No one likes to feel underfoot in their own home, and keeping your apartment constantly staged and ready for showings can be one of the most irritating parts of the selling process. Zillow published some tips this week on keeping your apartment showing-ready without driving yourself nuts, and there were a few key takeaways:
- Less is more. The classic advice that "buyers like to picture themselves in your apartment" still holds true, and as such, as soon as you start to think about selling, you'll want to de-clutter. Use the early parts of the planning process to clear out closets, storage spaces, and anything you know you won't take with you. This'll make your life easier when you eventually move, and create more space to keep the rest of your stuff out of sight when buyers stop by. If, after all this, your apartment still feels packed to the gills, it's time to consider a storage space.
- Focus on the most important rooms first. "Main living spaces" like the living room, kitchen, and bathroom are the ones buyers focus on the most, and as such, the ones you'll want to keep as clear as possible (a counter full of beauty products or pots and pans isn't a good look). Make space in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets so that you can stash the items you use day-to-day at a moment's notice with minimal hassle.
- Stay on a schedule. Yes, to a certain extent, you'll have to keep your home ready to go at all times, but you can also set limits. Take last-minute showings on a case-by-case basis, and as much as possible, work out a schedule with your agent so they know what blocks of time work best to bring by buyers.
- Know when to bring in the pros. If your place still hasn't generated a lot of interest—or doesn't look quite right for showings, in spite of your best efforts—it may be time to bring in a professional stager, a cleaning service, or both. Think of the extra cash you're laying out as an investment: if you get things right early on, your selling process will hopefully be as quick (and as painless) as possible.