Selling a home when it is empty is ideal, but you can still get a lot of good buyers to flock to your door while you still live there. All you have to do is create a system that keeps the space clean and simplifies your life. Here are five easy tips to make it less stressful.
1. Consider a Cleaning Service
When you are just about to list the home, you may consider hiring a professional cleaning service to provide a thorough cleaning of the surfaces, windows, and flooring. If your home takes more than a couple of weeks to start bringing in offers, you might want to bring the service back every week or two to make sure the rooms are still in showing quality. This will save you the time and struggle of scrubbing floors on your hands and knees, plus the endless spraying and be wiping off the windows.
2. Simplify Routines
When you have all the time in the world to get your home ready for something, you can take as long as you like in any particular task. By comparison, if you need the home to be prepared for potential buyers in a moment, you should simplify your routines as much as you can. Take complicated dinner dishes off the table for the time being, or make a bunch of meals on a non-showing day that you can serve every day with less cleanup. It may relieve some stress to have a daily cleaning routine to get rid of small messes before they accumulate.
3. Create a Cutter management system
Decluttering is not merely an item that you can complete and then check off your home selling to-do list. As you go through the selling process, you have to prevent clutter from creeping back in. If the timing of the sale involves a seasonal clothing change, make a plan to quickly cycle out the off-season gear and clothing to a storage unit. Set small garbage cans near all entry doors, so that everyone can throw away junk mail or old school papers as soon as they walk in the door—just make sure to put them away before open houses or showings.
4. Set Regular Showing Times
Obviously, you want to be as available as possible for buyers who would like to see your place. This does not mean you have to vacate the home 12 hours a day, every day. Ask your real estate agent for the most popular showing times for buyers, and try to open your schedule on those days. Making an effort to accommodate buyers when they are more likely to need it will allow you the flexibility to live your life at other times.
5. Prepare for the Unexpected
Even with a firmly-set showing schedule, you understand that there may be surprises. You never know when your agent might call you and ask if you are available for a showing in a couple of hours. Prepare for this eventuality, so that you are never caught off-guard and in a state of unreadiness. Stock your car with snacks and other necessities in case you have to be out of the home in a hurry. Keep a cleaning tool caddy handy so that you can quickly walk through the home and wipe down counters and floors as needed.
Once you have listed the property, home selling often feels like a “hurry up and wait” arrangement. With these tips, you can preserve your home as clean as it looked when you listed it, without driving yourself crazy cleaning and organizing every day.