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10 Tips for Staging a Home for Sale While Living in It

By Al Twitty | July 7, 2021

This is one of the hottest real estate markets in recent history, and there are few signs of it slowing down. If you've been considering selling your house, now could be the time. But, often sellers do not have the option of moving out before their home is sold. While staging a house for sale while living in it is tricky, it can go more smoothly with some of the tips below:

Real estate photo staging

1. Choose a secure spot for valuables.

Jewelry, cash, prescription medications, and sensitive documents should all go in a locking drawer or a safe. This way, you reduce the risks associated with having potential buyers in your home, particularly during events like open houses.

2. Consider hiring a cleaner.

No one can do everything themselves. Having a major deep cleaning done on the home before having photos taken for your listing can help make the best first impression. Then, having someone out about once a week can help keep the house in shape while you deal with minor daily cleaning.

3. Take this opportunity to reassess what you own.

Go through possessions to see what you want to keep, what you want to sell or donate, and what can be tossed. Many financial papers can be scanned and shredded, so they stop taking up space. Clothing can be donated if it is in good condition. Collectibles can be sold through Facebook or Next Door.

Cutting down on possessions now means that you won't spend money moving things that you ultimately do not want.

4. Pack what you can early.

A quick sale can mean having to move in a hurry. Plus, the home will look more inviting to potential buyers if there is less in it.

Consider moving items into storage while your house is on the market. The storage Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other city dwellers have access to is typically flexible, climate-controlled, and a safe place to keep your belongings while you are in transition.

5. Put a basket of booties by the door.

Having strangers track dirt into your home can be stressful. Booties can slip over shoes to keep your floors and rugs nice through your showings. Let your real estate agent know that they are there when people come to look at the house.

6. Keep a day bag packed.

Typically, you don't want to be in the home while potential buyers are looking at it. Keep a bag near the door with all the things you want to have with you when you have to leave in a hurry for a showing.

This can include snacks, a book, toys or coloring books for kids, and bottled water and juice boxes. You should also scoop up items like unopened mail, tablets, and laptops, so they aren't left behind while you are not around.

7. Make a checklist for showings.

Prepping your house for a showing can be stressful. A checklist allows you to make preparation systematic and cuts your chances of forgetting to do something. Items on your list can include fluffing pillows, opening up the blinds, and turning on the lights to make the home warm and inviting. Knowing that you have it all taken care of means less to worry about.

8. Ask your realtor for feedback.

Your real estate agent may have some insights on ways you can stage your home most effectively while also living there. If there are features that buyers seem to react negatively to, they can give you some ideas on how to combat those.

9. Make arrangements for proper notice.

Having boundaries is healthy even when you are trying to sell your home. Talk to your realtor about how much notice is reasonable before someone comes to look at the property. Having, for instance, a two-hour heads up before someone comes over can make the process a lot less hectic.

10. Have a plan for pets.

Animals can't be left behind while buyers are looking at the home, so know in advance what you plan to do. Pet daycare can be a good option for a couple of hours. If you have a trusted pet sitter or family member, consider having your pet there for the duration.

Living in a house that is up for sale can be frustrating. But, keeping it in the best possible condition while sparing your sanity can make it all go faster. And, the more inviting your home looks, the more likely you are to get a quick sale at the price you want.

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