We recently sold our home. It was quite an adventure! For the last few Mondays I’ve been posting about the experience. What surprised me. What worked for us and what didn’t work. Today’s post is the last in the series.
I saved the thing I hated the most about selling the house for last. Dealing with showings brought me to tears and had me thinking about renting an apartment for the duration.
Don’t get me wrong, I do realize that showings are a good thing. Without people looking at your house, the house will never sell. The problem is that I work at home. Imagine trying to run a business with the possibility that you can get a phone call for a showing at any minute. That phone call means that two hours out of your day are gone.
The First Hour – House Prep
An hour before a scheduled showing (we asked for at least an hour’s notice) we’d begin preparing the house. We were serious about selling our house and so we went through this process before each and every showing.
We also did this every time that we left the house together. While we requested an hour’s notice before each showing, real estate agents who called and received no answer were free to show the house immediately. If we weren’t there, the house had to be ready to be shown.
Step one was to secure our valuables. It’s sad, but sometimes things are stolen during showings. We had one locked closet and one locked desk. That where we stored:
- Important documents
- My laptop
Once the valuables were stowed away, we began to stage the house. The bathroom counter tops were completely cleared off and wiped down. The bathroom mirrors were cleaned. Our towels went into the laundry basket and the staging towels came out. The trash was dumped. The curtains were opened. All the lights were turned on. Closet doors were closed. The lovely staging pillows were arranged artistically on the bed.
While we allowed a full hour for this process, it usually took between half an hour and forty-five minutes. However giving ourselves a full hour ensured that we were never rushed.
To help us with the process we had a printed checklist of all the items that needed to be done. The check list was a huge help and I recommend that anyone dealing with showings have one.
The Second Hour – Out and About
We’d leave fifteen minutes before the scheduled showing in case the potential buyers we early. We’d plan on being away for half an hour to forty-five minutes after the scheduled showing time. We usually used this time to run errands. While there was a Wi-Fi hotspot near our house it took me some time to get there, connect to the system, turn on my VPN and try to gather my thoughts enough to work.
Was it Worth It?
It was horrendous, but our house did sell quickly. Being prepared for all the showings was just part of what helped us sell our house during a housing slump. We also:
So you’re trying to sell your house, remember that there are things you can do to help your house sell. As with anything, success is most likely when a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work come together. There’s nothing to be done about the luck, but the hard work part is totally within your control.