For Sunday’s open house, your Bradley Beach home was in “show-ready” condition. With curb appeal at its finest, clutter nowhere to be seen, windows and appliances sparkling, and the aroma of freshly baked cookies wafting in the air, you were certain that potential buyers couldn’t help but be positively impressed.
However, now it’s midweek, and the house has fallen back into its “lived in” state. Clutter abounds, dishes are in the sink, laundry has piled up, and toys have proliferated overnight. What a time for your realtor to call to tell you that she wants to show your Bradley Beach home to very serious buyers in two or three hours! What to do? First, don’t panic. Take deep breath, walk through the house to identify trouble spots, and make a mental plan following these handy guidelines.
REMOVE CLUTTER FROM ALL FLAT SURFACES.
It’s amazing how quickly items accumulate on the kitchen counters, coffee and side tables, bathroom vanities, dressers, desks, and nightstands and how negatively this disarray affects a buyer’s impression of your home. Straighten papers, put books on bookshelves, stack dishes in the dishwasher, collect newspapers, magazines, and sundry items in shopping bags or pillowcases and stash them–neatly– in your garage or storage shed–or even in the trunk of your car! Do not try to hide gathered items in your closet or cabinets because people touring your home will definitely be opening the doors to those areas. Also, be sure that your stairs are clear and clutter-free and that piles of dirty laundry are hidden from sight in the washer and/or dryer.
DUST, SWEEP, AND VACUUM.
Don’t forget mirrors, wood furniture, or television and monitor screens in your dusting efforts. Also be aware of the need to remove animal hair from sofas and chairs (and perhaps the animals could stay with a neighbor during the visitation). In the living room, arrange area rugs and fluff throw pillows.
MAKE YOUR KITCHEN AND BATHROOM SPARKLE.
A quick once-over with Windex will polish your appliances, glass doors on the microwave and cabinets, and chrome faucets.. “Scrub” the sinks/shower/tub with a spray product especially designed to rapidly remove a grimy film and produce a shine. Replace “used” towels with clean ones. Too much personal “stuff” on the refrigerator door? Take it off.
LET THERE BE LIGHT.
Turn on all your lights and open curtains, drapes, and blinds. Apply a quick cleaning spray and wipe any really dirty windows, and, weather permitting, open a window or two for some fresh air. You might also burn lightly scented candles or spray the house with Fabreeze or a similar product to remove potential odors.
CHECK ON CURB APPEAL.
Remembering that the exterior of your Bradley Beach home and your yard create the first impression for home buyers, clear all walkways and porches (and sweep if necessary). Remove all toys, sports equipment, lawnmowers, rakes, etc. Pick up any litter or animal waste on the premises. If you have the time, give your plants a quick spray with the hose.
And there you have it! In a rather short amount of time and without backbreaking effort, your house has reassumed its show-worthy state of Sunday, and you can be confident that the potential home buyers won’t realize that they were “unexpected” and that they will be duly impressed with the condition of your Bradley Beach home.