Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Feels Like Home Interiors Prep List for the Savvy Seller

You've taken all the right steps before your home is listed. You've decluttered and depersonalized and worked with a professional stager to ensure your house is ready for its big debut. Your photos are stunning and you are excited that listing day is finally here.

You are to be congratulated on all the effort you've made so far. But you're not quite done yet. Remember the goal of selling your home is to get your home sold. I know this sounds incredibly obvious. Yet it's clear from the condition of many homes on the market that not all sellers understand this basic concept.

Keeping your home ready to show is hard work, but the better job you do keeping your house in model home condition while you are on the market, the more you increase your chances of selling quicker and for a better price. Your best strategy is to stay "show ready" so when the call from a realtor comes saying they have a buyer who would like to see your home, you are ready.

This checklist is divided into tasks you need to do every day, every few days, weekly, and anytime before you leave the house. Follow these steps and there will be no need to panic or stress. Just a few last minute touches and your home will be ready to show to its best potential. So be a savvy seller--follow these suggestions, get your home sold, and move on with your life.

Daily Prep:

  • Make the beds.

  • Get all clothes off the floor and put away or in the laundry.

  • Wipe down any showers, tubs, sinks, counters, faucets, toilets and stove tops.

  • Rinse dishes, load dishwasher, run dishwasher and empty dishwasher.

  • Wash your personal towels daily and put out your "show" towels.

  • Sort, file, and discard mail as soon as you receive it.

  • Put away all/recycle all reading material including newspapers and magazines.

  • Stow all personal items out of sight including, eyeglasses and personal care items such as toothbrush/toothpaste, lotions, bathing products, etc. Remember to keep all bath products in a small plastic bin that you can easily move inside a cabinet after using.

  • Empty the trash daily, especially kitchen and bathrooms, and keep all trash containers stored inside cabinets or closets and out of sight.

  • Straighten and fluff the pillows on chairs and sofas.

  • Clean up any pet areas including emptying the litter box if you have cats, and when appropriate put your animals in the garage, outside, or with a neighbor.

Every Few Days Prep:

  • Check on fresh flowers, change the water, and replace if they are starting to look wilted.

  • If you have fresh fruit in a bowl in the kitchen make sure it is still fresh.

  • Sweep any debris from front porch, walkways, and decks or patios.

  • Do the laundry more often than usual so they don't pile up. Get them washed, dried, folded and put away. If you have dirty clothes at the time of a showing place them in the washing machine and close the lid.

  • Dust, sweep, and vacuum.

  • Wipe down the outside of appliances and polish any stainless steel-a light coat of olive oil on SS appliances will help keep those pesky fingerprints away.

  • Water outdoor pots and beds as often as needed.

Weekly Prep:

  • Shake out any throw or scatter rugs.

  • Do the yard work, including mowing, weeding, and cleaning up any debris.

  • Water houseplants.

  • Straighten up the garage and any other storage areas.

Before You Leave the House Prep:

  • Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature.

  • Turn on the lights to their show ready levels.

  • Make sure the house is odor free-avoid cooking foods that leave strong lingering odors while your house is on the market.

  • Close all toilet lids.

  • Do a quick walk-through to make sure all items are properly stowed and each space looks just the way you want.

(See the post Staying Sane Living Ready to Show for more information about the importance of keeping you house show ready.)

A savvy seller or Realtor in the Pittsburgh area looking for expert assistance getting a property ready to show to its best potential? Please visit Feels Like Home Interiors to find out more about how their home staging services can make a difference for your home or listings.