1. Declutter and Organize
As with any home that is going to be placed on the market, be sure to declutter and get organized. This means you need to have a plan.
Start with one room and work from there. The easiest way is usually when the children are at school. If they are not in school or daycare, it will make the cleanup easier if you can find someone to babysit and keep your children occupied outside of the home.
Pack up, give away, and/or toss a large majority of the toys and have one or two weeks worth of clothes for each child.
2. Have Showing Delays
You do not want to be unreasonable and too strict about what hours and days your home can be shown. If you limit the time too much, your home will likely not sell quickly. To sell your home, people need to be able to see your home.
Ask your agent about being given a certain amount of notice prior to showings. A 30-60 minute notice is not unusual in order to do any last minute picking up and to get the family out of the house.
3. Give Your Children Chores
Many times it is easier to just do these chores yourself. Having the children help to keep the house clean and tidy will include them in the process of selling the home.
Have the children fix up their beds as well as they can. Make a list of chores appropriate for their age and have a checklist for each child.
Children can often put dishes in the dishwasher. They can clean off the bathroom counters and wash out the sinks. Children can straighten towels. They can pick up their toys. If there are showings, they can help vacuum and turn on lights. Have the children open the blinds to help make the house appears bright and open.
4. Make Your Own Checklist
Adults need to also have a checklist each day as well. If you have a delay in showings, make sure you can make your house is showing ready within that amount of time. Vacuum, mop the floors, do the dishes, and make the rooms as perfect as you can each morning. As someone once said, have your home look like the Queen of England is coming over for tea.
If you prepare your home each morning for any showing that day, the 30-60 minutes notice you may have will be enough time to pick up last minute objects and do any light cleaning you may need to have done before leaving the house.
5. Pre-Cook Meals
Keeping the kitchen clean can be one of the most difficult chores in selling a home. Preparing meals for 10-14 days that can be microwaved or merely placed in the oven at the end of the day will cut down on your daily cleaning.
Katie Coleman, Broker, BA, JD, CIPS, MRP, PSA
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Condos tend to be a great starter purchase for first-time home buyers as well as investors. There are a few things to keep in mind, however.
1. Know EXACTLY what is included with your unit. The sales people always show you that beautiful condo which is staged and perfect. Have you ever noticed they never have dressers and put smaller beds in each room of the model home to make them look open and spacious? Ask for a floorplan of exactly the condo you will be purchasing especially if you cannot actually enter the unit. Each unit, even the same floor plans, can be different even a little (and every contract I have seen states this), but the little change can mean a lot to the flow of the unit and how your furniture may, or may not, fit. If the model had a bookshelf and you want one, make sure that is what you will be getting.
2. Visit the unit at different times of the day and week. The unit close to the pool may seem very appealing. How easy to just pop over after work for a bit of tanning, right? Convenience to things like the pool, the elevator, and parking may seem to be a positive, but if screaming kids, the noise of an elevator going up and down, or cars starting and pulling in early in the morning and late at night will bother you, you might want to consider a different location. Also visit later in the evening on the weekends. If you have a party animal nearby, you might want to pass on that purchase.
3. Consider when the building was built. Do you hear creaking every time your upstairs neighbor walks? Every. Single. Step? The complex may have “upgraded” some of the units to wooden floors. This “upgrade” for your upstairs neighbor may be a “downgrade” for you below. Ask the agent or current owner what the sounds are like if you are not buying a top-floor unit. Research if there is lead paint and/or asbestos in older complexes.
4. Look up the police reports, crime and if any sex offenders live in the area as well as reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and other social media groups. Realtors and sales personnel are not required to tell you about crime, sex offenders, or noise complaints and will likely just say you can look it up. Sometimes reports are not created but often the police will talk to you if you go into the station and ask if they are called to a certain area very often. Sites like Yelp, Facebook, and others will often have people who will complain and tell it like it is. If none of the reviews are good, you might have reason to be concerned.
5. Research the security company for the complex. The neighbor upstairs may play music very loudly with tons of base late into the night. If you call to make a “noise complaint,” does someone actually answer the phone or will it ring and ring? Do they answer and then just hang up every time? Security companies should answer and should make reports about all of the complaints they look into each night. Ask how many reports they respond to each night.
Contact me to explore your real estate options!
720-774-7001 (text or call)
I am a real estate broker, attorney and mediator. I am blogging from my own ideas and perspective. Although I am a licensed attorney, these are not intended to be legal advise.