Ready to show your home? You've followed all the tips about staging — packed away the clutter, simplified the furnishings, organized, arranged, worked that curb appeal, and spiffed up the back yard. Now your home looks like a model! But — how are you going to live there with potential buyers coming through?
Here's some good advice to keep you and your family sane while you present an appealing home to buyers.
1. Set a schedule to show your home — but be flexible!
There's no such thing as an ideal time to clear out while your agent shows your home, but some times are better than others. It depends on you, your family, and how you live. Let your agent know which times work best and which are "blackout" times in your schedule. Maybe you're away at regular times. But other times, especially if you have children who need uninterrupted homework time, might be better off limits.
But make room for flexibility. Ask your agent to call you if a motivated buyer wants to come by in your "off" hours. Could you make advance arrangements with a relative or friend to take the kids, if need be? Or, if you work late and like your mornings to yourself, be prepared to give this up when you have to. A serious looker may want to see what the neighborhood is like — or what the light is like in the house — at various times of day (and night). Working out an exception to your schedule could help sell your home!
2. Keep a checklist of the get-ready routine. For example:
• Lighting: Open all the window coverings and turn on the lights
• Bathroom detail: Sweep all name-brand bathroom items into drawers, put out fresh towels, wipe the mirrors, sinks, and counters with alcohol-water solution
• Kitchen: Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher and run it; wipe counters and sink; sprinkle cinnamon on a cookie sheet and warm it in the oven for an irresistible aroma
3. Give every family member a job from the checklist, or an area to get ready. That way you won't run around like the Keystone Cops, knocking into each other!
4. If you absolutely can't leave, make yourself scarce — leave the buyer plenty of room. You want buyers to picture it as their house, and your presence will distract them.
Sure, it takes some work to show your home. So keep it as painless as possible — establish a routine. Follow the routine, and you'll sell your home faster!
Kathleen Yamauchi is a long-time realtor located in Prescott, Arizona. For more free tips and resources on buying and selling your home and other real estate advice, visit her web site at http://www.kathleeny.com.
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