Summer is vacation time, but if you’re selling a home and planning on taking a break, there are some things to consider before taking time off.
This can be a popular time for house hunting. Long days of sunshine offer extra time in the day for people to visit, and parents looking to buy a house before the school year starts are often especially motivated.
So, before you go on a vacation, be sure to follow these steps for peak selling conditions:
Clean, clean, clean. You’re keeping your house in perfect condition while it’s on the market, but take a few extra steps to make sure your home is ideally staged while you’re away. Clear the fridge of food and drinks that may expire while you’re gone. Do the same with your pantry— toss or, better yet, give away opened packages of food that could spill. Clean and put away all dishes, and leave a bag in your trash bin. Vacuum and dust all rooms, make sure kids’ and teen rooms are well organized, and spruce up the bathroom.
Notify your agent. Before leaving, let your agent know and provide them with a number to contact you while you’re gone. Talk over the circumstances that would dictate a call that interrupts your fun. Obviously, an offer will warrant a call, text or email. Vacations are a good time for open houses, so an update after an open house could be productive. You also should arrange for a contact at home—a relative, friend or neighbor—who can access the house in case there’s a problem. Make sure they have phone numbers for a plumber, electrician, gardener, contractor, exterminator, etc.—anyone who might be needed in an emergency.
Halt mail delivery. A mailbox stuffed with envelopes and boxes, or even a pile of mail inside the home, is unsightly. Arranging for your post office to hold your mail while you’re away is best. Also, take the step to hold delivery of any newspapers you may subscribe to. There are things that may get dropped off at your house that you can’t stop in advance, such as free newspapers, phone books, flyers and menus placed on your door by local businesses—ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for these things and to remove them for you.
Remember to Relax. Your vacation may get interrupted with updates from your agent, but the goal should be to get some rest. Selling a home is stressful and getting a break from that process can put you in the right frame of mind after you get back.