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10 Learned Tips by Staying in a House For Sale

November 30, 2009

It has become our family tradition every Thanksgiving that after we’ve gorged ourselves full of stuffing and pies, to head out to my sister’s home for a relaxing weekend in the desert resort city of  Rancho Mirage, CA. This year was no different except for one small, or rather HUGE difference, this year the house has been listed for sale.

Now, that didn’t mean we couldn’t still stay there.  My sister and her husband figure that it will take several months to sell this home (there are SEVEN other homes for sale on their street alone!)  Even though this home will be sold fully furnished with high end furnishings (most in resort towns are) What it DID mean was that we wouldn’t be able to be quite as “relaxed” as we usually are.  Inevitably we had to be prepared to have the home shown at a moments notice since many Realtors bring clients to see one house, but since there are SO MANY available they end up looking at each and every one since they are in the neighborhood, and they did: TWICE!

Now, this is no small feet. It was not just my family of four, it was also my sister’s family of four, their dog, my brother and our mother in a 4,000+/-  square foot home.  And I must admit that some of these suggestions will take some forward thinking and planning a head of time to implement.  Some are habits that are going to need to be formed, others are bad habits that will need to be broken.

Here are 10 Learned Tips on how to be able to keep a home “show ready” and still be able to live and “relax” all at the same time.

1) Starting with a clean house is a MUST!  This house started out spotless, and we needed to keep it that way – but starting off with a beautifully clean, well furnished and Staged home was a huge step forward.

2) Make your beds every day, the very second you get up.  I don’t mean pull the comforter up so high that it simply covers the pillows and leaves all the sheets in lumps underneath – make it right, make it beautiful, it will be done for the rest of the day.

Boys Playing

Boys Playing

3) Got kids? If you have an outdoor space or table (weather permitting) where they can do their crafts, legos or even homework it would be ideal and it gets them out of the house.  Put a table cloth or sheet on the table which gives them a clean surface even if the table is not.  Should a Realtor come knocking, you can simply fold everything up into the table cloth and pack it away quickly.  If the weather in your area does not permit this, the same idea can be used indoors.  By placing a large towel, sheet or blanket on the floor kids can still spread out but all the tiny little lego pieces, crayons  (or whatever) can be collected and dumped into their collection box in seconds.

 

4) Run your dishwasher every night, or every other night if not full.  In the morning, empty the dishwasher while your coffee is brewing.  This way you can load all your empty dishes into it throughout the day as you use them, never leaving a dirty dish to be seen in the sink.

5) Paper plates and plastic cups. Yep, I said it; paper plates and plastic cups. If you don’t have a dishwasher (or even if you do)  if you’re not entertaining and it’s just you and the kids, why not?  Just make sure they go into your recycle bin at the end of the week and not into the local landfill.

 

Squeegee at Bed Bath & Beyond, about $8

Squeegee at Bed Bath & Beyond, about $8

6) Squeegees are your friend!  How do you keep your windows crystal clear even if the kids have splashed them from the pool or the dog’s wet nose has left streaks everywhere?  With a little glass cleaner, a large window squeegee can clean an entire sliding glass door, both sides in about 3 minutes flat and that’s not rushing.

 

 

Divided Storage Laundry Bin by Pottery Barn

Divided Storage Laundry Bin by Pottery Barn

7) Laundry bins are a MUST in every bedroom.  Not only for dirty clothes, but for towels as well.  In children’s rooms, these are also great to throw toys into at a moment’s notice.

8 ) Laundry bins in living spaces are OK as well!  Great looking laundry bins can still fit into today’s décor and hide a multitude of sins in seconds. Get a lidded one at your local home décor store, they’re great to throw children or dog toys into within 5 min.

9) Keeping on the subject of laundry, you really should be doing 1-2 loads of laundry everyday while your house is for sale instead of letting it pile up and doing it all on the weekend (when buyers are most likely to come see your house).  One load of lights, one load of darks/colors and this will ensure that those laundry bins aren’t overflowing by the weekend either.

10) If Fido needs to be home when the home is being shown, it’s better to put Fido in the garage for a short period of time then to let them run loose to jump on prospective buyers or put them in a bedroom where buyers can’t view the room.  Be sure to move their beds into the garage as well and leave them with a small bowl of food and water.

A little bit of planning ahead will save you a large amount of headaches when it comes time to finally put your house on the market for sale.  If you’re in the Los Angeles or Ventura County areas, call Platinum Home Staging, Inc. and our Professionals will be happy to help walk you through it to Stage and organize your home. (805) 553-9952

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