There are many challenges to selling a home but one of the most difficult is trying to see a home when the sellers are already moving out. Having half-empty rooms and moving boxes everywhere will make even the most beautiful home unappealing to prospective buyers. In addition, a move often leaves a home looking abandoned and banged up.
If you find yourself in this undesirable position of trying to sell your home mid-move, there are several steps you can take to help your prospective buyers overlook the chaos to see the beautiful home that is hiding underneath.
Get Pictures of the Home in Advance
A real estate agent should work with the sellers before the move to get as many flattering shots of the house as possible. He or she should help them stage the rooms so they show off to their best advantage. Getting those pictures before the moving boxes come out can make a big difference. These pictures can be used for the online listing and it’s even a great idea to blow them up and put them on easels in the rooms so that prospective buyers can at least visualize the possibilities of the home.
Creating a video “love letter” from the sellers about the house is another great way to stage the home before the boxes take over. That way, prospective buyers will be able to watch a virtual tour of the house and see what the sellers loved about the house. The sellers will also be able to point out any interesting details that they hope a buyer will enjoy. The video can also show off great attributes of the neighborhood such as telling them about a local coffee shop or fitness center.
Be Smart About Scheduling
As much as possible, try to stay away from showing the home during the peak times for packing and don’t ever show it on moving day. Get a schedule of when the home will be presentable from the sellers ahead of time. If they are mainly packing on the weekends, try to show the house on weekdays when they are at work.
Try to Contain the Chaos When Selling a Home
During showings, ask the homeowners if they can keep their moving paraphernalia under control. Maybe they can keep packing materials and moving boxes in one room. Or maybe they can leave little homey touches out until the very last minute. Wall art, candles or books will help prospective buyers envision themselves living in and enjoying the home.
Throw in Some Goodies
As the owners if they will consider leaving behind a few items that might entice prospective buyers. This might include the washer and dry or stainless steel appliances that are included in the purchase price or maybe they will leave an outdoor play set. Any of these can be a big incentive to the average homebuyer because it will reduce future costs after this major purchase. They will feel like they are getting a big bonus.
Sustain the Curb Appeal
A home that is empty or almost empty often starts to look neglected. Arrangements should be made to be sure the grass is cut in the summer and ice and snow are shoveled in the winter. Since the interior of the home is empty try to offset that with nice staging of the exterior of the home. It would be nice to add a nice wreath, a rocker on the front porch, a homey welcome mat and colorful pots of flowers.
Selling a Home
Make sure the backyard is not neglected. Gardens, flowerbeds and grass must be maintained regularly. If the yard has large trees make sure their branches and leaves are cleared, particularly in the autumn. A garden will be unattractive if it is overtaken by weeds so make sure the owner harvests any herbs or fresh vegetables before they leave.
Keep Things Fresh
After the homeowners are gone, open all the windows and air the home out every couple of days. Buyers who might be interested in the house will quickly lose interest if the house is musty and feels closed-in. Also look for things that need to be wiped down or dusted while you’re airing the house out. These regular, small bits of maintenance will help keep the house from being forlorn and feeling vacant.
Once the owners have moved out, you will probably notice that more than the air needs freshening. Inspect the house of scuffs and bumps. If there are, ask the homeowners to repaint the walls or touch them up after everything is out of the house. The house will look pristine an as though it is ready to sell. The walls will be about the only things for the buyers to look at if the house is vacant so make sure they are appealing.
Even though it is not idea to sell a home while the homeowners are moving out, it can be done with some planning and teamwork. You can turn this potential headache into a very successful sale.