Your company transferred you to a new city, a parent died and left their home to you, you outgrew an older home that just isn't selling. There are countless reasons you might be stuck living in one home while another sits on the market. You'll need to maintain the upkeep on the home to keep it attractive to potential buyers, but how will you possibly take care of a house you're living in full-time and another house? You'll need to decide which chores you'll outsource and which you'll handle on your own when you have time. Consider this list when determining which chores are best left to professionals and which you can handle on your own.
Chore #1: Gutter Cleaning
You know from your own shopping for a home that the roof is arguably the most important selling point for a home, followed closely by the gutters that work with the roof to protect the house from moisture. Because keeping your gutters cleaned is so essential in the integrity of the roof and foundation of the home, you'll want to make sure it's done thoroughly and in a timely manner. In other words, leave it to a professional.
Although you hope the vacant home won't be on the market for more than a couple months, you'll need to be prepared for it not selling for a few seasons or more. Set up a service plan with a gutter cleaning company to come out to the home and sweep the gutters of debris once a season. This will ensure that the roof, siding, foundation, and landscaping is free of excess moisture, leaving you resting easy that those parts of the house won't be a source of contention with potential buyers.
Chore #2: Painting
If you're paying for a second mortgage, property taxes, and upkeep on a second home, you'll want to cut costs where ever you can. You know you need to paint the inside of the house with a fresh coat to return it to a bright and clean state. But should you hire professionals to do something you could invest a weekend into?
Because painting isn't essential to the structural integrity of the home and is mostly cosmetic issue, save your dollars and do it yourself.
Save yourself even more time and money by getting a five-gallon bucket of one neutral color with paint and primer in one, as well as one gallon of white paint. The five-gallon bucket will be for all of the walls in the home, while the white paint will be for all the trim and ceilings. You'll want to choose a gender neutral, unassuming light shade from beige to tan.
Chore #3: Landscaping
Although landscaping is mostly cosmetic, it does have some functionality as well and can directly affect whether potential buyers schedule a viewing of your home. For these reasons, leave it to a professional to take care of your landscaping on a weekly basis during the spring, summer, and fall months.
Your landscaping at the edge of the house should work together with your gutters to flush water away from the foundation and toward the walkways or driveway. The grass is essential to keep trim because you don't want the house to look disheveled when potential buyers drive by to see the outside of the home. Have the landscapers pay special attention to the areas around the edge of the house and the grass, with flowers and pruning as a secondary task.
Being unable to sell a house can be stressful, but the amount of upkeep you put into the home can help it sell faster than if you ignored it. It can be difficult to manage your time, however, when you're trying to manage a second home full-time. Determine early on which household tasks you'll outsource and which you'll continue doing yourself. Keep in mind which tasks are essential to the integrity of the home, such as gutter cleaning, and which would be cheaper to do yourself, such as painting.