How to Keep Your Home Camera-Ready While Selling
By Alissa Cassidy
You have your house picture-perfect for the listing photos, but you’re worried that as soon as the real estate photographer leaves, your house will go back to being cluttered and messy. Buyers don’t always give a lot of notice when they want a tour, so keeping your home camera-ready throughout the selling process is crucial.
Read on for tips to easily keep your home presentable and ready for showings at a moment’s notice.
You’re moving soon, so go ahead and get packing. Make three piles: keep, throw away, and donate. Then divide your keep pile into what you can box up and what you can keep inside. Buyers want to see a clean slate so they can imagine themselves in the house. Pack away all your family photos, mementos, children’s art, and other personalized items.
This is a good time to go ahead and go through all the drawers and cabinets too. Keep enough kitchenware for your family to use but pack up the china, tea sets, bakeware, and other miscellaneous gadgets you don’t use daily. In the bathrooms and linen closets, do the same and just keep what you need.
Buyers often open cabinets to see if there is shelving inside, so make it look neat and organized. Also, clear off all the counters. People often keep things like toothbrushes and paper towel rolls out, but if it’s not display-worthy, hide it.
When was the last time you dusted your baseboards and fans? What about under the stove and behind the fridge? Hiring a cleaning company (or doing it yourself if you’re up to the task) is an important part of making your home look presentable –– you’ll have to do it when you move out anyway, so do it now. A clean home is easier to keep ready for showing than a dirty home!
Have you ever seen photos of people’s closets that look so cramped? It’s not appealing to a buyer. They want to think they’ll have tons of closet space, so you need to clear out some of your stuff. If you’re not ready to pack up all your clothes in boxes yet, get some under-the-bed storage bins and use those.
Leave a few shirts, jackets, pairs of pants, and shoes neatly placed in the closet, but store the rest. You can still easily access everything, and while it’s not the most convenient for you, the better your house looks, the quicker it will sell.
MAKE THE BEDS
If you don’t already, it’s time to start making your bed. A made bed instantly makes the room look neater. Your kids need to make their beds too and pick up all the toys from the floor. Clear off the nightstands and dressers, and hide charging cables and other cords.
Before you go to bed each night, do a quick sweep of all the floors, wipe down all the surfaces, and put away any odds and ends. Keep a bin or basket for things to put away the next day if you can’t do it that night –– just keep it out of sight.
Last, but certainly not least, keep up your home’s curb appeal. As you know, the outside of your home is the first thing people see. If your gutters have tiny trees growing in them, it’s a sign you’re not keeping up with your home maintenance. Without routine gutter cleaning, you’re also opening the possibility to water damage, which no buyer wants to see.
Keep your lawn trimmed, weeds plucked, and flowers fresh and bright. Lay out a new welcome mat and wipe down the front door so it’s nice and clean (maybe even give it a fresh coat of paint).
Your counters are clean, your walls are (mostly) bare, the beds are made, and the gutters have been cleaned. Now is the fun part! Strategically place a few neutral decor items around your house. A small but interesting sculpture on the coffee table, a little plant on the kitchen counter, and a candle on the mantel to make the house smell good are all the details you need to make –– and keep –– your home camera-ready.
Alissa is a writer who lives in the Atlanta area. She’s a mom to three boys, a football coach’s wife, a grad student, and an amateur photographer. When she’s not writing or studying, she enjoys working out, listening to music, and watching true crime stories.