Start the Day Right
The best approach to a last-minute home showing is to be prepared for it before the call comes. Even if you have kids whose playing style may resemble a miniature tornado, you can do a few things that make the clean up easier.
As soon as you get up for the day, make all of the beds and open all of the curtains and blinds in the house. This will shave at least 10 minutes or more off of your tidy-up time when a call comes in.
Assuming you did a deep clean right before putting the house on the market, all you’ll need to do from there is maintain. Set yourself a weekly schedule with a cleaning task each day to stay on top of it.
Clean as you cook, so that your kitchen doesn’t become an unmanageable problem area for a last minute showing. Also, wipe up spills when they happen rather than waiting. Finally, sweep the kitchen floor regularly to make mopping much easier. Remember, the kitchen is an important area for potential buyers and should be at its best.
When the Call Comes In
When you receive that last minute call for a showing, don’t panic—you’re already mostly there from your morning prep time. A few quick tasks will give your home that extra charm that could seal the deal.
First, keep an empty tote or two easily accessible. When the call comes, the first thing you should do is load up the totes with the clutter accumulated on the table, the counters and any other clutter-catching places. Conceal them in a spacious closet or attic with easy access. Consider taking the totes with you when you leave if there isn’t space to tuck them away. Once that is complete, do the walk through
You should never refuse a showing, regardless of how little time they give you. Your house may not be clean, you may be feeling under the weather, it might just have been a long week. But there are a number of homes on the market at any given time and if a buyer can’t see yours when they request to, they often just move on to the next home and never come back to yours. It’s better for buyers to see your house when it’s a bit messy, rather than not see it at all.
So, tackle your morning ritual and hide the clutter, and you’ll find those last minute showings to be less stressful and will leave potential buyers with a much better first impression!
Really, though, you should have the house ready to go at any time of the day. Thankfully, below is a list that will help you keep your house clean for unexpected showings.
Just 15 minutes a day can keep the house in ready-to-show shape. A win for both the client, and their Realtor®. Pass this list along so everyone can pick up these easy tips not just for real estate showings but for everyday home cleanliness in general!
- Make The Bed. Before you leave the house in the morning (or better yet, before you leave the bedroom), make your bed. If you’re in a rush, pull the comforter up to the pillows, and smooth it out to create the semblance of a made bed. This simple act creates a sense of order in your bedroom and sets your day off on a productive note that’s likely to carry through.
- Empty the Dishwasher in the Morning. Get the dishwasher emptied and ready to go for the day. Doing this in the morning lays the groundwork for an easy dinner cleanup at night and keeps dishes from stacking up in the sink throughout the day.
- Do a Load of Laundry Every Day. Washing clothes on a regular schedule keeps the dirty pile from becoming overwhelming (not to mention, ensures that you’ll never run out of clean underpants). Those with big families prefer doing it every morning, but if you live alone, doing laundry a couple of predetermined days a week should suffice.
- Use Baskets to Organize Things. When there’s a place for everything to go, it’s easier to keep everything in its place. Scatter cute baskets throughout the house to corral your things, and add shelves to hold the big pieces.
- Don’t Procrastinate. When a box is delivered, unpack the goodies inside, and discard the packaging immediately. The same goes for dealing with spills or messes. The longer you wait, the harder they become to deal with.
- Put Away Clothes From the Day. As tempting as it is to drop your clothes on the floor after a long day’s work before slipping into your sweats, tidy people take the time to fold, hang, or place them in the hamper, as necessary. Do this, and your clothes and floor will both look better for it.
- Clean as You Go. You can dramatically minimize your mess by cleaning as you go. If you rinse the cutting board while the pasta is boiling or start loading the dishwasher while the chicken is baking, the bulk of the work will be done by the time you serve dinner.
- Never Go to Bed With a Dirty Kitchen. Resist the urge to climb directly into bed after a big meal. Take care of any and all kitchen cleanup that night — clean pots and pans, wipe down counters, etc. Not only will the mess harden and be smellier the next day (read: more challenging to clean), but waiting means that you’ll have to spend your morning backtracking to make up for what you neglected the night before, instead of getting a head start on the day ahead.
- Plan Ahead. Whether it’s picking out your outfit the night before or reviewing what cleaning products you need to restock before tackling the bathrooms that weekend, you can give yourself a jump on the day by planning ahead.
Now, some are reminders of chores we surely had drilled into us as children like making the bed before leaving the house, putting away clothes from the day versus leaving it on the floor, and never going to bed with a dirty kitchen (come on, you don’t have to be told this again, do you?).
Others, meanwhile, are welcome routine changes that include things like doing a load of laundry every day (bonus: more clean clothes on a daily basis!), cleaning as you go (just call us Monica Geller), and emptying the dishwasher in the morning.
Curb appeal is most important, as almost all home buyers make a snap decision about a particular house as they’re making their way to the home’s entrance:
Then while they’re walking through the rest of the house there justifying why they’re buying it or why they are not buying it. So flower boxes and planters out front is very important.
Additional important things to remember are freshly painted doors and trim, decluttering, and cleaning windows inside and out, among others.
Making your home “emotionally appealing” goes a long way, as do open blinds and turned-on lights – “Light sells!” he writes.
Another agent says she advises her clients to purchase new planters for the front of the home in the event that it needs sprucing up. Moreover, she says pressure-washing the front door area and other troubled spots (or even just using a “sponge to remove the dirt on all the door jams and walls”) will make a great first impression with visitors. As for keeping daily messes at bay, she recalls one client’s novel fix-up method:
One of my clients kept a laundry basket handy so she could gather the items dropped by her kids quickly. She would take the basket with her and then bring it in when showings/open house was done.
Other tips include removing all products from the tops of bathroom sinks and kitchen counters, as well as any furniture creating a “a clutter feel to the room.”
More importantly, though, a good reminder is, safety first:
Also, a good tip to remember is to pack away personal/confidential files during the declutter process. Even with the security systems we have in place for our clients it’s never a good idea to leave your SS Card sitting out.
Read More Here