Trying to sell your home and live in it at the same time can feel like living in a bubble. Any towel left on the bathroom floor or dirty dish in the sink is magnified and on display. How can you keep your home show-ready and still live your life? You can do this!
If you’re ready to sell your home, we’re here to help. Contact Julia Monaghan Real Estate today to get started. We provide excellent support, advocacy, and education in Portland, OR, and the surrounding areas.
With a little planning, a thirty-minute heads up will be plenty of time to prepare for a showing. So take a deep breath and read our expert tips and tricks that will help you get through your home sale with ease.
Help Keep Your Home Show-Ready With Off-Site Storage
If your house is on the market, that means you’re planning to move. So why not get a jump on all of the packing?
When you start looking around your house, you will find plenty of items to box up for a while. And you’re sure to find a lot of things you are ready to donate or throw out so that you don’t have to pack them at all.
Consider renting a storage space for boxes and larger items that you do not need for the short term. The more stuff you remove from your home, the easier it will be to clean what remains. And a decluttered home is easier to stage for great showings.
For the Initial Cleaning, Tackle One Room At a Time
It is so easy to get distracted when cleaning and organizing your house because so many chores are interconnected.
Does this scenario sound familiar? You need to dust the family room. But first, you have to clear the toys off the coffee table. So you take the toys to the kids’ room and see that there’s laundry to put away. You start putting away laundry, only to notice a dirty dish on the desk. You get the idea.
It can feel an awful lot like the children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
For your initial big cleaning and clearing, focus on one space at a time. If you’re cleaning the kitchen and spot items that belong in other rooms, toss them in an empty laundry basket to put away later.
PRO TIP: Consider having a decorative bin or basket with a lid in your shared living spaces. You can quickly toss in items that need to return to their homes. This trick is handy when your agent calls to tell you they’re bringing a potential buyer in 30 minutes.
The Daily List
The average homeowner spends about an hour a day cleaning, but when selling a house, that may look very different for you. To keep your home show-ready, budget a little time each day to stay on top of the basics.
If you can stick to a simple schedule or routine, you’ll avoid crisis cleaning. The half-hour before a showing is not the time to dig into a deep-cleaning project.
To help you feel ready for sudden home showings, consider doing the following tasks each day:
- Make beds.
- Give one room a quick dusting. Rotate through the rooms each day.
- Vacuum or sweep high-traffic areas.
- Clean and put away dishes.
- Do one load of laundry from start to finish.
- Sort the mail so that it doesn’t form a pile.
- Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters.
- Empty trash cans.
Some tasks don’t make it into the daily routine. You will probably need to commit about 30 minutes a few times a week to catch up on these jobs:
- Mop the kitchen, bathrooms, and entry.
- Thorough vacuuming.
- Clean the mirrors. Clean smudges off of windows.
- Wipe down the fronts of your appliances.
- Sweep off the front porch.
Keeping things tidy on an ongoing basis will make it easier to put on the finishing touches quickly when needed.
PRO TIP: Keep a container of disinfectant wipes in each bathroom and the kitchen. They will be your favorite cleaning “tool” when it’s time to hustle. And they make quick work of spills or splattered toothpaste.
The Last-Minute Cleaning Drill
Your seller’s agent calls. You have thirty minutes to clean up the house and make yourself scarce.
Don’t panic! Here are some quick tidying and cleaning hacks to make this situation work.
- Use those decorative baskets to gather any random items that you find in the common living areas. Or toss those things in an empty laundry basket and stash the loaded basket in a closet.
- Do a quick bedroom check. Are the beds made? Is the laundry off the floor? Take a few minutes to make sure these areas are presentable.
- Take a couple of minutes to check each bathroom. Flush and close the toilets, wipe down the counters, and hang a clean hand towel.
- Give the kitchen some attention. It’s the room most likely to have something out of place. Put any dirty dishes in the dishwasher and wipe off the countertops.
If you still have time, quickly sweep the kitchen and entry area. Fluff the pillows on the couch, and open the curtains to let in some sunlight. Take a last look around to see if anything seems out of place.
When you know that potential buyers are on their way, avoid cooking anything with strong smells. Take the trash on your way out and think salesy thoughts as you head out the door.
Give Yourself Some Grace
When you are still living in a home you’re selling, you will always leave a trace. Do the best you can with the time you have when a last-minute showing is about to happen. Potential buyers will not make a decision based on there being a half-full hamper in the closet.
When you’re ready to sell or buy, rely on the experts at Julia Monaghan Real Estate. We have the experience to help make the process go smoothly as we work toward your real estate goals.