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Life Goes On: Tips for Living in a For-Sale Home

Life Goes On: Tips for Living in a For-Sale Home
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One of the toughest challenges while selling your home is keeping it “show ready” while you are still living your life there. Life is often messy and doesn’t look like a magazine cover, especially with pets and little ones running around. Here are a few tips to help you live in a for-sale home.

Keep packing

As you prepared to stage your home, you packed and stored most of your personal things, right? If not, now’s the time.

When you are living in a for-sale home, it’s crucial to start packing and keep packing, even if you don’t know where you are going next. Start with non-essential items, such as off-season clothing or rarely used kitchen appliances. Consider renting a pod or storage unit while your home is on the market. By getting rid of clutter throughout the home, you’ll not only be prepping for your home showings but you’ll also get a head start on packing up your house. Talk about a win-win scenario.

Keep only the essentials

Shoppers will look through your bathroom cabinets to check out storage space, so the last thing they’ll want to see is a bunch of your old toothbrushes. Only keep what you’re actually using.

This rule can be followed throughout the whole house as well, especially with toys in children’s bedrooms, and books and DVDs in the living room. Use this as an opportunity to get rid of stuff or donate it so that you don’t have to move it to your next home.

Clean as you go

A pile of dishes in the sink is a big buyer turnoff, so tuck dirty dishes in the dishwasher after you use them, or wash them right away. Put away your laundry instead of piling it on a bed.

To help you clean in a hurry, keep your cleaning supplies in one convenient spot instead of having to search all over the house for them. If you have kids, turn cleaning quickly into a game to involve them in the process. Encourage them to keep their rooms clean by offering rewards. Let them know you’re in this selling adventure as a family.

Have a place for pets

Make a contingency plan for your pets during a showing or an open house. Make sure any animal waste and pet toys are picked up in the yard, and that little boxes and cages are cleaned regularly. Use your house showing as an excuse to take your furry friend for a nice, long walk.

You can work with your agent to control when potential buyers come over for a showing, but occasionally these will surprise you. For these last-minute showings you’ll need to prepare to have your home show ready at any moment, which means a whole bunch of cleaning as you go.

Last-minute checklist

Do a quick sweep through the house just before potential buyers come over for a showing:

• Make sure your computer is turned off, your valuables are stowed securely, and tuck your mail out of sight.

• Wipe down bathroom and kitchen counters.

• Turn on all lights and open shades to make your home look brighter.

• Fluff pillows on the couches and beds.

• Do some last-minute sweeping on the hardwoods or tile floors.

Living in a for-sale home can be daunting but it is doable.

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[Revised and Updated for November 2020]
Coupled with the right professional agent to guide you, this approach can help to sell your home at the best price, with the least hassle. 
Written by The Listing Lawyer, we respect your privacy.