The expression, “A man’s home is his castle” has been around for centuries. It is frequently attributed to 17th Century English Jurist Sir Edward Coke in his argument for the supremacy of common law. It is the basis for the legal doctrine of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, “The right of the people to be secure in their … houses … against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.”
A home has always been seen as a man or woman’s sanctuary, a person’s very personal space. But when The Trembley Group Real Estate Sales Executive puts that “For Sale” sign out on the front lawn, the homeowner and hopeful home seller needs to be prepared to bare all. If the seller has listened to the professional advice of The Trembley Group Realtor, the home has been priced right and eager real estate agents will be waiting in line to lead their homebuyers through the front door. Soon strangers will begin combing through every nook and cranny during open houses.
All of this will happen while most homeowners are trying to continue with life as normally as possible. Here are a few helpful tips to help prepare for a new, hectic life living in a listed home.
Since the home seller is receiving expert advice from a Trembley Group Real Estate Sales Executive, they probably have fewer than a few months to live in their house. The sellers need to remember that over the next few months, they’ll not need many of the space-gobbling items currently filling rooms and closets. So since spring is fast approaching and those winter clothes won’t be needed for another nine months, pack them up!
The secret to getting a house clutter-free is to pack and remove the things that can be lived without while the home is on the market.
While packing, start decluttering by throwing away or donating things no longer needed. It will give a head start on moving — buyers appreciate the appearance of extra space when searching for homes. As obvious as it seems, buyers are naturally drawn to and are willing to pay more for a home that isn’t crammed to the ceiling with stuff and feels like it has extra space.
Remember, buyers will naturally open anything that might become theirs if they buy the home. The cabinets, the closets, the attic… nothing is sacred. Since they’ll be looking inside all of them, make sure they’re not crammed with clutter.
If a home has been lived in for many years, chances are it’s accumulated a lot of stuff. Going through the garage, attic, storage boxes and old cabinets early in the process and throwing out everything that’s unneeded will make it a lot easier when it comes time to move. A serious seller will have to get rid of stuff and get organized at some point. Doing so early in the process helps create space and makes moving more manageable.
Looking for motivation to clean every cobweb off the light fixtures or scrub the corners of the bathroom floor? A clean house matters to buyers, and they’ll pay more to get it! A clean house can net an extra $2,000, $5,000 or even $10,000 on a home sale. Set a goal of five-star-hotel perfection when cleaning sinks, glass, mirrors, windows, and toilets. If a home is truly spic-and-span, it’ll sell faster. And since things are already packed and well-organized down to the essentials, moving will be easy.
So instead of thinking of it as work – think of it as making more money!
If a home seller is staying in a home while it’s on the market, The Trembley Group Sales Executives recommend a number of measures to help their clients (and the Sales Executives) get organized and stay sane.
- Create a cleaning schedule, and stick to it. If it’s affordable, invest in a weekly cleaning service. Before each showing, vacuum the floors, dust all furniture, and wipe down all kitchen and bath surfaces.
- In the kitchen, keep countertops clear. Stash paper towels, sponges, and dish soap under the sink when they’re not in use. Make a habit of placing dirty dishes immediately in the dishwasher, and keep most appliances off the countertops.
- Buyers will open cabinets. Be sure your glasses, plates, pots, and pans are well-organized and stacked neatly.
- Use natural air freshening methods like boiling lemon slices or cinnamon on the stove to neutralize cooking odors.
- Use totes or bins to keep daily bathroom items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap out of sight.
- Immediately sort mail when it arrives at your house, and dispose of anything that isn’t vitally necessary.
- Stash a few of the children’s favorite toys in a large decorative bin or tote in a corner of the room or hall closet, and clear the rest away.
- Put iPhone cords and enormous charging block in a drawer out of view.
- If you have a 9-to-5 office job and pets, consider boarding the pets on weekdays when showings might occur.
It’s not easy living in a home that’s staged for sale, but it’s most definitely worth the investment of time and energy.
When a home is going on the market, less is more. Investing in a storage unit or making some storage space in the garage will allow a home to show better. If there are too many pieces of furniture in the living room, too many chairs around the kitchen table or an extra dresser in the bedroom, put them in storage. Cluttered rooms turn off potential buyers and can make spaces appear smaller. If you’re uncertain about what should go where or just what should go, your Trembley Group Sales Executive can offer expert advice.
Remember “unreasonable searches?” People will look through drawers, closets, and medicine cabinets during open houses and showings. A Trembley Group Real Estate Sales Executive will insist that other agents accompany their prospective buyers during open houses. Never-the-less, anything in a house that shouldn’t be seen should be removed and valuables should be protected:
- Store mail, personal documents, and valuables in safes
- Lock up or remove all prescription medicine bottles
- Enable passwords on your in-home computers and laptops
- Double-check bedside tables and other areas where you commonly place anything of monetary or sentimental value
- When in doubt, lock it up
When putting a house up for sale and taking the pictures for the online listing, prearrange with friends and family to take pets for the day. When a home hits the market and the open houses and showings begin, it’s a good idea to board pets elsewhere. And don’t forget to stash away the pet dishes, toys and beds too.
Realtors are busy and will probably show up to showings and open houses about the same time as buyers. Whenever possible, prep the home by turning on all the lights, playing some light music, opening doors or windows if the weather permits and lighting the fireplace if it’s cold outside. And don’t forget to make sure the temperature is comfortable for all visitors. No potential buyer turn-off should be overlooked.
Once you have gone through a showing/open-house checklist, head out! You want potential buyers to feel that this is their beautiful home. Every Trembley Group Sales Executive knows the worst thing a seller can do is hover around prospective buyers and their agents. The agents need the ability to speak openly and candidly to both The Trembley Group Real Estate Sales Executive and their buyers.
Many sellers wonder if they can keep their home perfectly organized and clean forever. They wonder where their stuff went. They need to remember that they’ve partnered with the most professional real estate sales executives in the industry. If they’ve followed the expert advice, dressed up their home for sale and priced the home right, it’s going to sell right away and they’ll be moving soon. And since closets and the garage have been cleaned and purged, things are packed, well-organized, and edited down to the essentials, moving to a new home will be a snap.
Need help? Call The Trembley Group at 843.945.1880 ext. 1 and we’ll help you look for the perfect listing or buyers agent!
At The Trembley Group, we pride ourselves on being the experts at more than just selling real estate. We are local residents, some of us have been here for a lifetime. The rest of us will be here until the end of time. We love living, working, and playing in the diverse backyard of Coastal Carolina, and look forward to helping you live and love your dreams soon too. Please reach out to us by phone or email for personalized service and one-on-one advice.