By Jonathan Deesing

Tips for Selling a Home During a Move

Selling a home can have a variety of challenges, but no challenge is quite as tricky as when the sellers are in the process of moving out. Stacks of moving boxes and half-empty rooms can make even the nicest home unappealing to potential buyers. Plus, a move can leave a formerly beloved home looking banged up and abandoned.

If you find yourself in the awkward position of selling a home mid-move, there are some things you can do to help potential buyers see past the chaos to the great home underneath.

Selling a Home

Capture the Home in Advance

Work with the sellers to get some great shots of the home pre-move. Help them stage each room to show off its best features and capture those photos before moving boxes get in the way. You can use the pictures for the online listing and can even blow them up and place on easels in the appropriate rooms to help potential buyers visualize the possibilities of the home.

Another way to show off the home before it is overtaken by boxes is to have the sellers create a video “love letter” about their home. They can give potential buyers a virtual tour of the home, sharing what they loved about the house and any interesting details that will grab a buyer’s attention. Have them show off the neighborhood as well and offer a few tips about the best nearby gym or coffee shop.

Be Smart About Scheduling

Try not to show the home during peak packing times, and certainly not on moving day. Ask the sellers if they can give you a schedule of times that the home will be presentable to prospective buyers. If they plan to squeeze in most of their moving activities on the weekends, suggest showing the house during the week while they’re at work.

Selling a Home

Contain the Chaos

Ask homeowners to organize their moving paraphernalia to minimize distraction during showings. Suggest limiting boxes and packing materials to one room, if possible. See if they can organize their packing to leave homey touches out as long as possible. Books, art on the walls, or candles can help potential buyers picture themselves settling in and enjoying the home.

Throw in Some Goodies

Talk to the owners about leaving behind some items to help entice potential buyers. Including stainless steel appliances or the washer and dryer in the price of the sale help new homeowners cut down out-of-pocket costs. Freezers, a grill, garage shelving, lawn equipment, and outdoor play can be a real incentive to the average homebuyer looking to cut down on future costs after such a major purchase. The inclusion will feel like a huge bonus.

Sustain the Curb Appeal

It’s easy for an empty (or soon-to-be empty) home to start looking neglected. Make sure that arrangements are in place for grass to be cut regularly in warm months and for snow and ice to be removed in the winter. Offset the emptiness inside the home by staging the exterior. Add some colorful pots of flowers, a nice wreath, a homey welcome mat, or even a rocker on the front porch.

Selling a Home

Don’t forget the backyard. Grass, flowerbeds, and garden areas need to be regularly maintained there as well. If there are large trees, be sure to clear the yard of leaves and branches, especially in the fall. Don’t let weeds overtake the garden, and encourage the owners to harvest any fresh vegetables or herbs that are ready for picking.

Keep Things Fresh

Once the owners have moved out, plan to open windows and air out the home every few days. You don’t want excited buyers to have their enthusiasm dampened by a musty, closed-in feeling. While you’re airing out the home, look around for anything that may need to be dusted or wiped down. Small, regular maintenance helps keep the home from feeling vacant and forlorn.

Air isn’t the only thing that may need some freshening. Inspect walls for bumps and scuffs. See if the owners will touchup or repaint walls after the move to make the home look pristine and ready to sell. After all, the walls are going to be one of the only things left for buyers to see, so they need to be appealing.

It may not be ideal to try to sell a home when the owners are busy packing up and moving, but with a little forethought, and some teamwork, it is possible to turn a potential headache into a successful sale.

About the Author: Jonathan Deesing is a relocation and packing specialist with imove, where he spends most of his time popping bubble wrap. For more moving help and tips take a peek at some of imove’s helpful resources!


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