Talking with my Realtor friends, the spring real estate market is well under way this year. Many people started to list their homes for sale in February and March and they are selling! Some sell faster than others, but sales are on the rise. I told a client recently, the worst thing that could happen was that her home sold and she needed to move quickly. Why? Because she was not ready to move.
With too much stuff and little time the tasks at hand is overwhelming. What my client did while the home was on the market and waiting for that magical event to take place – THE OFFER – was absolutely nothing! The house was prepared for sale; meaning it was de-personalized and staged but that’s it. Now that the offer has been negotiated, accepted, and purchase and sales agreement signed she has six weeks to do it all.
After living in the home for over 40 years there is a lot of ‘stuff’ accumulated in the attic, basement, garage which does not even touch on the closets in 3 bedrooms, excess furniture and other household items and appliances that need to be pared down. Six weeks are not a lot of time, particularly if you cannot physically do what needs to be done or all available help is limited to nights and weekends.
Here are five suggestions of what should have happened while the house was waiting to be sold?
- In each and every room sort, clean out, and organize; closets, drawers and cabinets; desk, bureaus, tables, china cabinets, kitchen cabinets etc. This type of sorting can easily be done without disturbing the staging and between scheduled showings.
- Spend quality time, when you have help available, continuing to sort, clean out, and organize the basement, attic, and garage areas.
- Evenings and other times can be spent sorting and organizing photographs that are just stuffed in shoe boxes or drawers.
- Continue to sort through and sort out your books, CD’s, records, video tapes, and DVD’s.
- Have a garage sale or call for charity pick-ups of extra furniture and household items that you are not planning on moving.
As you can probably guess my client was in panic mode because none of the above was done and now time is of the essence. Don’t worry moving day happened, but not without some drama, a few tears, and several panic attacks. Were there things moved or accidentally trashed that probably should have been sold, donated, or given away; yes, but not much. Troops were mustered and mercenaries were hired to make things happen in a hurry.
So the moral of my story is, when hard decisions need to be made it is always easier and more cost-effective to make decisions when you have the time and space to make well thought-out and educated decisions and not in panic mode.