Your house is on the market, and you’re a motivated owner. Translation: you REALLY want to sell. Because you have instructed your Realtor to: “Show me the Buyers! “, you are getting a ton of showings. Prospective homeowners arrive on your doorstep with a moments notice.
In addition, you are driving your family crazy. You have decreed: “No dishes in the sink, no crumbs on the kitchen counter, no dirty clothes on the floor! No one will eat, drink, sleep, or brush the dog again until this house is sold!”
Take a deep breath, sit down, and relax. While it IS true that you don’t get a second chance at a first impression, most buyers ARE human and realize that sellers have to live, too.
Just for the fun if it and because it might actually come in handy one day here are the FIVE places buyers are LEAST likely to look when viewing a house for the first time. Therefore, these are the best last minute hiding places:
- Under the bed. You probably didn’t need us to tell you about this hiding place, and you may have trouble squeezing any more “stuff” under there. What makes this an ideal place is that it is big, and usually centrally located in the room. Therefore, clothes, toys, shoes whatever can be flung from all directions with a good chance of finding their mark. Any last minute items can usually be kicked under the bed.
- In the washer & dryer. Buyers rarely, if ever, open a washer or dryer. This makes them ideal last-minute hideaways for toys, books, and boots, as well as dirty clothes. When utilizing this hiding place, it is a VERY good idea to tell the rest of the family. You never can tell when someone will get ambitious and turn on the dryer, or start to fill the washer.
- Trunk of your car. This, at first glance, might seem a little drastic. But, if the Realtor is pulling into the driveway, and you are standing with two paper bags filled with household items, the trunk could come in very handy!
- Refrigerator. Again, while this might appear far-fetched, buyers will NOT open your refrigerator. This makes it an ideal place for the last-minute stashing of anything that won’t suffer from being a little cold!
- Behind the sofa. Another old standby that could already be seeing some active duty, the sofa usually has a wall behind.
The other side of this issue deals with those areas buyers are MOST likely to inspect during a house tour. Try not to use any of these locations for your last minute secret hiding places.
- Oven. Do not store your pots and pans in the oven. This makes it appear as if you are short on kitchen space. If possible, the oven should be totally empty, and, of course, clean.
- Bedroom closets. One of the things buyers tend to remember about the houses they see, and to either comment favorably or unfavorably upon, are the closets. Avoid cramming the bedroom closets with extras; the more space that shows in your closets, the better.
- Kitchen drawers. The same buyers who would not dream of opening your refrigerator, will think nothing of pulling out a drawer. Try to keep kitchen drawers as uncluttered as possible. If need be, utilize bedroom drawers for all the kitchen utensils and junk you have to put someplace.
- Laundry room. A nice, neat laundry room is often a pleasant surprise in a home, and something that buyers tend to remember.
- Kitchen pantry. Like the laundry room, the kitchen pantry is often the “dumping ground” for all kinds of odds and ends. The less cluttered the pantry is, the bigger it looks, and the more buyers will remember it, favorably.
As you can probably tell, the secret to hide & don’t seek is to keep those places that are USUALLY used for storage as clear as possible. This gives the buyer the distinct impression that he/she will have plenty of room for all the stuff they need to put somewhere. In order to do this, you may need to move your items to unusual places that are not normally of concern to a buyer.
Written by Judi Wolfson and Elaine Shreiber