How to Live in Your Home When It’s for Sale

One of the hardest things you face when you list your home for sale is keeping it ready to show when you and your family are still living in it. Life, especially if you have kids is generally pretty messy. Chances are good that keeping your home looking like a magazine cover is going to be all but impossible. Yet, if you don’t, it can be hard to find a buyer for your home, let alone get close to your asking price.

Here are a few good tips for those of you who must live in your home until it sells:

Let the Packing Begin

If you haven’t already started to pack for the big move, now is the perfect time to get started. Since you really should pack most of your personal effects away as part of staging your home for sale, now is the perfect time to get started. If you must continue to live in your home while it is up for sale, it’s vital that you start packing now and never stop, even if you don’t already have a new home picked out yet. Start with all of your non-essentials such as seasonal clothes or those kitchen appliances you almost never use.

Think about renting a storage unit or one of those portable storage pods as an affordable way to keep your things safely stored while you are in limbo. The more you store away, the less you have to deal with when it comes to staging your home and getting ready for the big move.

Cut Down to the Basics

Potential buyers are going to look at things like bathroom cabinets to see how much storage space they are going to have. No one wants to see a cabinet filled with old toothbrushes and empty pill bottles. Go through the whole house with this in mind; get rid of old toys, excessive amounts of DVDs and books, etc. This is the perfect time to get rid of years of accumulated junk by throwing it away or donating it. You are sure to appreciate this when the time comes to pack up and move out.

Keep Cleaning

You never know when someone is going to show up to look at your home. Adopting a clean as you go attitude can help relieve a lot of last minute stress. This means keeping the dishes and laundry done, making sure you put everything away instead of leaving it laying around (especially clean laundry). Make it easy on yourself by keeping basic cleaning supplies in a single convenient spot. Get your kids involved by offering special rewards for keeping their rooms clean. You can turn the entire selling your home and moving into a fun adventure for them.

Last Minute Check List Items

  • Put your mail away out of sight
  • Turn off computers or at least the monitors
  • Wipe down the counters in both bathrooms and kitchen
  • Fluff up any pillows on the couch or beds
  • Turn on every light in your home and open all of the curtains to give your home a brighter look
  • Go over the floors at the last minute with a vacuum or broom (for hardwood, linoleum, and tile floors)
  • Do a last-minute sweep-through just before they arrive to make sure all is ready
  • Keep all valuables safely stored away