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Still Living in the Home You’re Selling? How to be Ready to Go When it’s Time to Show!

Still Living in the Home You’re Selling? How to be Ready to Go When it’s Time to Show!

Just days ago, we encouraged potential home buyers to get into the holiday spirit by doing a little home shopping this season. For sellers, that’s great news; although selling a home during the holiday season may add just a bit more stress than one may like during a traditionally-festive, yet already-jammed-full few months.

To put a glistening topper on that possibly-trying time, what is a seller to do if they’re also still living in the home they’re trying to sell? How is one to deal with showings, open houses, inspections and all of the other events that surround a home sale? 

Well, sellers, would you like the good news or bad news? Let’s get the worst out of the way first.

The bad news is that it all starts with a good day-or-weekend-long deep cleaning ritual that should involve things like decluttering and depersonalizing, storing and stowing, then sweeping, scrubbing, wiping and polishing.

Ready for the good news now?

Once you and any family or friends that you can recruit to help you complete those deep-cleaning tasks are done, day-to-day tidying to prepare for showings will be a warm welcome!

Unless you ask your real estate agent to only show your home at specific times of the day or week (which may or may not work against a prospective buyer’s schedule), you never really can tell when interested buyers may be perusing through your personal space. So, you can keep your for-sale home showing-ready this holiday season with just a few simple steps:

  1. Pick up after yourself. Whether you’re building blocks with your babies or creating a culinary feast in the kitchen, whenever you complete one activity, clean it up before moving on to something else. Doing so will prevent that immense mess that you spent a day or weekend cleaning when you decided to put your home on the market in the first place.


  2. Prevent strong odors. Speaking of that holiday culinary creation, if the aroma is at-all overwhelming, rethink it until after your home sells. What may smell incredibly appetizing to you could smell repulsively repugnant to a potential buyer.


  3. Institute a daily cleaning regimen. If you don’t already have one, enforce a daily “make your bed and tidy your room” rule for your children or spouse to follow while your home is on the market. You’ll also want to make a daily habit of wiping down the sinks, countertops and mirrors before leaving your house each morning. You don’t want prospective buyers to catch even crumbs or water marks while they’re imagining their new lives in your home.


  4. Migrate the mail. Got a stack of “… or current resident” mail just waiting for you to open it? We’re not telling you to deal with all of your junk mail on a daily basis when your home is on the market, but don’t leave it sitting on your favorite countertop for buyers to browse through. In fact, don’t even tuck it into a drawer or cabinet. Remember, prospective buyers are likely to open every storage space your home has to offer; what they likely won’t open are your personal storage bins. So, stash your unopened junk mail or other personal mail in a storage tote until you’re ready to read it.


  5. Address children and pets. They’re certainly not the same creatures; but, they both may leave a footprint that you’d like to minimize while your home is on the market. Involve your kids in the selling process by having them pack away an easily-accessible bin of their favorite toys. If it stores easily and doesn’t disrupt their normal play, you’ll both be happy.


    As for pets, try to hide their daily messes, too. From food and water bowls to litter boxes, prospective buyers may not be as pet-friendly as you are. So, make a daily habit of picking up those paw-prints while your home is for sale. Consider utilizing space under your beds for storage. Kids and pets will still be able to access their much-needed toys and prospective buyers are not likely to explore those low-lying areas.

With a one-day cleaning extravaganza and a few daily tidying rituals, showing your home while you still live in it during the holiday season can be a festive occasion all its own! For some help in getting your home listed this holiday season, contact an experienced Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty agent today.