It never fails. You’re in the middle of a big project and the phone rings – your Estate Agent is calling about showing your house to a prospective buyer. The kids are working on a school art project with stuff scattered all over the room, the dishes haven’t been done, and there’s a load of laundry waiting to be washed.
You look around the house in a panic and consider turning the viewing request down. Don’t do it! In today’s market you can’t afford to miss a single viewing, so you need to act fast!
Here’s how to have your home ready to show a buyer in a flash:
1 – Enlist some help. If anyone else is at home with you, assign each person a duty and get them off to work. The job will go much faster if everyone helps out.
2 – Check for smells. A strong smell is a lightning-fast way to turn off a buyer. If you’ve been cooking anything other than a sweet-smelling dessert, open the windows. If you have a cat, check the litter box and attend to it as necessary. Light some candles or spray some air freshener if needed. (1 minute)
3 – Clean the kitchen. Clear all the dirty dishes and quickly put them in the dishwasher. Wipe off the counters. Spray the sink surround with kitchen cleaner and give it a quick polish. (3 minutes)
4 – Pick up the mess. Zip through the house with an empty laundry basket, gathering up stray newspapers, magazines, kids’ projects, and any other obvious clutter. Put the basket in the garage or another out-of-sight place. (3 minutes)
5 – Polish the bathrooms. Put down the toilet lids. Scoop brushes, combs, bottles, etc. into a basket under the sink that you’ve stored there just for this purpose. Spray the mirrors and sinks with window cleaner and give them a wipe until they shine. (3 minutes)
6 – Hoover. If the carpet needs attention, quickly vacuum the main traffic areas. (3 minutes)
7 – Attack the bedrooms. Nothing makes the house look unkempt faster than unmade beds and clothing scattered around the bedroom. Quickly make the bed and shove any stray clothing or other items under it. (5 minutes)
8 – Lighten up. Pull the curtains back, open the blinds, and turn on all the lights throughout the house. Flip on the stereo tuned to an easy listening station. Take one last look around for any little disasters you might have missed. (2 minutes)
And voilà! Your house is ready to view in 20 minutes or less. Now pack up the kids and get the pets out of the house while it’s being viewed. You want your potential buyers to be able to relax and have a look around without feeling like they’re intruding on you, or tripping over your kids or your pets!
It’s a great idea to have a plan of attack in place at all times when your house is on the market. Have everyone in the family agree to pitch in and help keep the house in tip-top condition. You could even assign everyone a zone they’re responsible to keep clean, so that you’re always ready to move fast as soon as your telephone rings!
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