It would be a gross understatement to say that this is the most difficult period in American history in which to sell your home. That having been generally agreed upon, it goes without saying that it’s more important now than ever to have your house looking it’s very best for each and every show.
Make Your House Picture Perfect for a Real Estate Showing in 40 Minutes
It can be done without stressing out the entire family. Like most things in life, it requires a plan. Here are some simple tips that anyone can use in getting their house ready for a showing in forty minutes’ time or less.
Actually, DO Make a Plan
Sit down and assess the ‘problem areas’ in your house. I’m guessing the first areas are your kids’ rooms, the family room, and bathrooms. (At least they were for us!) Place these areas in order of priority: the largest, the most visible, and, frankly, the worst.
Determine in what order you want to ‘attack’ these problem areas, rather than running around helter-skelter (had to fit that in here somehow!) trying to shove things into cupboards and closets.
Get All Extraneous Junk Out
Now that you’re staring at a sheet of paper listing out the rooms that need the most work, there’s another task ahead of you. Get all of the extraneous junk out of your house. Take stuff to the recycling center. Throw away old stuffed animals. (You can’t donate these for the most part.) Get out the toys and clothing that are no longer working or are worn out and throw them away.
Take the OTHER items that are outgrown but still good and either donate them to a charity or sell them on eBay. If someone hasn’t worn an article of clothing in over a year, get rid of it. The same holds true for toys. Find it a new home. Get it out of yours.
Consider this a mission: you are ridding yourself of the extra junk that you otherwise have to store. The less that you have to store, the less you have to straighten up and track. Be vicious and single-minded in this goal.
Keep in mind that you may very well come away with some extra cash, too, but it has got to go. Do this for every room in your house, as well as the basement and garage. Do this for your property as well. Rusted cutesy yard signs? The birdbath that’s broken and cracked? Say goodbye.
Keep Neatly Stored
Get nice, ‘good’ quilts and bedspreads for every bed in the house that’s used. Keep them neatly stored nearby. That way, you can whisky off the everyday blankets, stuff them someplace – in a closet, under the bed itself, in your washing machine if you must – temporarily and put on the fresh, new stuff that you’ll use only for showings.
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Get Help With Getting the House Ready
Every kid should be responsible for their own room. Sit the kids down and tell them how important it is that the house looks good if they want it to sell. Really stress this. Kids understand a lot more than you may realize.
They are responsible not only for putting on the ‘good’ bedspreads but also for putting their toys and belongings away. If you can get them in the habit of doing this now, like as soon as you’ve finished reading this, you’ll be so much further ahead.
This also applies to the man of the house. He, too, has a vested interest in getting the house sold. He, too, is responsible for keeping his bathroom area neat, his tools and golf clubs and any other ‘toys’ that he, too, uses.
Making the House Look Its Best
Now that you have everybody on board and they understand the importance of making the house look its best IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A SNOWBALL’S CHANCE OF SELLING (!), continue on with your plan.
Set up a timetable schedule. Hit the worst room first, and get as much stuff PUT AWAY as humanly possible.
A house always, always, always shows its best when it has a little furniture and THINGS in it as possible. No one wants to see a pile of stuffed animals crammed into a corner, certainly not dirty dishes in a sink or even on a drain board. (Remember those?!) Nor do they want to see every item of clothing that each member of the family has crammed into a closet.
Get rid of the junk – the unused – the broken – the unwanted – and the rest will come easily. Clean up spills right when they occur. Clean the litter box as soon as it’s used. Put dishes away after they’re used. Dirty clothes go right into the hamper or washing machine. Clean ones get folded and put away A.S.A.P.
You’ve replaced the burned-out light bulb, right? Taken down the potentially offensive posters in the kids’ rooms? Cleaned out the basement, including VACUUMING it, because dust will accumulate.
You’ve even gone so far as to PACK AWAY the stuff that you know you won’t be using until you move again: the heirloom china and crystal, the chandelier that you love but never really fit into your current house, the kids’ ‘memory boxes’ of stuff that they’ll want as they grow older.
Box them up neatly, label the boxes specifically, and store them away. (This will also give a potential buyer the sense that you really are serious and ready to move!)
Finally, DO A DRY RUN!
Pick a weekend day (usually when most showings occur), and tell the family that they have a showing scheduled in an hour.
Do not let on that this is ‘just a drill’. See how everyone pitches in and how quickly you can actually go through your game plan step by step.
After an hour has gone by, DON’T tells the family that this was just an exercise. Instead, sit down and make a list of what went right and what went wrong.
Then feel free to call a family meeting and go over the areas that need to be corrected, and do it as sooner rather than later, while things are still fresh in everyone’s mind.
Put pen to paper and write down what needs to be corrected in every area – yours, the kids, your significant other’s.
Wait at least a week to ten days to – do it again. There’s nothing like a second ‘dry run’ to see if you can honestly and realistically get your home ready for a showing on short notice.
Nothing worthwhile in life comes without work and effort, and prepping your house on short notice could mean the difference between presenting a ho-hum snapshot of your house to a buyer, or getting them really, really interested in your property. Best of luck to you!
- Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home via HGTV
- Proven Tips to get your House Ready to Sell for Top Dollar! via Lauren Greutman
- 32 Simple Ways to Get Your House Ready to Sell via Just a Girl and Her Blog
- The 30-Day Guide to Preparing Your House for Sale via the BREL team
- How to Prepare Your House for Sale via The Balance
- 21 Staging tips for selling your home fast via Fox News
- 21 Awesome Tips To Get Your Home Ready To Sell via How Does She
- The Easiest, Cheapest Ways to Prep Your Home for a Quick Sale via Lifehacker
- Getting Your House Ready to Sell via The Art of Manliness
- 15 Easy Ways To Get Your Home Ready To Sell via Forbes
- 15 Overlooked but Important Ways to Get Your Home Ready to Sell via Trulia’s Blog