Let’s remove the smoke and mirrors and get real! When it comes to living in a styled home, it may not be convenient or practical, but it WORKS!
You may be asking yourself, how am I going to live here and keep my sanity at the same time?
Great question! Below, you will see our top 10 recommendations to live successfully in a professionally styled home.
1. TAKE PHOTOS
The first thing we recommend is to take photos of each space and each surface! You can use the listing photos as well but if you take the photos you will get close-up shots of surfaces and from several vantage points which will help you reset things should something be moved.
2. MAINTAIN THE DESIGN
Try hard to not be tempted to move the décor that has been carefully placed by your professional stylist. Not only does this reduce the potential for something to become damaged, but it also means less stress on how to get the placement just right. In this way, we recommend that you live ‘around’ the décor as best you can.
3. STAY ORGANIZED
Use easy go-to bins/baskets/boxes to keep your day-to-day personal items at the ready. In this way, they are out of sight and easily accessible. Keep them neatly tucked away in a closet closest to the room they are typically used in. For example, bathroom toiletries, can be kept in a bin, stored in your linen closet or under your vanity. Umbrella’s hats, mitts etc. can be stored neatly in a decorative basket on the top shelf of your coat closet. Be careful to only keep on hand what you need while the house is on the market and pack up the rest.
4. PLAN OUTINGS
This is a great time to have some much-needed fun with the family. Go on day trips and bring the dog. Take a vacation! If possible, have your pets cared for outside of the home by a trusted family member or friend as much as possible. Enrol your kids in overnight or day camps to keep them happy and reduce some stress on you and the family.
5. HIRE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
If it is in your budget, reduce stress by having a cleaner in once a week to maintain the housekeeping. Or hire them to do the deeper cleaning chores such as ovens or the inside of your refrigerator. Have someone come to clean your windows, gutters, or hose down your siding. Have your gardens maintained.
Create a day-to-day cleaning schedule for each family member. Keep the schedule manageable for each person to reduce overwhelm and introduce a special reward for the extra help. Remember, cleaning daily becomes maintenance, rather than heavy duty weekly cleaning which can be much easier in the short term.
6. DESIGNATED PLAY AREAS
Keep toys in a designate area where your kids know that this is their new play area while the house is on the market. For example, remove any toys that are normally stored in multiple rooms and store them in one room only – say their bedroom, or the basement. Also, pack up some of their toys to keep toys to a minimum. Tell the kids that they will be very excited to unpack their toys in the new home, and it will feel special when they get to rediscover them again once you’ve moved.
7. HOME READY TIP SHEET
Take advantage of our Home Ready Tip Sheet , where we share our Total Home on the ready tips to prepare for your open house or private viewing’s. This is an invaluable guide when you need to get ready in a pinch.
8. REDUCE YOUR LIVING ZONES
This may not always doable in smaller dwellings, but if you can, reduce the number of rooms you use day to day. For example, if you have both a family room and a living room, choose one that you will live in, and keep the other untouched. We recommend, that whichever room is seen first by your buyer (typically the formal living room), is the room you don’t use. Or if you have multiple bathrooms, pick one for the entire family for your day to day.
9. REDUCE YOUR BELONGINGS
This is a great opportunity to be proactive and pack things up. You’re going to pack anyway once the house is sold, so why not pre-pack to ease some stress on your day-to-day activities. This is where the ‘less is more’ approach truly is in service to you. Not only will it greatly reduce your clutter, but it will show your buyer that you are serious and ready to move on. It also helps with the ‘Move in Ready’ vibe you really want to convey.
10. ELIMINATE ODOURS
You want to be sure that when a potential buyer walks into your door, that your home smells fresh! Let’s first not confuse fresh with ‘scented’. So many people are scent sensitive, so try to avoid plug ins or air fresheners of any kind. You can be sending your buyer the unintended message that you are trying to mask odours. Also avoid cooking with fragrant spices, or foods such as fish, as these can tend to linger for days without your realizing.
Clean pet beds frequently, and double bag garbage to reduce potential odours from being apparent while stored in your garage.
Selling and moving are some of the most stressful things to do as a family or for an individual, hands down! But, with some proper planning, good communication among family members, and using support teams such as family members, friends, neighbours, and hiring trusted professionals it can truly be a huge asset and reduce a tremendous amount of pressure and stress when selling.
It’s a time to make some concessions but the payoff will be well worth it. Top dollar sales, and speedy turnaround times do require some effort. Good organization, a little creativity, and an understanding that your financial investment and some sweat equity tasks will pay for itself when you elevate your buyer experience and buyer’s perception of your home.
Cindy Lutes, Certified Property Stylist