Even in a hot market, selling your home will likely take more than one or two showings. That means the process may take some time. Meanwhile, your everyday life goes on, no matter how many agents request a walk-through.
If you’re showing your home while living there, you’ll need to devise a way to quickly switch from “daily living” to “display-worthy.” Here are four tips that may help you adapt to living in your home while it’s on the market.
1. Start Packing
Removing clutter can put you one step ahead when you do get an offer from a buyer, and it can also make it easier to get ready for last-minute showings. Try to clean out the house room by room, and remove excess clutter to give buyers a better view. Donate, recycle or throw out whatever you won’t be taking with you. Remove personal items, including framed photographs, and pack them securely, rather than waiting until the last minute before you move. With fewer toys, papers and other small items to manage, you’ll have fewer things to worry about putting away before someone rings your doorbell.
2. Manage Showing Times
Although you want to be as flexible as possible for impromptu showings, you should allow yourself to be realistic, too. If you have young kids, certain times of the day — nap time and bath time, for example — may not work for last-minute visitors. To help agents scheduling showings, request a specific number of hours of advance notice to give yourself time to get everyone packed up and out of the house. And when a spur-of-the-moment request comes in at a good time of day for you, agents will appreciate you bending the rules to accommodate their request.
3. Keep Up with Your Cleaning Routine
Frequent showings require you to keep the house clean. Spend an extra few minutes to make the beds every day, and put clothes and kids’ toys away before you leave for work. If you know the house is presentable while you’re away, you may improve your chances of a successful showing that doesn’t disrupt your family time.
4. Create a Showing Checklist
Just so you don’t forget anything in your rush to get out of the house before a showing, write up a checklist of your clean-up routine. Include items like putting away pet supplies, running the vacuum and clearing off the countertops to make sure the house looks its best. You don’t want to be 10 minutes away when you remember that you left a bed unmade or the kids’ laundry sitting out, waiting to be folded.
There’s no doubt that frequent showings are stressful, but with advanced planning, you can develop a routine to handle the weekly — or even daily — disruptions. Instead of getting overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and remember the goal is to sell your home and start preparing for the next stage of your move.
Phil Karp is a real estate expert who prides himself in offering advice to make the sale process less stressful for home buyers and sellers. As head of Brokerage Services, he is constantly working to expand the knowledge of new and professional agents at Owners.com, where you can list your home for sale and search listings for a new home. In his downtime, he chases his passion for auto racing in the Greater Atlanta area that he calls home.