything: windows, baseboards, cabinets, cupboards, floors, oven...everything. Carpets, upholstery, and heavy drapes should be deep cleaned. Wash the walls, windowsills and sliding glass door tracks. Then, once it has been deep cleaned, perform regular weekly cleaning to keep up its model-like appearance. That will make any last-minute home tours much easier to prepare for.
Next, pack up anything you don't use on a regular basis. Holiday decorations, family photos, Christmas china. Then keep it off-site at a rented storage unit. You want your garage clear of clutter, too. Buyers inspect this area as well. You don't want it full to the brim with boxes of stuff. Donate gently used items you no longer need and throw out anything not worthy of donation. Consider paring down your wardrobe to a few key pieces and pack up the rest. That will open up your closets to make them appear even larger. Buyers want to see plenty of closet space.
Getting Your Home Ready to Show - Last Minute
Once you've completed the tasks that take time, you will want to have a battle plan for last minute drop-bys. You may get as much as a couple of hours notice. Or, you could receive a call just 30 minutes ahead of time. Either way, you want to make sure your home is show ready. These things only take a few minutes each.
Get the entire family involved by playing "five-minute pick-up". Set a timer and send everyone off to their respective rooms. See who can put away/throw away the most items in five minutes. Maybe the winner gets to pick the movie to go see or the restaurant you all visit while buyers tour your home. Make it a game and then everyone wins.
Last Minute Staging
You want buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. Add a cozy throw to your chair by the fireplace. Set the dining room table for dinner. Stage a chess game mid-match or a put out an incomplete jigsaw puzzle on a nearby coffee table. Throw open your window treatments to allow as much natural light in as possible. Then, go around and turn on all the lights in each room, even if it's daytime. The last thing a buyer wants to see is a dark and dreary home.
Eliminate Any Temptation
Another thing you'll want to do to get your home ready to show is to eliminate any temptation. This includes jewelry, coins, extra cash, credit cards, financial documents, family heirlooms, car/house keys, and prescription medications. If you don't already have one, invest in a locking filing cabinet. Keep all your financial documents inside. Make sure it is locked tight before a showing and keep the key with you. Everything else can get thrown in your safe or gathered together and kept with you while you're gone.
Develop Good Habits
Finally, get in the habit of picking up after yourself right away. That includes throwing out the trash on a regular basis, washing dishes every single night, cleaning up the counters after cooking, and putting dirty clothes in the hamper right after you take them off. This makes that "five-minute pick-up" a little easier, too.
81 Winding Way, West Orange, NJ
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