Preparing a home to put on the market takes a lot of time and energy, and when you’re a busy parent, you may not have much of either to spare. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to stage your home and get it ready for a sale over a period of time so you won’t have to do it all at once. Work out a schedule that makes sense for you and your family, then get everyone on board to help you create a plan for each room. This might include cleaning, deodorizing, decluttering, depersonalizing, and/or moving or removing furniture.
It’s also crucial to think about how the selling process will affect you and your family while your home is on the market. You may have potential buyers coming to visit at the last minute, which means your home will need to be prepared no matter what you have going on. Come up with a way to keep your house clean and organized in order to reduce stress and anxiety.
Below are a few easy ways to get started.
Work, ferrying children to and from school and extracurricular activities can eat up a huge part of your day, leaving very little time in the evenings to maintain your home while it’s on the market. If keeping your home sparkling feels like an impossible task, now is the time to consider a housekeeper. While housekeepers don’t typically help with decluttering, window washing or even small home repairs, they can bring peace of mind with general house upkeep and minor yard work to help your home remain show-worthy. Nationally, the average cost for a housekeeper every week is around $100, so this can be a worthwhile investment in facilitating your home’s sale. Just be clear about your needs when searching for a service and consider providing a punch list so candidates know what you’ll be expecting.
Staging a home is a big job no matter what size the house is, so many people turn to professionals who can come in and help get the interior perfect before it goes on the market. A professional stager can see things the average homeowner might not even think about, such as a countertop cluttered with personal photographs, a room that would look bigger without a specific piece of furniture in it, or the potential for some curb appeal with a fresh coat of paint to the front door and some lawn work. If you have the money in your budget, it’s worthwhile to seek out a pro in your area, as they can get you a great return on your investment. Keep in mind that cost can vary based on the square footage of your home. For example, Value Penguin notes the cost to stage a 2,500-3,000-square-foot home can range from $250-$525.
When your home is well-organized, it’s much easier to keep it clean, and that’s essential for busy families. Look for storage solutions that can be hidden, such as bins that will keep toys neat and organized behind cabinet doors, or furniture that has hollow spaces for blankets or remote controls. This is a great way to hide those little things when you have a last-minute showing while still keeping things tidy. Just keep in mind that potential buyers will look in closets and in the drawers of pieces that will stay behind when you move.
It can be hard to keep doing the dishes as you use them up or tidy up the living room every night before bed, but if you can clean as you go rather than leaving everything for one big job, you’ll be able to stay on top of everything much more easily. Realtors want to sell homes as quickly as possible; when they sit on the market longer than a month, the chances of a sale tend to dwindle. This means they won’t turn down a request to view a home unless it’s absolutely out of the question, so you’ll want to be as prepared as possible.
Editing is a big part of staging a home. Once everything is clean, look through each room to see if there are pieces of furniture or decor that can be removed to improve the feeling of the space. Large pieces of furniture can take up too much room and can block the natural light, while personal family photos can overwhelm a space for a buyer who is trying to envision their own belongings there. Keep things simple as much as possible in order to highlight each area.
Staging your home for sale takes a lot of work and thought, so start as early as you can and make sure you give yourself time to get everything done. It will also help to do some research on what buyers in your area are looking for. With a good plan, you can make a quick sale without stress.