On those happy real estate shows, an open house goes off without a hitch. There’s only one problem. Many people continue to live in their home until it sells. If you’re a parent, it might seem impossible to keep your home ready for a showing, but it’s actually easier than you might think. It will require a couple weeks of hard work, but after that you’ll be able to easily keep the rooms clean until the house is sold.
Pack Away as Much as Possible
Your first weekend should be devoted to packing and storing as many of your belongings as possible. What this does is prevent the need to constantly organize and clears clutter. This is especially great advice if you have outgrown your home. If the closets and cabinets are busting at the seams, buyers will immediately think that the home doesn’t have enough storage space.
Choose One Weekend to Paint and Stage
The next weekend, once all the clutter is gone, send the kids away to grandma’s, and paint the rooms a neutral color, such as tan. Neutral colors are much more appealing to buyers and allow them to see themselves living in the home. Once the paint is dry, carefully stage each room so that buyers can tell what each room can be used for and add decorations to make the house feel like a home, but be careful to avoid a cluttered look.
Do a Daily Cleaning/Pickup
Once your home is staged, take time at the end of each day to run through each room and put things back where they belong. If you do this each day, your home will stay organized and clutter-free. You should also make it a habit to do dishes and other household chores frequently so they don’t get out of hand.
Give Everyone a Chore to Do
Not only should each child be in charge of picking up their own room each evening, but each member of the household can also have a chore. For example, if mom cooks, dad can wash the dishes. If your son vacuums, your daughter can dust. By working together, it will only take a few minutes each evening to get the house back in order.
Keep Activities in the Car for Spur of the Moment Showings
Most buyers are uncomfortable looking at home while the sellers are there. Because your agent may call without giving much notice, it pays to keep activities in the car to keep the kids busy. You may have some outdoor toys, such as balls, to play with at the park or books to read.
Staging and selling a home while caring for a family may seem difficult, but it’s not impossible. In fact, once you get past the first two weekends, it will be smooth sailing. But, you must keep up with the daily cleaning and pickup or your home will quickly become a wreck.
About the Author: This is a guest post from Crystal Lamm. Visit here if you’d like to learn more about her hometown of Louisville.