Preparing to sell your home during the holidays? To some, that might sound overwhelming. As in: I-cannot-imagine-having-to-think-about-selling-while-working/cooking/shopping/baking/wrapping/decorating/cleaning!
But it can be done. I promise.
Planning, of course, is key. Let’s break it down into three steps to get your home prepped for buyers, to get you equipped with the right team, and to get a game plan ready for those showings:
Clean & Purge
- Give yourself a week or two to clean out closets, drawers and anywhere “stuff” has accumulated. I always remind my super-busy clients with packed schedules that cleaning or organizing something doesn’t have to be a full day chore. If you want to tackle that master closet, start with one rack of clothes the first day, drawers the second day, shoes the third day… 15-20 minutes a pop and after a few days, you’ll see a major improvement.
- Clothing can be sold on sites like ThredUp and Swap, donated to charities, or even recycled if no longer wearable (H&M, Feet Fleet and Nike all have textile and show recycling programs; I wrote an article on this last winter and still stand by these recommendations – I love companies that recycle!).
- Organizations like Brown Elephant and Salvation Army will pick up furniture donations and toys. One less errand for you!
- Then organize. Organize, organize, organize. It will put your home’s best foot forward for selling, and it will help you pack more efficiently come moving time.
Find a Real Estate Agent
- There are many agents out there. You should pick one that has experience, knows the city and has a personality you want to work with.
- Your agent should have a plan that takes into account your expectations, market trends and the real-life practicalities that go along with buying or selling a home.
- Your agent should also be connected. Need an inspector? Attorney? Interior designer? Painter? Movers? Restaurant recommendation? A good agent should be a resource for many things.
(… Did I mention how much I love the nuances of the Chicago neighborhoods? Or the vast network I have? :) )
Survive the Showings
Once your home goes on the market, you need to be prepared to accommodate showings and open houses. Running errands or grabbing a bite to eat are easy options for killing some time while your agent goes to work showing your home, but if you’re looking for something different to do, it’s good to have more choices… especially if you have kids or dogs, AND the weather isn’t great.
With the kiddos...
- Indoor play areas. A no-brainer: inside, energy-burning, and fun!
- Combine lunch with grocery shopping. Stores like Mariano’s and Whole Foods have yummy and healthy dining options and you can knock that grocery list off your “To Do” list after.
- Libraries with dedicated kid areas have family activities and kid reading rooms. (Also Kids + Books = Good Parenting)
- Firehouse tours: Kids can meet real fire fighters and get behind-the-scenes with fire trucks. Super fun and super free.
- Stores like Home Depot and Pottery Barn have kids workshops, art projects and story times. Bonus points if you need to run an errand there, too!
With the pooch...
- You can shop with your dog - even the big ones! Visit Pottery Barn, Home Depot, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Blick Art Supplies, Harley Davidson (Wrigleyville location opening soon), Nordstrom, William Sonoma, Bloomingdale’s or Saks Fifth Avenue.
- Visit a self-serve dog wash. Clean doggie for that clean house.
- Drop off Amazon returns. A good errand for those quick showings, and the location at Clark and Diversey has dog treats.
Having a plan can keep you on top of your game to manage life, the holidays AND a move. Happy New Year and happy house hunting!