Guest Blog: Quick Last-Minute Tips to Keep Your Home Showroom Ready
Updated: Jun 19, 2019
Today's post is by Kris Louis of ParentingWithKris.com
Despite your best efforts to keep everything clean, you are a real person with a busy schedule, and your home is bound to get a little messy. In a normal world, this is perfectly acceptable. But when you are trying to sell your home and amid impromptu showings, this is a problem. According to the Balance, you will lose buyers by requiring advanced notice to show your home, so last-minute appointments are ultimately in your favor. Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to maintain perfection, here are tips to quickly put your house back together before a showing.
Hide the Clutter
You have already done a big declutter before putting your house on the market, but if you and your family are still living in the house, then there is bound to be some daily clutter laying around – shoes, backpacks, books, or toys, for example. Chances are, you don’t have time in your day to follow everyone around constantly picking up every item, nor do you want to spend your day yelling at your kids to put everything away. Instead, leave an empty bin in your living area (you can find affordable bins for as low as $1.99 at retailers like the Container Store). When you get a call from the realtor, take your bin around the house and put all discarded items into it. Then, you can neatly set it in the garage, out of sight and out of mind until after the showing.
Give Everything a Quick Wipe Down
In addition to a quick gathering of items, your home needs to be freshly cleaned. Hopefully, your house has already had a good deep clean. If not, you may want to consider hiring a professional to take care of that for you. It’s an easy way to check something off your to-do list. Most companies are very affordable; for example, in Boston, it typically costs around $119 to $248 to have your home cleaned. Again, if you and your family are living in your home, there is likely to be evidence of that. It’s unreasonable to think that the toilet seat will be wiped after every bathroom use or that you can mop the floor behind each footstep. So, consider hiring that same cleaning company to come back weekly to keep the house freshly clean.
Find the Funky Smells
What is the first thing you notice when you enter a home? Usually, it’s the smell. In the case of a prospective buyer coming into your home, you want that smell to be a pleasing and inviting aroma. When you are getting ready to show your home, don’t forget to go and empty all the trash bins from each room – the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and wherever else you keep a small bin. There’s no telling what small smelly item could be lurking in there. Another common source of bad odor is your garbage disposal. It’s easy for bits of spoiled food to be stuck down there without your knowledge, causing a foul stench. According to Apartment Therapy, the quickest and cheapest way to freshen up your garbage disposal is to take half of a fresh lemon and let the disposal run for a few minutes, grinding up that lemon. You will be rewarded with a fresh burst of citrus billowing throughout your kitchen.
Stage the Space
The way you live in your home is not necessarily the way you want prospective buyers to see it. For example, minor flaws in layout or functionality that you’ve adapted to may raise major red flags for a buyer. In this case, occupied staging can help showcase your home in the best light, even while you’re still living in it. Professional home stagers can create focal points in each room, depersonalize the space, and suggest minor updates that will help buyers see your home’s potential.
When you’re busy, it’s hard to keep your home spotless and showroom ready. So, grab your bin and do a quick tidy, take advantage of a cleaning service, and remove all smelly trash from your home to keep your house tidy in a flash. Your house doesn’t need to be perfect all the time, but you can pull it together in no time when it counts most.
About the Author:
Kris Louis is mom to two rambunctious boys. Her oldest is 10 and her youngest is 7. A former advertising copywriter, she recently created parentingwithkris.com, where she puts her skills to work writing about the trials and tribulations of parenting. Kris, her husband, and two boys live in Durham, NC.