laundry set out to dry

Beds must be made, sinks must be clean, floors must be dog-hair-free, and above all else, don’t think you can get away with shoving everything into a closet — because no matter where you try to hide clutter, your buyers will find it.


Selling a home can be hard. (We get it.) Here are solutions to common seller issues.

When your house is on the market, it can be hard to feel, well, at home in your own home.

After all, you might have to vacate at any moment. Your home must be kept in pristine condition at all times. That cute wallpaper you put up in the bathroom? Time to tear it down and paint the walls beige. Decorating for major holidays? Forget about it.

Selling a home is not for wimps. Here are eight things only people selling their home can understand — and solutions for overcoming the struggle.

1. The last-minute-showing panic dance

Your phone buzzes. Huzzah, a request for a showing! You keep reading and realize that the buyer’s agent is hoping to stop by with the potential buyer in five minutes.

Cue the mad scramble through every room of the house, during which you shriek like a banshee, vacuum furiously, turn on all the lights and open the blinds, herd the dogs and kids to the car, and peel out of the driveway — only to realize you have no shoes on, no snacks for the kiddos, and no idea where to spend the next hour of your life. (Hello, drive-through, my old friend.)

Solution: Time to make an open-house plan. And that includes decluttering your house so that you’re not hustling to clean up for each showing. These six steps can get you started today.

2. The no-show rage

See above. Then imagine the rage that wells up inside when you realize that you scrambled to get your house in top shape for buyers who never actually bothered to enter your house in the first place. (It’s your house, you can tell.)

Did they hate the landscaping? Did the neighbors scare them away? Was there a SWAT situation down the street? What’s the deal, people?

Solution: Take a long, hard look at your house, your landscaping, and your neighborhood. Are you shortchanging your own curb appeal? Read this article about common mistakes that sabotage curb appeal — and easy, quick fixes.

3. The challenging buyer’s agent

They’re the ones who call up to say an offer is coming — and then take three days to submit the paperwork. They say their clients are “pretty much” preapproved for a loan, when, the truth is, they haven’t even met with a lender.

Basically, they make an already challenging situation seem impossible, especially when you’ve been waiting on pins and needles for that offer to finally come through.

Solution: Trust your agent — this is why you have one. But as a seller, you can employ a few tactics to avoid deal-breaker scenarios. This article is full of tips on how to skirt negotiation nightmares.

4. Enduring the daily grind

Keeping your house in show-ready shape at all times is no small feat. Beds must be made, sinks must be clean, floors must be dog-hair-free, and above all else, don’t think you can get away with shoving everything into a closet — because no matter where you try to hide clutter, your buyers will find it.

Solution: It may seem hard now, but it is possible to deal with the stress of selling your home. These five tips can help.

5. Insecurity and insults

Having your house on the market is a little like going on America’s Next Top Model. You’re working hard to show off your (home’s) best side, and you’re being judged (publicly!) for every teeny-tiny flaw, from the colors of the walls to the placement of the furniture.

Solution: Don’t take it personally. (Easier said than done.) Read this post about dealing with backhanded compliments about your home. Worried about home security during a showing? This article has you covered.

6. Pet drama

Picture this: Fido has an accident on the rug just as your phone starts to ring. Happy day! It’s a request for another showing … in half an hour. Survey says: You might want to reschedule.

Solution: While you can’t prevent an accidental deposit, you can ensure that your house doesn’t smell like a dog. Here are a few easy hacks for making your pet-filled home look (and smell) pet-free.

7. The kid factor

If kids live in the house you’re trying to sell, good luck decluttering those bedrooms. There’s some kind of law of childhood physics that basically ensures your kid will instantly become attached to anything you try to remove from their bedroom.

Solution: Make selling your home a family affair by including the kids in the search for your new place; they’ll be much more likely to clean up when they’re excited about the upcoming move. This article includes tips for kids of all ages (including angsty teens).

8. Wait … do I really want to move?

Every seller experiences this moment: You’re sitting on your couch in the middle of the day, and you look around at your pristine, decluttered, perfectly staged home and think, “Hey, this place is pretty amazing! Why in the world would I want to sell it?”

Solution: Don’t forget what your home looks like when your stuff (and your kids’ stuff, and your old college stuff, and that random stuff you should probably sort through) lives here too. Whether you’ve outgrown the space or want to downsize, there were good reasons you wanted to sell.

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