How To Prepare Your House To Sell

We sold our house to the first person that walked through it. We never expected it to sell that quickly—its older, quirky, and houses don’t seem to typically sell that fast, not for a price we’d want to sell it for. We know that it was just God’s time for us to move, so he made it happen–but we do have a few getting-ready-to-move tips that we found useful, not only in maybe getting that house to sell quickly, but also in making the subsequent packing/moving easier.

1) Meet with a realtor before listing

When we decided we might want to move sometime in the next year, we had our realtor over that originally sold us our house to look around and tell us what to work on to get it ready for the market. He gave us a list of need-to-do things and a list of would-be-nice things. Our house is an older house, so we did have a little list of inexpensive but work-intensive things to do—replacing faucets and shower fixtures and laying linoleum and touching up paint, etc. I’m glad we did this before listing the house—they were relatively inexpensive and made less that needed to be “fixed” later after we were under contract.

2) Declutter
downloadI love decluttering—it feels like losing weight or something, so instantly gratifying! I like to declutter in waves—I think I went through the house probably three times since we first started thinking about moving last fall. The last wave was the most intensive—I used a checklist from Pinterest (click here for the list) that systematically went through every room in the house. When it was all said in done, I ended up getting rid of probably 1/4th of our things. I found the areas where I’d needed to declutter the most were in the kitchen (lots of glasses, plates, utensils, etc, that I never used), in our serving dishes (lots of wedding gifts that were lovely but never used in the past 7 years!), and some furniture. I honestly can’t even remember what all we got rid of—which maybe shows how little those things will be missed!

3) Spring Clean!

This part of the process was a little odious, but well-worth it. I scrubbed floors and baseboards and washed carpets. It was exhausting! I have to say though, it was nice to have such a fresh-smelling, squeaky-clean house at the end of it though.

That is really all we did—just getting the house in tip-top shape. We didn’t do a ton of staging, aside from putting away toys, and luckily what we did was enough to get it sold!

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What tips do you have for preparing a house to sell?

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2 thoughts on “How To Prepare Your House To Sell

  1. I’ve heard that selling in fall, winter, and spring typically is better for attracting serious buyers; the summer yields more “window-shoppers” from what I understand. We did stage our home before selling, but I honestly don’t necessarily think it helped us “clinch” the sale. Most buyers have an idea of what they’re looking for and they’re usually able to see past small cosmetic fixes if the rooms and layout are to their liking. Well-placed lamps and rugs make for better pictures on online listings, though, and most people look online first, so I’d definitely stage again just to get more showings/potential buyers. The people who ended up buying our old house, though, were very motivated buyers and ended up doing a complete overhaul, anyway, so I don’t think in the case of our last house it made a difference.

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    1. I think “staging” might depend somewhat on where you are–I asked our realtor about that, but he said in our town, they liked seeing family photos and wouldn’t care so much if the house is staged. Y’alls town though was much more “hip” so maybe it could matter more there. Goodness, good pictures make a big difference, speaking from a buyers perspective–the house we just bought actually had not so great pictures, not even showing some of the more charming details, and it had (thus) sat on the market for 6months. Lucky for us though =)

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