Trying to sell your home, while still living in it, can be a challenge to say the least. Keeping your home clean, clutter-free, and ready to be shown at a moment’s notice is hard enough, but for many sellers, additional challenges like getting the kids, dogs, cats and their messes out of the home can make living in your home while it’s for sale seem almost impossible. But with a little planning, it can be done.
Use these tips and create your own systems and rules for keeping your home show-ready.
Invest in neutral décor
Keep clean, simple linens and decorative items on hand that you can swap out for your own when a potential buyer comes to visit, so wrinkled bedding, dirty kitchen towels, or sopping bath mats can be hidden away.
Create multi-use kitchens and bathrooms
In these areas that you’ll have to use always, finding closed storage areas (like cabinets), or totes that can be easily put away so that items like the kids tooth brushes or a dirty kitchen sponge can be available when needed and quickly and easily put out of sight when showing your home.
Disguise your clutter
For the things that you must have on hand in your home, choose a storage system that disguises the items while adding a decorative touch to your home, that may mean hiding toys, backpacks or brief cases in decorative baskets.
Perfect the art of surface cleaning
Keep cleaning wipes, and quick sweeping and vacuuming systems, like those made by Swiffer on hand, to make cleaning quick and easy so that it never gets put off.
Animal action plan
Decide what you will do with the cats and dogs while you’re out and what will you do if you get a call to show the house while at work. Can a friendly neighbor pick up the dogs from your home? If you have a pet, take him with you or consider boarding while you’re out of the house so that a stay-at-home dog or allergy-inducing cat won’t keep a potential buyer from seeing your house while you’re away.
Gourmet homemade meals may have to wait for awhile, when you’re selling your home while living in it. Depending on your budget and schedule, you may want to buy more premade meals or make meals ahead on your own. When you are cooking make a double or triple batch so that leftovers can be reheated and the kitchen kept clean, or indulge in just a few more meals out when it means your kitchen will stay clean.
Make a check list
List all of the tasks that should be done and areas that should be checked before your home can be shown and check it as often as possible, ideally, every time you leave the home it should be ready to be shown.
Create an emergency action plan
If someone wants to come over in 10 minutes to see the house, what will you do? Grab a laundry basket and throw every toy, hairdryer, magazine and anything else you can get your hands on in it and toss it in your car on the way out the door, or pass up a potential sale? Decide how to get the house show-ready at a moment’s notice, and if possible, recruit kids and spouses to take on responsibilities to help enact your emergency action plan and get the house ready.
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