7 Tips to Get Your Home “Show Ready” in 7 Minutes
Note from Conejo Joe: Connie Tebyani is a Professional Home Stager, Interior Design Consultant and Owner of Platinum Home Staging, Inc. She is also the Preferred Interior Designer for Pottery Barn and a member of the Real Estate Staging Association. Connie has lived in the Conejo Valley for 20 years with her husband and 2 boys. Visit her website at www.PlatinumHomeStaging.com or 805.553.9952.
Every Thanksgiving, after we've gorged ourselves on stuffing and pies, we head to my sister's home in the desert resort city of Rancho Mirage. This year was no different except for one small...or rather, HUGE, difference...the house has been listed for sale. So inevitably we had to try to “live” in the home, but be ready to have it shown at a moment’s notice. As a Professional Home Stager myself, I was given a dose of my own medicine.
This was no small feat. It was not just my family of four, it was also my sister's family of four, their dog, our brother and our mother in a 4,000 square foot home. I must admit that some of these suggestions will take some forward thinking and planning ahead of time to implement. Some are habits that are going to need to be formed, others are bad habits that will need to be broken.
1) Starting with a clean house is a MUST! This house started out spotless, and we needed to keep it that way! One thing that we all had to get used to was to make your beds every day, the very second you get up. I don't mean pull the comforter up so high that it simply covers the pillows and leaves all the sheets in lumps underneath - make it right, make it beautiful, it will be done for the rest of the day.
2) Got kids? If you have an outdoor space or table (weather permitting) where they can do their crafts, legos or even homework it would be ideal and it gets them out of the house. Put a table cloth or sheet on the table which gives them a clean surface even if the table is not. Should a realtor come knocking, you can simply fold everything up into the table cloth and pack it away quickly. If the weather in your area does not permit this, the same idea can be used indoors. By placing a large towel, sheet or blanket on the floor kids can still spread out but all the tiny little lego pieces, crayons (or whatever) can be collected and dumped into their collection box in seconds.
3) Run your dishwasher every night, or every other night if not full. In the morning, empty the dishwasher while your coffee is brewing. This way you can load all your empty dishes into it throughout the day as you use them, never leaving a dirty dish to be seen in the sink. Or another option would be to use paper plates and plastic cups. Yep, I said it; paper plates and plastic cups. If you don't have a dishwasher (or even if you do) if you're not entertaining and it's just you and the kids, why not? Just make sure they go into your recycle bin at the end of the week and not into the local landfill.
4) Squeegees Rule! How do you keep your windows crystal clear even if the kids have splashed them from the pool or the dog's wet nose has left streaks everywhere? With a little glass cleaner, a large window squeegee, you can clean an entire sliding glass door, both sides in about 3 minutes flat and that's not rushing.
5) Laundry bins are a MUST! Not just for dirty clothes and towels; but in a child’s room these are also great to throw toys into at a moment's notice. If you can’t afford to go out and buy some stylish storage ottomans for your main living room laundry bins are OK too! Great looking laundry bins can still fit into today's décor and hide a multitude of sins in seconds. Get a lidded one at your local home décor store, they're great to throw toys or dog toys into in seconds. Use one at the end of a sofa or next to a chair, place a few books on top, a candle and voila!
6) Staying on the subject of laundry, you really should be doing 1-2 loads of laundry everyday while your house is for sale instead of letting it pile up and doing it all on the weekend (when buyers are most likely to come see your house). One load of lights, one load of darks/colors and this will ensure that those laundry bins aren't overflowing by the weekend either.
7) If Fido needs to be home when the home is being shown, it's better to put Fido in the garage for a short period of time then to let them run loose to jump on prospective buyers or put to them in a bedroom where buyers can't view the room. Be sure to move their beds into the garage as well and leave them with a small bowl of food and water.
A little bit of planning ahead will save you a large amount of headaches when it comes time to finally put your house on the market for sale. If you're looking for help staging or organizing your home, call Platinum Home Staging at 805.553.9952.