I have great news for you. You don't need to keep your home spotless for months.
The truth is that in almost any market homes that are well-priced, prepared (meaning clean, clutter free, and staged) will sell within 30 days. The longer a listing sits on the market, the lower the value.
A couple of suggestions:
1. I have a great Realtor that I can refer to consult with you.
2. You need to carefully plan your market time. If a home is properly prepped and marketed, I have all of the marketing photos and efforts coordinated to hit in one week. I encourage families like yours to take TWO weekends off. Give me two weekends to get the brokers and their buyers in your home and get it sold.
3. My rule of thumb is ten showings or two offers in two weeks. or we reduce the price. Homes that sell in the first 30 days sell at closest to asking price. The longer they sit, at 120 days they sell at 63.6% of asking.
I am a little puzzled about your market timing. If you need to sell why is your home not on the market now? During the summer selling season? I would put it on the market now so it can be sold prior to school starting.
I can help you. 1-888-284-2056 if you need a Realtor to interview. Otherwise, ask at school, church, etc.
It is hard to keep a house in good order to maximize it's appeal to buyers, while it is on the market, and even more challenging with some lively kids!
Homes do show better if they are "staged" like a model home. This even works with your own furnishings, although you may want to have another person help you with deciding on the best arrangement, what to keep in the house and what to store elsewhere. HGTV's "Designed To Sell" is all about making a house look great before putting it on the market to sell....and get the best price!
Tari is right about cleaning, the cleaner the better, one more reason it's harder with kids. Kids need more freedom to play and be...well, kids than having to keep everything "perfect"!
It's great to have the option of moving in temporarily with your parents, but be sure to understand that your house could be on the market for a couple of months before getting an offer. Can you, your kids and parents cope with that? That is something else to consider.
You may want to compromise and move out for the first month (when you get the most traffic) , take a week to clean and arrange your furnishings (remember to store extra stuff) then put your house on the market. After a few weeks and strategizing with your agent about when and if you might move back,. One reason would be that you have a mutually accepted offer, and 30 days to close.
Good luck, and best wishes on getting a good offer quickley!
I would recommend touring the competition in your area to see what they look like. Have your agent show you the comps in your area. Were the ones that sold quickly staged? Are the ones currently on the market staged? If most of the other houses are staged, you need to be competitive. And it is all about price, first, and then presentation.
Best of luck!
I would really encourage you to consult with your Real Estate agent and discuss which pieces should stay and which pieces should go and come up with a game plan to get your home on the market. But certainly keeping the home "furnished" is your best bet. If you do not have an agent, when interviewing you'll want to find one who can assist with staging your home. Since you seem to be open to the idea, I am sure you would not take offense if an agent suggested for example, that your well loved recliner that has a hole in the seat cushion might be a good piece to have removed from the house, but the sofa could stay and maybe be spruced up by having it professionally cleaned by the same person who cleans your carpet (minimal cost to do).
It certainly sounds like you are on the right track, so best of luck!
one tip that has been used when you have little ones pulling things out and leaving them just before a showing is to have a nice looking sorage "container" in the bedrooms, or play rooms to that you can quickly put all the "stuff" in them without having to sort and place them where they normally belong. After the showing you can go back and store these items properly.
Stan Cobb, Realtor, Savannah, GA
As a short sale you have to show the worst conditions poss, and as a regular sale show the best.
Pics as possible. Call me for more info 714-716-9636 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
One good tip to give you is for each bathroom, buy a few things like a new shower curtain, fresh towels, a picture, some bath accesories etc (think under $100 for each bath) to give your bathrooms a pulled together, coordinated look...it's amazing to see how much better those rooms look on line and in person!
I always do it for my clients when listing their vacant homes, it really makes a difference. I spent a few hours last week looking at Wal-Mart, Target, Fred Meyers, and other places to find a few things for a new listing. It is well worth the time and a couple of hundred bucks...I just recycle my stuff to different lisitngs!
Look at other homes on line to see how well they look in their photos, the better they look online, the more likely buyers will want to see them.
I would say a well staged vacant home will sell better and quicker than either a completely empty or fully furnished (i.e. occupied) home. Like the previous poster said, definitely have it cleaned and freshly painted because the buyers' first impression is the most important.
You want the buyers to be able to get an idea of what it would be like if it were their own home. It definitely doesn't hurt to have some chairs or a sofa to be there so they can hang out and picture themselves being the new owners!
The last thing you want is to have a home that people just quickly glance over and leave.
Best of luck!