When you put a home on the market, especially in today’s climate, the pressure is on to make every showing count. And while it’s hard to believe that someone could reject a home’s potential by its sellers’ inability to wash the dishes in the kitchen sink, it happens. Remember, you aren’t only selling your house—you are selling a potential new life.
Your job as a seller is to make the prospective buyers feel at home, which is easier to do when that home is clear of clutter, inviting, and making the best use of its space. And this basically means it has to be clean. All. The. Time. It can be exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s your list of home sale survival tips.
Reduce your square footage.
Okay, not really. But it is a good idea to keep some rooms out-of-bounds when you can. The less activity a room sees, the easier it will be to keep it clean, and the faster your maintenance will be.
Always be prepared.
This Boy Scout motto works just as well for home sellers. A showing can happen at any time, so the best way to reduce your stress is to always be ready for it. Stay on top of clutter and mess and it will make light work of the quick run-through. Mornings are a great time for staging and clutter sweeps; it ensures the house will stay relatively clean throughout the day (assuming no one is there during the day to mess it up).
Fake it until you make it.
Just as beauty is only skin-deep, clutter-free is only surface present. Grab some opaque storage bins and store them in the closets of each room. Keep an empty drawer handy for swift storage. That way if you really must do a fast, sweeping clean, you can toss everything out of view, close them up and tuck them away.
Take “perfect” out of the equation and strive for “convincing and stress-free.”
Set a routine for when you leave the house.
If making a list makes you happy, make it. If lists stress you out, still do it. They are really the only way you can make sure everything gets done before you set your home for the day. Your list could include any of the following:
• Kennel the dog.
• DON’T set the alarm.
• Flush toilets.
• Empty trash cans.
• Clear and rinse the kitchen sink.
• Do a quick run-through of all rooms.
Leave the house, and re-enter.
Just as you close the house to leave the house for the day, take a second to re-enter it with fresh eyes. Your neighbors may think you are crazy, but the time you take to shut the door, re-open it, and take a look around may draw attention to things you wouldn’t ordinarily notice. Think of it as a second chance to make a great first impression.
Call in the professionals.
If you’ve never used one, now may be a great time to hire a cleaning service. A professional cleaning will not only brighten baseboards, windows and bathtubs, it also takes the pressure off you as a homeowner to constantly be on your game. This way, all you need to deal with is the clutter of life, which makes constantly being on-call for showings a little more manageable.
Attention all you movers and shakers! Do you have more tips to share on how to stay sane when you buy and sell a home? Give them to us in the comments below!