Living in your home while trying to sell it is not going to be a walk in the park. I’ll be honest; if you have kids, pets, or both, it’s probably going to be a challenge. Not
What Do You Mean Show-Ready Home?
Living in your home while trying to sell it is not going to be a walk in the park. I’ll be honest; if you have kids, pets, or both, it’s probably going to be a challenge. Not everyone can move out before putting their house on the market. Hopefully, this list will help you make short work of keeping your house is show-ready condition.
It goes without saying, that your house should be clean and straightened at all times when it’s on the market, but what does that mean, really? I’ll walk you through the basics, and give you a few tips that go the extra mile to make a good impression. Let’s face it...no one can picture themselves buying (and living in) a dirty, messy house.
First and foremost...every morning when you wake up, make your bed. I know...not everyone is accustomed to this, but you just have to get in the routine. I, for one, can’t leave my room without at least straightening the sheets and covers, and stacking the pillows in a neat pile. In this case, however, you need to make a little more effort. Tuck the sheets in nicely, make sure the blanket is even on both sides, and the pillows look freshly fluffed.
As for the rest of the bedroom, make sure dirty laundry (and clean laundry) are put away, shoes are stored nicely in the closet, and there aren’t any toys, magazines or trash strewn about. If you typically have lots of lotions, books, pens, pictures and such on your nightstand or dresser, just open a drawer and hide it all away.
Clear bathroom counters of any clutter (medicines, cosmetics, lotions, perfumes, toothbrushes,etc.). Under the cabinet, keep a basket or bin that you can easily toss everything in and hide it away. Flush and close toilets, put wet towels away and close shower curtains.
Clean your kitchen after every meal. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, rinse any crumbs from the sink, and wipe off counters. Wipe off any drips, handprints or food smudges from cabinets, appliances and dining surfaces.
It’s a good idea to have a daily, weekly and monthly schedule for specific items to address. For instance, you might want to do a clutter check in each room nightly before going to bed. Check storm door for hand (or nose) prints and make sure smelly trash is taken out.
Weekly “to-do’s” might include cleaning bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, mopping and blowing leaves from lawn, and replacing fresh-cut flowers in your vases. On a monthly basis you should check less-obvious items off your list, like dusting blinds, picture frames, lights and fans, as well as changing HVAC filters, pulling weeds from flower beds and changing air fresheners.
Leave Lights On - This is not always an option, but when you can, leave lights on in every room...even closets. You know where every switch in your house is located, but think about someone coming in for the first time. You don’t want them to be concerned with searching for a switch. You just want to them to look around and notice all the lovely features in each room.
Open Blinds, Curtains/Drapes and Shades - Most of us don’t want people looking into their homes at night, so we close the blinds when it gets dark. However, make a habit of opening them all first thing in the morning. Natural light makes a home feel more spacious, inviting and generally creates a happier atmosphere. It is imperative that you open blinds, pull back drapes, and roll up shades, so as much sunlight can spill into the room as possible.
A side note: It will be important that your windows are clean. The only thing worse than closed blinds, are smudged windows; it can make the whole house feel dirty.
Put Away Pets and Their Things - I know you love your pets. I love my pets too. However, not everyone is a cat, dog, or snake person. Dogs bark, cats scratch and snakes scare the life out of most people. Even if potential buyers can get past the sounds and presence of your pets, they’re still a distraction from viewing your house. Plus, Fido’s bed can smell a bit, well, doggy... and Fluffy’s litter box doesn’t always smell like roses. When you remove your pet, also remove their things. Put the litter box, dog bed and crate in the garage, or trunk of your car. Pick up their toys, bones and food dishes, and stash them in a cabinet or closet.
Smells Like...Victory - Last, but certainly not least, a house that smells fresh and clean will make a much better impression. I’ve shown homes to clients that remembered how great a house smelled. They liked other things about the home too, because it smelled good. Take out trash, use plug-in air fresheners and spray right before you leave.
I am a native of the Charlotte area, having lived in many parts of the city, as well as the Concord area. I’ve seen the wonderful changes the city has undergone, and the exploding growth in the surr....
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