One of the tricky things about selling a house is maintaining a balance between enjoying your home and keeping it in open house condition.
During the summer, it’s only natural to want to invite people over for a backyard barbecue and swim, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. It just takes a little planning and some extra attention.
Start with scheduling. If you have an open house set for a Sunday, then the Saturday prior isn’t the day for a gathering. Ask your agent if there are weekends they expect to be slow. Summer is a popular vacation season, so chances are there will be periods where not as many potential buyers are around.
Summer parties tend to be less formal, so embrace that. Don’t cook a lavish meal—backyard barbecues are a staple of the season. Use paper plates and plastic forks, knives and cups to make clean-up simple. Consider ordering food as well, especially side dishes, so that the kitchen doesn’t get too messy.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your guests about the situation. People come to a party to have fun, of course, but remind your friends and family that your house is on the market, so they should take a little extra caution in avoiding spills, damage and messes. Ask your guests to stay in the backyard and maybe one inside room if people need to get out of the heat (and, of course, you need to let them use a bathroom). Try to keep most rooms off limits.
In regard to outdoor fun, keep an eye on your lawn. If kids are coming to the party, come up with activities that will limit how much running they do on your grass. And be ready to cancel if inclement weather is expected to rain out any outdoor fun.
Of course, there’s always work to do after a party, but when selling a home, doing a top-notch job is essential. Wrap up any uneaten food and throw away used paper plates and other supplies. Also, be sure to give your grill a good cleaning. Based on how dirty it is, consider soaking the grates. Then scrub under the hood, clean the inside and wash the exterior.
If you set up extra chairs on your deck or patio to accommodate guests, put them back in storage and make the area look its best. And be sure to clear the area surrounding the pool if you have one. Clean up towels, rafts and pool toys and put them in storage.
Summer is meant for backyard enjoyment, and while making the most of the season, make sure the fun doesn’t interfere with selling your home.