15 Things Homeowners Should Do During The Pandemic Shutdown

Most likely, you’re under a “stay at home” order. By now, you’re probably bored with binge watching television and there are only so many jigsaw puzzles you can do. This […]

April 6, 2020 // Tammy // No Comments //

Most likely, you’re under a “stay at home” order. By now, you’re probably bored with binge watching television and there are only so many jigsaw puzzles you can do. This list can help you find things to do during the shutdown (even if you don’t do all of them).

If you’re thinking of selling your home when life is ready to return to normal, there are some things you SHOULD do during the shutdown in order to get ready. None of these things requires spending any money (not now, at least) and can be done without leaving your home.

Even if you’re not planning on selling – keeping your home in good shape is important, and this list is a great “spring maintenance” start.

  1. Start a list

    identify the things you can do yourself and those which you’ll need to get help. Also start a “shopping list” for items you’ll need to get when you’re able to get to a store (or order online from Home Depot, Lowes or Amazon).

  2. Check your windows and doors

    Check all your windows and doors to look for cracked or missing caulk that needs to be replaced. Ensure that all windows open/close easily (lubricate or repair those that don’t). Identify screens that need to be repaired or replaced.

  3. Declutter

    Go room by room and start removing as many personal items as possible. Remove all family photos, awards, etc. from the walls.

  4. Determine if the walls, doors, baseboards and trim need to be painted

    Fresh paint is one of the cheapest things you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers. If you have blue tape (or something similar) – mark the areas on the walls that need to be repaired before painting.

  5. Check the bathroom caulk and grout

    Is caulk or grout missing in places? Cracked? Stained? Replace and clean as needed – or plan to get it done professionally.

  6. Put your kids to work

    Your kids need things to do during the shutdown, too, so why not get them involved in the process? Identify the toys your kids are playing with during this extended period of time at home. More importantly – make note of what they aren’t playing with? It’s easy to look at their toys and remember the joy when they first got it – remembering the hours and hours they played with it – but we often don’t realize that those are memories from a year ago (or more). Now’s a good time to determine what has lost favor. Start a pile for donating, giving away to friends, or trashing (especially toys that are broken or missing pieces). Consider selling them on ebay or FB marketplace if they’re still in good shape.

  7. Go through those closets!

    Go through all your closets (including linen closets and storage closets) – what hasn’t been worn or used in the past year? How likely are you to want it after you move?

  8. Start “deep cleaning”

    Now’s a great time to do the “deep cleaning” that often gets overlooked.
    – windows (vinegar and water), including window tracks
    – door frames
    – baseboards
    – on top of appliances and kitchen cabinets (dust traps odors)
    – light bulbs
    – carpets: spot treat stains; thoroughly clean the edges along the baseboard; determine if it should be replaced instead
    – wipe down kitchen cabinets to remove any splatter and stains
    – check cabinets to make sure all the doors and drawers work properly (determine if you should install new hardware)

  9. Organize the garage and basement

    Garages and basements become “catch-all” areas. Get rid of things you no longer need and get things organized so the area looks spacious and useful to a buyer.

  10. Start your spring yard work

    Clean out flower beds and shrub beds to prepare for planting new ones and for adding new mulch. Don’t make an unnecessary trip to a home improvement store at this time – just get the beds ready.

    Trim shrubs and trees (determine if you’ll need to hire someone).

  11. Create your plan

    Make a plan to tackle all the things on the list that you can’t do right now (along with a specific timeline). One of the best things to do during the shut down is to look ahead to “what’s next?” A list without an action plan will just become another thing that’s hanging over your head making you feel guilty. By planning out the activities, you’ll be much more likely to get it done.

  12. List your improvements

    As you go around the house, make a separate list of all the improvements you’ve made to the home since you purchased it.

  13. Create your buyer book

    Find any paperwork related to the appliances, heating/air conditioning system, water heater, etc. Buyers are also going to want to know the age of these items.

  14. Look at your roof

    Determine when the roof was last replaced. If it’s more than 15 years old, consider replacing it as buyers don’t want to get hit with large maintenance and repair items shortly after buying a home. Most likely, they’re already paying out all of their available cash on the down payment and taking out the highest loan they can afford, so large expenditures in the first couple of years of ownership are a huge turnoff.

  15. Call your real estate agent

    Call your real estate agent to let them know you’re planning to sell. They’ll be able to help you determine the ideal time and can start preparing a Market Analysis (pricing model).

This shutdown is affecting everyone in one way or another and it’s going to continue to have an effect for a long time to come as we get into the recovery phase. By taking some time now to prepare your home, you’ll be able to act quickly to get your home on the market when you’re ready.

We hope you’ve found this list of things to do during the shutdown helpful. If you have any questions – or if we can help in any way – be sure to give us a call. After all, we’re at home and looking for things to do right now, too.