When you have your house on the market for sale it is important the house is always ready to show. You never know when that full price cash offer is going to request a showing. When they do you certainly want to be ready.
I always tell my listing clients that you never, ever, ever want to deny a showing. The person who is destined to buy your house may buy another on the same day access to yours was denied. That’s not to say the home won’t eventually sell but you could be losing out on a better offer. Point is you just never know.
When I’m scheduling showings as a buyers agent and a showing request is denied it is so very annoying, to me and my client. Sometimes I hear things like “the house is a mess” or “it’s just not a good time”. My buyer’s reaction usually is “they must not really want to sell their house”.
Although it’s not always easy it’s always a good idea to be ready to show!
Assuming you have already done all the work to get your home on the market there are some daily habits and hacks you can preform to make sure it’s always ready to show.
1) Develop new habits
Make it a habit to pick up as you go. If you’re anything like me you probably have routines. Routines like coming home from work or wherever and putting your stuff somewhere. Get in the habit of putting your “stuff”, like papers, receipts, extra pens, pocket change ect in a drawer or somewhere else out of sight.
When you use a dish in the kitchen immediately put in the dishwasher, providing you have a dishwasher. If not, wash it right away. If your reading a book, put it back in the bookshelf when done for the day. Simple things like that will make keeping the house show ready easy.
2) Keep it clean
When selling your home, and selling it for the top dollar and fast, it pays, literally, to always be ready to show. Keeping your house clean can make all the difference. It’s not always easy but it is profitable.
Run the vacuum every night, or have someone in the family do it. Wipe down and/or dust visible surfaces. Basically clean the house every night before turning in. This is not as difficult as it seems if you assign duties to family members and get into a routine. Get everyone excited about the move and make a game out it. It doesn’t have to be stressful.
It’s really not “cleaning” every night, like a deep clean. That’s already been done. This is more of a “straightening up” every evening. It won’t take long.
3) Use storage
Make your life easier during the home sale by getting rid of anything that is not day to day necessary. Many of my clients hire a storage facility or mobile storage unit like PODs to clear all the clutter out of the house. (Not that all your stuff is clutter but you know what I mean)
By having less stuff in the house it shows better and is easier to keep clean, organized and straight.
4) Stash your stuff
Stash your stuff. What I mean by stash your stuff is have places you can put things during showings or when you’re not going to be home. That can be drawers, cabinets, under furniture (yes, seriously) or neatly in a closet.
One of my clients had 6 younger foster children. With lots of toys. We really had a situation trying to figure out to keep the house picked up. As a solution I purchased several nice looking plastic storage totes from amazon. She kept them in different rooms the kids frequented. The kids were trained to pick up all the toys when finished playing and put them in the totes. Every time before they could leave the house for a showing or to go out the kids had to pick up their stuff and put it in the bins. It worked marvelously. They made a game of it.
5) No trash
Have literally no trash in your house. This can go back to developing habits and this one is emptying the trash every morning. Keep whatever you use to line your trash cans close by and simply gather up all the trash, take it outside and insert new fresh liners.
When people are looking at your home they open cabinets, it just happens. If that’s where you keep your refuse receptor they are going to see it. Having an empty trash can is much more appealing then a bag full of stinky ugly trash. Believe or not I’ve seen people open trash cans, decorative stand alone trashcans with lids. Weird? Yes, but it too happens.
6) Get some magic cleaners
There are all sorts of products on the market that make cleaning walls and surfaces fast, easy and convenient. For cleaning smudges, handprints and some writings a “magic sponge” does the trick. There are many different brands and types to choose from. Microfiber cloths are great for picking up dust, lint and pet dander off surfaces.
Keeping items like these handy can make straightening up and “quick cleans” easy, fast and profitable.
7) Avoid odors
While your house is on the market avoid any cooking that produces strong odors. Your cooking probably smells really good and I bet I would like it too but…not everyone has the same tastes as we do. What smells good to me and you may not to others, like that full price cash buyer.
You’ll also hear lots of advice about fresh baking, scentsy’s and other “good” smells. Don’t believe them. What is a good smell to one person may offend another. Plain neutral fresh air is the best.
8) Take a vacation
Just kidding, but maybe not. If you can swing it the least stressful option is to not be home at all. Prepare the house as per DIY Real Estate instructions and take off for a few weeks.
When selling your house yourself, and saving thousands of dollars, it’s not always realistic to take off. It’s still possible though if you could leave someone behind, like a family member. Maybe you have a good friend or neighbor willing to help with showings.
I have actually seen that happen before in my role as a real estate agent showing a buyer a FSBO home. The client wanted to see a For Sale By Owner house. When I called the owner to schedule he told me he was out of town. He gave us a number for a neighbor who let us in.
As you can see keeping your home show ready is possible and can be made to be not all that difficult. If all the hard work of preparing your house for market is done properly beforehand the touch ups for showings should be easy.
Keep in mind the rewards for all your hard work. You get to keep thousands of dollars you would have been paying me, or someone like me. And remember that you end up doing all the hard work of preparing your house for market and keeping it show ready anyway, whether you have an agent or not. No one does that for you so think about what it is you’re actually paying for.
I will show you in detail everything you need to know to have a successful For Sale By Owner. Literally everything a real estate agent should be doing and you can do better to sell your house fast and for the most money.
Click here to learn more about how to sell your house yourself and save thousands of dollars.