When you list your house, you have to keep in a state of readiness for those inevitable occasions when potential buyers drop by on very short notice or even unannounced. That means that after you’ve performed the necessary maintenance and clean-up, you have to keep on keeping your house well maintained and ready for viewings. And that can be a daunting task when you have so many other obligations to see to. Here, then, are some easy ways to handle the upkeep of your [market-city] house while it is listed.
What to Do First and Keep Doing
According to a top real estate site, performing the proper maintenance and upkeep early on will make handling the upkeep of your [market-city] house while it is listed much more manageable. In addition. “a little routine maintenance can help you avoid a catastrophic problem down the line (e.g., burst pipes, roof leaks, critters moving into your attic) that could devalue your property and derail the sale.”
So let’s take a look at what you need to do:
TAKE CARE OF THE OUTSIDE
Especially during spring and summer, getting your lawn and the exterior of your house in shape will go a long way toward making the upkeep of your [market-city] house while it is listed easier. Even if you won’t be living in the house, you should still clean up the yard, see to the landscaping, fix fencing, and lay down new mulch in beds – and then keep doing it till the house sells, either by doing it yourself or hiring a service. In addition, you need to make any needed repairs to siding and touch up paint where necessary. If you don’t, these things only get worse over time.
GIVE SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE ROOF AND GUTTERING
When buyers first pull up to your house, their eyes will be drawn to the top. That means everything up there has to be and stay in tip-top shape. Besides, roofs can cause interior damage, and overflowing gutters can eventually lead to foundation damage or weakening. The point is that taking care of these issues early on can prevent costly repairs later and will make ongoing upkeep easier and less expensive.
CAREFULLY ASSESS THE HVAC SYSTEM
Although hidden out of sight, a properly functioning heating and air conditioning system will be immensely important to buyers. It’s also one of those things that absolutely require frequent preventive maintenance – unless you want to spend many hours and dollars later on repairs or replacement. Here’s how top real estate pros put it: “It’s not sexy, but the hidden guts of your home need regular attention, whether you’re still living there or not. That means having your HVAC systems professionally serviced.” A little attention now is key to handling the upkeep of your [market-city] house while it is listed.
WASH WINDOWS AND KEEP THEM CLEAN
Lighting is important to allow buyers to see your home’s best features, and natural lighting is always better than artificial. So be sure to clean all your windows and then keep them clean. A little cleaning along the way (for example, after heavy rain) will make the task of upkeep a little less time-consuming.
Ongoing Upkeep of Your [market-city] House While It Is Listed
There are a number of ongoing upkeep tasks that simply cannot be neglected. Take care of these, and upkeep will be much easier. It’s always easier and better to do a little now rather than a lot later, for example:
TACKLE ROOMS STRATEGICALLY
One easy way to handle the upkeep of your [market-city] house while it is listed is to tackle the task of cleaning rooms with a strategy. This way, you know where to start and won’t get overwhelmed. The rule of thumb here is to work from top to bottom and from left to right. In addition, focus your efforts on those things that are likely to catch buyers’ attention, cleaning these more thoroughly and more often.
CONSIDER MOBILE STORAGE
You know that when you list your house, you will have to declutter and depersonalize. And the key step here is getting rid of anything that doesn’t contribute to the appealing look. But some of those possessions that don’t appeal to buyers you will still want to use and keep around. An easy solution is to use color-coded plastic containers that will allow you to quickly put away items when a showing is imminent.
A major component of handling upkeep of your [market-city] house while it is listed is getting in the habit of doing it regularly and often. The problem is, though, that most of us haven’t developed that habit. But you can always fake it for a short time until your house sells. Just do those small steps every day as if it were a habit. Just keep in mind that you won’t have to keep it up very long.
GO FOR THE ILLUSION
Home upkeep and cleanliness are more about appearance than reality. So one way to make things easier is to just to strive for the illusion of clean. You can do this by concentrating on what buyers are most likely to notice, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s the same thing magicians and illusionists do. They draw your attention away from certain things so that you will notice others.
Staying showing ready isn’t all that difficult, then, if you follow these easy ways to handle the upkeep of your [market-city] house while it is listed. There is, however, one other important ingredient – and that is to lean on the expertise of your local agent. Local markets have their own requirements, and your agent knows these buyers and what they will notice.