With the rise of COVID-19 cases in the United States, many of us are spending extra time at home this March and April of 2020. If you’ve been planning for a spring or summer move, don’t lose hope! Instead, use this time wisely and you’ll be ready to sell as soon as this temporary storm passes. Here are 8 ways to keep your home sale moving forward while you “shelter in place!”
Choose a Real Estate Agent – Virtually!
During your work-at-home break, take some time to research real estate agents in your area. Reach out to friends or family that have sold recently and ask for recommendations. Then contact the agents on your short list to set up a virtual listing appointment. In an hour or less, and without leaving your home, you can provide a FaceTime or Skype tour to an agent, ask questions about commission, timeline, and showings, and get a sense for their marketing plan and style. You can choose your agent without ever setting foot outside!
If you’re planning to sell and move into a different home, now is a great time to start packing. Begin with off-season clothing and gear, books and movies, and all the stuff hiding in your attic and basement. This accomplishes two goals – decluttering your home for photos and prepping for your move.
Before you pack something in a box, think about whether you really need or want the item. If you’re packing boxes of things that have been sitting in your basement for 12 years, it’s time to think about whether you want to pay to package, move, and store them, or save some money (and get a tax break!) by dropping them off as a donation. Set aside a corner or room in your home for donation items that you can drop off once non-essential travel is allowed.
A professional deep cleaning can cost hundreds of dollars – why not use some of your extra time at home to start this process on your own! Use rags or old t-shirts in place of paper towels – no shortage of those and you can wash and reuse them! Wash your windows with newspaper and a water/vinegar mixture to let in plenty of natural light for photos and showings. Spend some extra time in the kitchen where grease and grime can build up – scour the cooktop and fridge interior, wipe down your cabinets, and give the floors a good scrub.
Starting some smaller repair projects now will save you time later. You may not have all of the tools or materials available at home, but some hardware stores and websites are still delivering if you’re comfortable. Some of these projects include: Touch up paint dings and spots on walls and ceilings. Pay special attention to stairwells and hallways that see a lot of wear. Freshen up caulk around sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets. Dust and/or touch up baseboards and other frequently-overlooked trim.
Time for spring cleaning! Trim branches, cut out old/dead plants, and bag up any leaves leftover from fall. Curb appeal is the name of the game! Plant colorful flowers and spread fresh mulch near your front door. Consider painting your front door and replacing the hardware – this is the first impression buyers will have of your home, so make it a good one!
Do your research! Find and schedule movers, landscapers, cleaners, appliance delivery, and more. Start looking at homes in the area to where you are moving. Ask your current agent or family and friends for referrals for agents there. Make lists of people and utility companies you need to notify of your move, pack travel bags for the kids, and make arrangements for the pets.
Moving can be a stressful time, so take time now to relax and enjoy the last few months in your current home. Take lots of pictures to remember your time here. Plan a party to celebrate your move and say goodbye to friends.
Most importantly, try not to stress about your upcoming move. We’re here to help make the process as easy on you as possible, so give Alex a call today to get started!