The last time we sold our own house, my wife and I weren’t real estate agents yet. We were a client just like most other people. These are the things we did that worked best for us. As a result of doing these things we sold our house in one day!
We started the process at least six months before we ever listed our house. Some of this included taking care of maintenance items that just needed to be addressed as homeowners. We no longer had pets in our house, so we started replacing all the carpet. We also had hail damage to the roof, so thanks to insurance, we replaced it. Finally we had mismatched appliances and so we took advantage of Black Friday sales and bought the appliances needed in order for them to all match in color. In particular to the appliances, the thought was let’s get them now so that we can enjoy them too. Then even if we don’t move, we can still enjoy them. Now just as a side note, all of these purchases were cash flowed. We do not recommend going into debt over these items. We scrimped and saved and adjusted our budget to make these things a priority.
The first and primary thing we did was declutter. My wife’s two favorite books that helped with this process were Flylady’s Sink Reflections and Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. The motto we lived by in our declutter process was… “Do I love it or do I use it?” If yes, keep it. Otherwise it needs to go. We didn’t keep things for rainy days or just in case. This helped us clear out a bunch of things from our house. We had yard sales, gave to charity, and sold things on eBay and Craigslist.
After we finished decluttering, we started to pack some. This wasn’t too necessary though because what was left after decluttering had homes and fit into the house we lived in. We no longer had bulging closets so we could store the few things we did pack in these closets.
Similar to the previous point, once we were limited on what was in the house, we started to live as if we were selling the house. Everything had a home, we got in the habit of cleaning up after ourselves, things were hidden in cabinets and not on counters, dishes were run each night and put away in the morning.
The last step to getting the house ready to go was looking at the home in the eye of a buyer. We staged rooms to be appealing. We removed marks on the walls with a magic eraser or we painted over them. We deep cleaned bathrooms and the kitchen. (Young Living's Thieves Household Cleaner is amazing at getting rid of greasy dust on the tops of kitchen cabinets!) As a part of this process, Traci looked at a bunch of blogs about how to sell your home fast, how to stage a home to sell, and also looked at actual homes for sale in our area. She was looking for anything that was appealing to her as a buyer and more importantly, what wasn’t appealing so that we made sure we didn’t do it ourselves. There were a couple of rooms in the home that we knew needed to be painted, so we did that. The house had a ton of natural light, so all the blinds in the living area were removed to showcase this light.
The last thing we did was hire an amazing real estate agent. We didn’t have a particular agent that we were wed to, but in the process of looking at homes for sale it was easy to identify some good agents. The number of homes for sale with clutter in their pictures was unreal. We didn’t want an agent that would allow that. The caliber of the pictures (professional vs not) was also identifiable. There were a few agents that popped to the top of the list of good pictures. One agent in particular we remembered as having sold a house that four other agents couldn’t sell. We called him and were impressed with this marketing plan, so we hired him and could not have been happier. One of the most important things we did was listen to his professional advice of where to price the house. In return he executed his marketing plan. We had four times the number of views on Zillow compared to other similar homes that went on the market days before ours. By the end of day one we had three showings and an offer in hand. (Any of our Lynchburg friends in need of a Realtor... we HIGHLY recommend you look up Stephen Acree!)
One final note, prior to pictures or showings we made sure the house was spotless. Little tiny things were hidden. Trash was removed. All curtains were open. All lights were turned on. Everything that could possibly be needed to give the appearance of a well kept, clean home with a ton of light.
The journey to sell our home turned into the perfect marriage of client and agent working together. We did our part to showcase a really beautiful home and our agent did his part of letting the public know it was available to be purchased. Do you need selling your home? Text us using the yellow box on the right.