Prepping the home before it goes on the market: 1. Give yourself 2 full weeks to clear clutter from your home. This includes two weekends, so there is plenty of time to donate, sell on Craigslist, or find a needy family in your area.
2. Once you’ve cleared the clutter, put another 25% in storage. You are moving anyway, so pack like you are moving in a week. Only keep out necessities. Small kids (and pets) will quickly forget some of their less favorite toys, and it will be a bonanza when they get to play with them again at the new house.
3. Stage and Rearrange. Have a stager consult with you and your Realtor, and either rent pieces from them, like a more formal set up for the living room, or have them rearrange your own furniture. No, this is not how you live in the house. Yes, this will get the house sold faster!
4. Professional Photography and Marketing. Having your home captured by TrueView will make a huge difference. Professional photos, full video tours that give buyers an accurate view of the home, and a great website detailing the home and neighborhood are all key to getting the great points of the home across. You will only have to have the whole house completely spotless for one day, and buyers can keep going back to the marketing to remember the house, instead of multiple visits to your home to make up their minds.
While your home is for sale:
5. Give yourself a two hour notice for showings. One hour notice is standard, but one hour notice is really stressful when you have three kids, clutter, naps etc. 24 hours is ideal, but it keeps away the buyers who happen to drive by your home while looking at others. Two hours will give you a chance to let kids wake up, or take a nap while you clean up. Also, be honest with the agent who will be showing, you never know if the buyer is on the way to the airport and needs to see your home in the next 15 minutes while you drive around the neighborhood!
6. Have a checklist for what to do when you get a showing notification. When you only have an hour or two, every minute counts. This should include making beds, checking bathrooms, taking out stinky garbage, wiping down all counters, and shoving stuff in totes, baskets, drawers, etc.
7. Keep the kids busy while the real work gets done. I'm sure there is a child out there who can really help clean and get a house ready in 2 hours. I haven't met them yet, so for everybody else, get the children occupied with no-mess play (TV and iPads work great!). If they are old enough be honest about why it's important to clean up. If they are little, then they probably won't even notice.
8. Have some nice music playing softly. Help set the mood with quiet music. Add fresh scents with subtle air fresheners and fresh flowers and your home as now become someone else's dream retreat.
9. Stage your playroom. Don't try to hide that there are children or babies living there, but show off the best version of how the play space is used. The whole idea with staging is to have people think that this is how the home will be when they live there, not the reality of toy explosions in every room.
10. Keep your trunk clear. Even with the 2 hour notification requirement, you'll still have the last minute request, and having an empty trunk lets you scoop up a bunch of junk, or items you don't want to loose like bills, and stash it on your way out. Just remember to clean the trunk back out after the showing.
If you have any questions about selling your home, please feel free to contact me at BethJSilva@gmail.com.