Moving to a new home means moving out of the existing home. And no matter if it’s a hot or cold market, it’s still important to put your best foot forward when selling a home. This means mowing the lawn, finishing all of those projects around the house, and even baking some cookies to make the place smell great.
There might be some light dusting. And picking up. And vacuuming. And just making sure everything looks perfect all the time in case the realtor surprises you with an interested buyer. Whew. Fixing the furnace might be an easier job.
But there are ways to keep the house tidy inside and out for the days, weeks, or months when you’re trying to sell your home. It takes some elbow grease at the start, but it’ll pay off when you finally sign the selling agreement.
There are many first things you can do, so we’ll start with removing yourself from the home. If you have hallways filled with pictures of your family through the ages, take them down to make the house less personalized. You want potential buyers to see this as their home, not yours. Think of it as getting a head start on packing for your move.
This goes for artwork, knick-knacks, and the blanket with the big logo from where you went to college. No reason to start an argument about who has a better football team. That last part is a small joke but proves the bigger point: the less of you a buyer sees means the more they’ll see the house as theirs.
Open it Up
After years of living in the home, you’ve made it just the way you want. A comfy couch for the family to sit on while watching movies, the recliner where Dad (or Mom) falls asleep every night, and enough dressers in the master bedroom to hold all of the clothes that don’t belong in the (overstuffed) closet.
It’s time to purge. This doesn’t mean you have to sell off all of your belongings, it just means you need to get it out of your home. Overstuffed closets mean there might not be enough storage. Too much furniture in the front room will make the room look smaller. And a cluttered countertop could detract from the kitchen.
It’s time to rent a storage locker and create some space in your home. The couch can go, the recliner stays. The crock pots, pressure cookers, and other little-used appliances can be packed away. When not in use, the toaster can be put in a cupboard. Clothes can pack away, too. With Spring in the air, maybe you can store all of the winter duds.
You can always go to the storage unit and get that parka if need be (it is the Pacific Northwest after all). The point is to show there is plenty of room in every room. It might be less comfortable for you or even limit your cooking options. But it’ll pay off in the end.
Clean, Clean, Clean
With all of the excess stuff out of the home, you can start to get a better picture of what your home will look like. The carpet looks dingy after moving the couch reveals the original color. There are dust bunnies in the bedrooms and you don’t even want to look in the bathroom.
It might take a whole weekend but get to scrubbing the entire house. This means windows, doors, and even the walls may have a few cobwebs in the corner. No matter how clean you think you are, after removing the clutter, there’s always something to clean.
Time to Maintain
Your house looks fantastic now! If you didn’t need the extra space, you might even consider staying put. They key is to make sure it stays that way. Consider taking off shoes before walking around the home. Don’t let the kids leave their backpacks on the floor. Make sure the dishes aren’t left in the sink. And don’t let mail pile up on the kitchen counter.
And, yes… even make the beds.
This will keep your home presentable for however long it takes to sell your home. Interested buyers realize the home is still being lived in, so the stray coat draped over a chair isn’t a concern. This quick, daily upkeep will keep the home looking ready to sell.
Let’s not forget the exterior of your home – it what buyers notice first. Keep the yard mowed, cut back bushes that are overgrown, and pull the weeds. A fresh layer of mulch or barkdust will bring the flowerbeds back to life. Have a miniature rainforest on the front porch? Pick one or two of your favorite potted plants and remove the rest.
It may be worth it to have a professional clean up your landscaping or address the peeling paint on the exterior of your home. Don’t go overboard! This isn’t the time to be re-roofing the house. It’s the time to clean up what you already have. And keep the welcome mat neutral.
It’s a big job getting a home ready to sell. You’ve spent years making it your own – now it’s time to make it ready for someone else. After a few weeks of heavy lifting, day-to-day tidying will be a snap.
Why not Let Heaven’s Best help? We won’t help you pull weeds, but we do offer a host of services to help with deep cleaning inside. We clean carpets, tile and grout, furniture, and even windows. If you’re planning on selling your home, give us a call. We’ll have your home looking great and ready to sell.