Thursday, August 4, 2022 / by Margie Wright
1. Create a Blank Slate
Personalizing a house is what turns a house into a home. You likely remember when you bought your house... the blank walls and rooms filled to the brim with possibilities of decoration. If you remember that feeling, then you know what it looks like. When you're trying to sell, you want any potential buyers to experience that feeling. That's why a blank slate is so important! If you're got children's art and report cards on display, it can be difficult for buyers to see past that and see the house as theirs.
Pack away the specific accomplishments and really personal touches. You'll have to pack them away anyway when you move, and this will help you start the packing process as well as create a blank slate. If you still want decorations out to give a more homey touch, there are a few things that can be put out that are neutral and still help sell. Calendars are both useful and homey, but make sure to not put too much personal information on the calendar (to be safe when walkthroughs happen). Notices of neighborhood events, local events, and local shops are always a great way to showcase what makes the area great for living in!
2. Box It Up
Preparing to move and selling is a flurry of chaos, so adding in back to school is double the chaos. New shoes, clothes, supplies, and more starts littering the floors and piling up in random areas as kids come in and out from school. Managing the chaos is key! Attractive, easy-to-access storage for the must-have items is key to managing. Look for large bins or storage benches that can double as decor or furniture. Make sure everything is able to fit. Storage benches can be a great way to keep the floors tidied up, but if everything can't fit inside, you're going to end up frustrated and likely have more messes. Ask kids to help identify what the most critical everyday items are. Supplies, the pairs of shoes they wear most often, and their favorite toys can stay out in the house and available to grab while also having designated spaces in the storage. All other items can start to be packaged up and put in the garage or long-term storage.
3. Increase Storage
Adequate storage is a necessity. Having areas to put your boxed up items is key to keeping it out of the way so as to ensure the blank slate of your house is kept for buyers. Really utilizing an attic, garage, shed, or storage unit is going to be key. Make sure everything is boxed and labeled neatly and clearly. That way, when it's time to make the move, you won't be scrambling around in boxes trying to figure out what's gone where. Some of the best things to put into storage to help make your home presentable: winter clothes, sports equipment, unused toys, memorabilia and art work, personal decorations, excess furniture, and anything else that is not being used constantly.
4. Be Prepared
A request for a showing can happen at just about any time. Don't let it catch you off-guard! Especially with kids around, having a prep checklist on hand is a great help. Have a one to two hour buffer zone for all tours so that you can run through that checklist. As soon as you get word about a showing, grab the checklist! Start tidying up, dusting, sweeping, and putting things away. Don't forget to clear out the outside either. Sweep the porch and check for any rogue summer toys that may be a tripping hazard. If the kids are home, turn it into a game! Get them involved with cleaning up so that way it goes quicker.
5. Prepare the Escape Plan
Know what's around you and where to go when tour time strikes. Since a showing can occur at almost any time of day, it's good to know how late and how early places are open. If your kids have been doing a lot of summer reading, have their books ready to go and find a quiet library or park to read at. Do they need more reading to do? The local library is the perfect spot! Nearby parks and swimming pools are also great places to relax and let kids get their energy out. To add in special treats, a trip to get ice cream (or other delicious goody) is always fun to celebrate a job well done during the prep time. The movies are an easy and fun way to pass a couple hours of time. Make a list of your options! Have the kids help you decide what goes on the list so that way they know as well.
6. Pack in Advance
Have backpacks and diaper bags ready to go with all the supplies you'll need while you're out during a showing. If you're still in the pre-school time, this can be a great time to go back to school shopping. Make sure you have all the necessary items on you for that kind of excursion. Wallet, school supply lists, snacks (definitely necessary), and even items needed for school registration are important if you need to run by the school itself to get things done. It may be a hassle to get those things gathered, but it's worth it to be able to grab and go with ease.
7. Leave Room in the Trunk
It doesn't matter how well you plan... things happen. Sometimes you're caught off-guard. Sometimes you don't have enough time to get everything put away exactly as you wish. An empty or well-organized trunk can be your best friend. It may not be your first choice, but it's worth it to have it as a back-up to throw extra toys and other messy items in at the last minute. When you're up against the clock, this can definitely save you from having to leave a mess behind for the potential buyers to look at.