Living in a home while it’s on the market is no easy task. Day-to-day routines become disrupted and habits are forced to change. No more leaving wet towels on the floor of the bathroom, thinking you’ll retrieve them when you get home from work. No more dirty dishes in the sink. The house needs to remain neat and tidy at all times so that it shows in its best light. First, however, you’ll need to get it in show condition, so consider the following steps.
1. Get rid of odors
If you’ve ever come home from a vacation and wonder why your house smells so bad, we have news for you: it always smells that way. You’ve just become accustomed to it. Everything from grease to diapers and pet stains can become trapped in our homes and, unless someone tells us, we may not even be aware of the smells.
Rule number one to reel in buyers is to get your home in pristine olfactory condition.
- If you won’t be painting, wash the walls and the ceilings. Any number of products can be used, from a mixture of ammonia and water, vinegar and water or dish detergent and water to commercial cleaners.
- Hire a professional carpet cleaner and have the carpets not only cleaned but deodorized. Many also clean upholstered furniture.
- Take down fabric window coverings and launder or dry clean them. Wipe down wooden coverings, such as blinds and shutters, with an appropriate cleaner.
- Remove grease from the kitchen, from the range hood to the walls to the top of the refrigerator and cabinet fronts.
- Have the dog groomed and keep him/her that way to avoid dog odor in the house while it’s on the market.
- Don’t allow dirty, food-laden plates to sit too long, run the garbage disposer routinely and empty the trash frequently.
Noisy neighbors? There isn’t much you can do about that except try to mask or dilute the sound:
- Leave soft music playing
- Use a white noise machine
- Play a sound effects c.d. (water sounds are particularly nice)
- Purchase an indoor fountain
- Use a higher watt light bulb in all of the home’s lamps and fixtures. Leave all of the lights on (including those in closets) when the home will be shown.
- Open all window coverings during showings.
- Get that curb appeal on. This is the first “sight” that potential buyers will lay their eyes on.
One final tip: Most of the time you won’t be home when the house is shown to potential buyers so protect your belongings during the time the home is on the market. Either lock up or remove valuables (especially small, easy-to-pocket items), prescription medications, firearms and money. Hide paperwork that might be valuable to an identity thief.
Ideas for how to make your home more appealing to buyers abound on the Internet. Visit decorator and designer websites and take a few tips. You’ll have buyers swooning over your Wasilla home!