If you think the listing process “can” be stressful – you “could” be right! But I wouldn’t complain too much unless you have rugrats running around! My personal experience made me appreciate this 6 years ago after having a child of my own. I listed multiple homes throughout my career prior to having children. I wholeheartedly admit that I never empathized with the young families preparing their home before each showing until after having to list my own property 7 months pregnant and with a 2.5 year old running around! It took 4 weeks to sell our 1st home in Silver Springs, NW Calgary. I worked tirelessly and “very pregnant” marketing our own home because we had offered on an acreage where we only had a 1 month condition window to sell our current home in order to purchase. We were very anxious to make this work & finally move out of the city – it was a dream that collided so very “conveniently” during the last trimester of my pregnancy – but nothing great ever comes easy – so we had to do what we had to do!
I am very meticulous & picky when it comes to having my up and coming listings “just so” for the professional listing photo’s & open houses. I do not however have the physical ability to prep my live-in clients home for each showing! I do lay out pretty high expectations & give certain suggestions to make the home “showing ready” before EVERY – SINGLE – SHOWING but I totally understand more than ever how tough it is!
For my own property… well… It had to be PERFECT & I spent hours making the beds perfectly – stuffies needed to be sitting a certain way on my toddlers bed (twice a day because of nap time! Oh and don’t forget the multiple times in between he went in the room to play with his stuffed monkey propped perfectly on his bed)… all blinds & curtains needed to be open the exact same width. I remember making sure there were fresh flowers bought each week for the kitchen table & a spot in our very outdated 70’s “purple” bathroom so it “felt” nicer than it really was! All toilet seats needed to be closed & any water spots on the shower doors were to be wiped clean. Soap, shampoo, lotions, razors etc were all to be tucked away under the sinks. Mirrors & windows were wiped & streak free – kitchen sink wiped out and dried with kitchen cloth/scrubbies tucked away out of site!! All garbages were to be taken out & all clothing items were either in a basket or in the wash machine! I even made sure that our hot tub was opened – mood lighting & jets on to create a comforting ambiance in the backyard – and – depending on the time of day – I made sure the fireplace was turned on. SCENT – I started our first few showings by melting scentsy & had comments come back that the scent was too overpowering & gave the potential buyers headaches….LESSON LEARNED – if you have ever listed with me..you know I am against scentsy or sprays & suggest a certain oil diffused in the air for a more subtle & naturally calming scent – I call it the “Selling Scent”. I have never had another scent complaint on my listings since!! Each and every time I prepared our home for a showing I reminded myself that it would be worth it & that my hard work would pay off! And it did – but not without a few tears here and there! We sold in a month & moved to our new home 2 weeks after my 2nd son was born! Today – the thought of listing again with two (sometimes 3 – aka my husband) very messy boys pains me to the core – but I know it will be worth all the hard work when we decide to move on to our (hopeful) “forever home”!
I’ve been thinking about how to manage prepping for showings better with the kids being the Tasmanian Devil behind me…here are a few ideas I’ve come up with.
- Have a “small toys” bucket or designated drawers on each level of the house to quickly throw items in for short-notice showing requests
- Get a swiffer mop to quickly spot clean your floors
- Depending on your budget – hire a weekly or bi-weekly house cleaner to maintain your home to an above average cleanliness for the listing period – less stress for you!
- Make your bed (and teach your kids to make their beds) every morning so that it’s one less thing to worry about when short notice showings are requested.
- Put in a load of laundry every single day
And I mean… if you want to keep your house spotless & not stress at all… this one comes from a past client : “Maybe I’ll just move the family into a hotel room for the duration of the listing” ???? or plan a nice vacation! I hope you gathered a few tips above – more to come! Stay Tuned!
Below is our “purple” bathroom I was trying to make “feel” nicer with fresh flowers!
Your Friend & Realtor,