3 Most Important Things To Remember When Selling A Home That You Still Have To Live In
Some people don't have the luxury of living elsewhere while selling the house they do have. It's pretty common for home sellers to have to deal with the challenge of selling the same home in which they still have to eat, sleep, and bathe in -- so it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. However, it can be quite a challenging feat, and it can cost you a lot if you don’t pull it off seamlessly.
Below are the top three (3) things you have to do to keep the situation under control and not hurt your chances of getting a good offer. Keep them in mind if you want to breeze through the sale with as little setbacks as possible.
Get a Headstart in Packing
There are a lot of things you can achieve by simply starting to pack up your things. One of them is making things easier for you once you need to move out of your house for real. Packing is an activity a lot of people dread and end up procrastinating on. Even just packing your suitcase for a vacation can seem stressful when you do it at the last minute, so just imagine how much stress it would cause you to pack up everything you own! So our advice is to pack ahead and stow away things you won't be needing in the near future. For example, if winter isn’t coming anytime soon, start packing away those thick jackets and sweaters. Put them in a storage unit or a relative’s garage.
Another advantage of packing up early is being able to depersonalize your home. Most potential buyers are turned off by a house that feels too unique or too individualized. If they can’t picture themselves living in your home, they will definitely feel out of place and lose interest in buying. So this is as good a time as any to start taking down family portraits from the walls and wrapping them up so you can safely transport them when the time comes.
And lastly, it’ll give you another chance to experience living in a spacious and uncluttered house again (at least until the offers come in). It can even inspire you to permanently rid your future home of all of the unnecessary clutter you had to pack from your old one.
Deep Clean Your Entire House
Yup, this means a general cleaning of your home unlike anything you've ever done in the past months, or even years. It is the kind of cleaning that will take you days to complete, lest you opt to pay extra for professional cleaners that can have it done for you in a day.
This may sound like a huge undertaking, but there are a lot of upsides to it as well. AND, you only have to do it once. Once your house is thoroughly cleaned and practically spotless, it’s easier to just keep it that way until it gets sold. If you have the budget to spare, we highly recommend that you hire professionals to clean every part of your home, including all the nooks and crannies. Years of living in a house (even one that you regularly clean) can build up so much more dirt than you can imagine, so it’s better to leave all the comprehensive cleaning to professionals.
Of course, you can’t hire people to keep your home at this level of cleanliness every single day. The trick is to come up with a system with your family about how you’ll go about living in a house which you are already selling. Entail the help of each member of the household by reminding them to cover all tracks of their activities. Wash dishes immediately after use, do the laundry at night so it doesn’t distract viewers during the day, and clean up everything the night before.
Protect Your Privacy
While you want to be as accommodating as possible, you also have to look out for yourself. Potential buyers are always going to inspect every area of your house—this means opening drawers, cabinets, and taking a close look at your garage and storage rooms.
If you still have to live in your house while it's being shown to potential buyers, it’s understandable to still have a few personal belongings inside. However, it would be wise for you to safeguard all valuables and belongings with sensitive information. Keep them in a locked drawer or a safe, and keep them in a room where people don’t tend to gather. Don’t keep any gadgets lying around, and make sure your computers have strong passwords.
As always, keep in close contact with your real estate agent and ask them for their feedback as well.
Best of luck, home sellers!