Selling a house is no easy feat. I realize there are a lot of variables when selling your house, like the market for instance, or the time of year, or who’s out there looking. And while you can control when your house hits the market, there are a great many things you can do as a family to help sell your house, fast.
Here are some tips that helped us sell our house in one weekend!
Tip 1 | Purge and purge again…
We started with the most cluttered and disorganized area in our home…the basement. Anything that we no longer wanted, deemed as trash, wasn’t worthy to move with us, or needed to be returned to its owner (i.e. borrowed items), was removed from the basement. Items that we could live a few months without were packed away in moving boxes and labeled. The kid’s toys were also sorted through, organized and put away for better presentation. We moved through the remainder of the house and purged each room.
Tip 2 | Take it one room at a time…
It’s true in our house with two (and a half!) kids and a dog that while we’re cleaning one side of the house, the other side is getting trashed. I literally cleaned every nook and cranny, cleared and dusted every surface and staged the room with a minimalist approach. Then, took pictures. Yes, to prove that my house could be this clean, but also to use these for our listing photos.
Accomplishing this step one room at a time is much less stressful than attempting to pick one day, clean everything and photograph it all at once. If you have a listing date in mind, complete cleaning and staging a little at a time. Then you’re holding onto your mom sanity and not pulling your hair out.
Since all the rooms had been deep cleaned, staged and photographed, we just had to maintain. The hardest areas to maintain were the rooms we spent the most time in. The living room is mainly where the kids play and the kitchen…well, that’s obvious. I love that I just summed up three weeks worth of work in two paragraphs!
Tip 3 | Price competitively…
Your realtor may suggest a price that is lower than anticipated. But, they are the expert in their field and while you might have a different opinion, price comps in the area do not lie. Be realistic about your expectations! Meet with your realtor and mull over prices and comps in your area and decide on a listing price that will draw buyers in. Trust your professional in this and you’ll be pleased with the results! The price can either draw a buyer in right away, or make them run for the hills.
Tip 4 | Make necessary repairs…
We had a grand total of three inspections for our house between city requirements and buyer requests. Before these inspections, we made a variety of small improvements such as patching walls, switching out outdated outlets, minor exterior repairs, etc. Try hard to view your home through a buyer’s lens. You want your home to appear well cared for, not neglected!
Tip 5 | Be flexible…
I cannot emphasize enough the flexibility needed to show your home. It’s important to move into this season with the attitude that you’ll do whatever it takes to get the house sold. That means accepting as many showings as possible, within reason of course. An excellent suggestion is to have an open house with set times, or accept that you won’t be home for an entire weekend while you have 12 showings in two days. If we can do it with two kids and a dog, you can do this too! Imagine yourself as a buyer. You request a showing and it’s declined, perhaps declined more than once for different times! Do you really feel like making time for that house? More than likely, you’ll just move on.
I mapped out ahead of time that between 10am and 7pm would be our showing times. I also requested a two hour notice if someone wanted to see the house. That worked with our daily schedule, was flexible and the notice gave me time to do a once over on the house, pack everyone up and get out!
Understand that while this may be stressful, it will not last. I prepared myself to do this for a week and in reality, it ended up being two days. And my husband was with us during that weekend lending a wonderful helping hand.
Tip 6 | Take great listing photos…
This is absolutely huge. These photos are the first impression that your buyer will have of your home. We want them to look fabulous, but also true. Too many times have I been epically let down after looking through pictures and then visiting the house is another story. I realize this is not always an option, but I highly suggest investing in a photographer who specializes in real estate photography.
Suggestions for staging your home…
Clear as many surfaces (this includes the floors!) in your home as possible (less is more)
Neutral is absolutely best. This goes for both décor and paint colors.
De-personalize (I cleared away knick knacks, but left family photos on the walls…you want your home to still look lived in!)
Turn lights on throughout the house
Fresh white towels in the bath and kitchen represent cleanliness
Scoop that poop in the backyard from your furry best friend
Bake cookies or light a comforting candle before showings (but remember to snuff it out before you leave!)
While these tips helped us sell our home fast, I realize they may not be fool proof. The art of buying and selling is just that…an art! As long as you take responsibility for the things you have control over, the rest is God’s timing! Don’t stress over what you cannot control either. You will be a giant stress ball and believe me, no one will want to hang with you. And you’re going to need those friends on moving day…
There is so much more I could add! What are your suggestions?