Trying to sell your house while living in it while you are trying to sell it sucks. There are not two ways about it. Here are some tips to help make the situation as bearable as possible, helping to sell your house quickly while still maximizing your home sale price.
You should expect to take 3-6 weeks or so to prepare your home for sale before even listing the property. Go through your home, clean and make all the repairs that are needed. Buyers don’t want to see dripping faucets, loose door knobs, hard to open closets, chipping and peeling paint, etc. They CERTAINLY don’t want to see your clutter, dirty walls and floors, and dusty corners .
Pack everything you can live without and put it in storage, away from the property. This can be challenging, deciding what you need to live and what you can pack until you’ve sold your house and moved into your new place. If you’re not sure, pack it. The more you can get rid of the better.
Paint light neutral colors with light trim anywhere that has non-neutral colors and/or needs painting. Paint the ceilings bright white. Paint the front door a bold color, something in the red or yellow spectrum…warm and bright.
You should also consider a pre-listing home inspection to identify any physical/mechanical issues with your home so you can make needed repairs BEFORE they negatively impact your home’s sale value.
Discuss with your Realtor the time frames that work for your goals and ask them if there are better times to put your house on the market. In the Rhode Island Real Estate market, late fall and winter are not the best times to put your house on the market.
The Spring market usually starts as the weather breaks between late February and early to mid-March. This is when all the buyers that decided to wait for the weather to break and for year end bonuses and tax returns to help build their budget to find a better home. The sweet spot is to try to list your house the last two weeks of March (perhaps as late as early April) and hope to have it sold by the last week of April or first week of May). This is the point where you will likely meet the maximum sale price for your location and sell your house in the fastest time, limiting the amount of time you have to live like you’re trying to sell your house.
Create Some Exclusivity:
Your Real Estate agent shouldn’t acquiesce to every and any schedule request to view the property. It is to the seller’s advantage to make buyers wait a little to get access. Always use a 48 hour notice requirement for showing requests if you are living in the home. This allows your Realtor to try to group multiple showings into the same time period which increases the appearance of competition while also allowing you to maximize your efforts in keeping the home in showing condition. This makes it more likely that you’ll sell your house faster and for more money. Also, by grouping showings into fewer time slots, you minimize the amount of time you have to devote to making the house presentable.
Commit and Focus:
There is a LOT of effort, time, and money that goes into selling your home. The commitment is open ended and you really have to dedicate yourself to living with as small a footprint as possible until you have gotten your house under contract. No dishes in the sink, no coats hung on chairs, no leaving it until later because you need to be able to show your house in top shape at every showing in order to get the most out of your sale. You have to be disciplined and you have to be patient. Keep your eye on the prize and keep pushing towards that higher side sales price. You’ll be glad you did when you sell your house faster and for more money.