Keeping your home market-ready is critical throughout the listing period, even if you are living in it. It isn’t easy for everyone, which is why some sellers opt to move out and stage the home. That just isn’t an option for everyone. The home below is a home we listed in Magnolia. Our clients were buying up to their new abode in South Seattle and put in a contingent offer. They basically had a short window to get their home sold. Moving out just was not an option.
How Is a Home Seller Suppose to Keep their Home Market Ready While it is Listed?
Let’s be honest: Buyers and their agents are going to tear through your home. First-time sellers may be shocked at they can “leave their mark” on the home just passing through. They might leave doors and windows open. They might get too personal with your things if you are still living there. Their kid may decide that your kid’s toys are theirs now. And, of course, they WILL call you last minute for a showing.
It isn’t malice. Buyers don’t mean to be overly invasive or inconsiderate. They don’t want to piss off sellers before making an offer, after all. And chances are, if you are a seller, you have been a buyer, too, so you know they’re just on a mission to find a home that works for them in a competitive market.
In this blog we are going to go over what it takes to keep your home market-ready while you are still living in the home. It starts with the prep-work you need to do before listing the home, a checklist while the home is on the market, and wrapping your mind around welcoming people in soon to be someone else’s home (hint it is not your home anymore).
Prep Work: The Most Work For Getting a Home Market-Ready Starts Before The Listing
If you are planning to live in the home during the listing period, work with your agent to make sure it will appeal to as many buyers as possible. Team Diva will re-stage homes using our clients existing decor, furnishings and art in advance of listing. It’s all about making it pretty…one of the steps of The Diva Difference.
PS: Before making it pretty, make sure you fix what’s broken. Check out our blog on essential home repairs before listing to identify what needs to be done before focusing on aesthetics.
A Daily Checklist For Keeping Your Home Market-Ready
Take a screenshot of the following showing options and prep-list and pin it to your fridge. Every day you need to do the following items to keep your home fresh, ready for an eager buyer, and looking Diva perfect.
Showing Schedule While the Home is On the Market
First off you have to keep in mind that home buyers and their agents are making an emotional decision. Often times they want to see a home last minute. And you have to capture that urgency. Yes, it is inconvenient. But that is also how you are going to get the home sold. It is extremely inconvenient if you have small kiddos or a couple of fur babies.
Here are two options for allowing showings while you are still in the home.
Option One: Keep your schedule flexible so you can be out of the house as much as possible.
Option Two: Move out for the first week and come back once you have an offer.
Prep List for Showings at Your Home
Remember how beautiful your home looked like during the photos and the video? Now you need to keep your home looking that swanky. Here is the list to make sure you are a winner regardless of the market.
- Hide valuables, expensive toys, prescriptions, credit cards, jewels, etc.
- Clean your house every morning
- Keep furry pets out of the home for the week, or take them with you during the day.
- Keep the lights on
- Keep the blinds up
- Mow the yard, if necessary
- Get dishes in the dishwasher, not the sink.
- Take out all the garbage each evening.
- Keep counters and other flat surfaces cleared and cleaned.
- Make the beds and fluff the pillows (including the throw pillows)
- Keep laundry out of sight
- Vacuum and mop floors every day
- Keep bathrooms fresh smelling and wiped down and
- Keep the toilets seat down
- Leave the house smelling clean and inviting (no plug-ins)
- Keep drawers, closets, and cabinets tidy.
Get In The Right Headspace, Too
Keeping your home market-ready isn’t exactly like entertaining. You won’t be there and you won’t know who is coming and going. That can be disconcerting for some people, so make sure you communicate concerns with your agent if you have anxiety about this.
You have to be patient, understanding and flexible…
and you may need to spend some time each night or day getting your home back to being “show ready.” It’s a commitment of time and energy, keeping your home market-ready. But remember, it’s a temporary arrangement, and it’s all to ensure your home sells for the most it can.
Some clients just don’t want the hassle, so they opt to move out for the listing period and have the home staged. If you have the means to do it, it can be ideal.
An important tip for first-time home sellers: We strongly most of our clients to move out and have the home staged. Buyers need visual cues to understand the potential of a space, whether that’s through temporary staging or the best version of your home as you live in it. Not only does it help you “let go” of the home it also helps the buyer to see the home and not the current residents living in the space.
Now that you know more about keeping your home market-ready, let’s continue your seller education.
If you plan to live in your home while listing it, there will probably be a surprise or two. Over years and years, we’ve seen it all, so we know how to keep clients at ease. Keeping your home market-ready while listing it is easy with the right checklist and support. The Divas are here to support you throughout your home selling journey. Is it time to contact a Diva? Go ahead and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling/texting 206-271-0264.