I am not an expert in a lot of areas. Never ask me to knit, crochet, sew, or bake a soufflé. I can’t grow anything that is is the least bit tricky (this month alone I have killed an orchid and it appears one of my succulents are dying), and car repair of any sort is not my thing.
What I have learned a little about in 34 years of marriage is how to sell a house. As of now we have sold 4 homes, each one sold in less than a month, most in about a week. House number 5 is currently under contract after being on the market for less than 5 days. You can see the home here.
I am pretty proud of our track record selling homes, but my guess is that my kids wished we did things a little differently when they were growing up. My daughter commented once that we never finished any projects until we were putting the house on the market. Guilty as charged.
Here is what we do, when we are selling a home:
- ” IZE “ your home. You know what I am going to say here already:
- Neutralize– Appeal to the masses. Nothing that would be too taste specific. Not the time for a purple wall or leopard print carpet.
- Depersonalize-You must detach from the home. You are breaking up with this house anyway, so start moving on in your head. Family photos, ribbons, medals, and shopping lists on the fridge must go.
- Minimize- Go ahead and get a start on moving out. Have a garage sale, donate to Goodwill, and store anything that is not essential, in pristine condition, or that is too overpowering. My green hutch and all of the milkglass got moved out. This is not the best shot of my beloved hutch, but it was all I could find. I will have an awesome picture of it when it moves in to my craft room. Promise.
- Sanitize- I am not saying you are dirty people, really I am not. What I am saying is it needs to be cleaner than the way we, at our house, live on a daily basis. We washed the windows inside and out, had the carpet professionally cleaned, weeded the flower beds, and scrubbed the grout in the bathrooms, organized the linen closets, and power washed the sidewalk, porches, and driveway. The bathroom counters got emptied and cleaned. I am sad to say that a lot of that only happens when we have a house on the market.
- Upgrade your home. It takes money, and/or elbow grease to make money. In our case a little of both. Mostly on the back of Mr. Math.
- Lighting– This is honestly one of the areas that I do not understand why more people don’t take care of before putting their house on the market. If your house is more than 5 years old, or is a builder basic, you probably have at least one light fixture that needs updating. If you shop around, you can find some great lights for not a lot of money. Mr. Math replaced the very builder basic light on the front porch and in the entry way. I stood on the ground and begged him not to die. Not all lighting is this challenging to change out.
- Flooring– Go with what is selling in your area. I checked out the two recent sales in our neighborhood. See what they both had?
- Both had hardwood flooring in the family room. We had carpet so we knew we were going to have to up our game. We shopped for the best deal on neutral engineered hardwood flooring and had it installed. We spent some serious money on the flooring, but we knew that it would not get any traffic if we weren’t on par with the other homes on the market. It is really nice, but I probably would have gone a lot more rustic if I was purchasing for me and not the masses.
- Make your home memorable. I know I said neutralize, so why would I also say to make it memorable? What I mean is make your home stand out from the rest in the minds of buyers- in a good way. Keep the walls neutral but try to have at least three rooms with something in them that will be remembered by the buyers.
- We added this barn door and buyers can see it as soon as they walk in.
- Our neighbor had this awesome turquoise buffet in the entry way.
- I love my teal dresser that we use as an entertainment center.
- Oh that bathroom. I am going to miss that beauty. The dresser, the antique vanity, the fence board shelving unit and the light are all neutral but very memorable.
- The faux shiplap wall is getting a lot of traffic right now on Pinterest. It is easy, and makes quite a statement.
- Hire the realtor in your area that is actually selling homes and then listen to the realtor. The person who is selling homes quickly in your area probably has potential clients already lined up. The realtor we used sold the home next door quickly and for above listing a month before ours went on the market. She had a list of people who are currently looking to move into our neighborhood from her last sale. She also set the price for the house which was higher than I thought we should go. She was right. If she had told us our house was not worth what we believed, we would have had an opportunity to fix the problems before moving on or not list, but I would never list higher than the realtor believes it will sell for. I would either need a different realtor or realistic expectations. Our realtor walked through the house prior to listing to make sure we had everything done that would help the house sell. She was honest and helped us see things that we had not considered with furniture placement.
It made me proud of our hard work that we had more than one family want the home, and that the new buyers wanted to buy some of the furnishings as well.
We love hearing from you. Thank you for following along on our journey as we move into our forever home.
4 thoughts on “Selling a Home”
These are great ideas Karen. Every once in a while my husband and I tour an open house and I’m always surprised when I see what people leave out!
I was very surprised when we visited homes three years ago. I am also surprised when I look at photos online and there are dishes in the sink or rumpled beds.
Karen, looks like you did a good job on the house. I enjoyed this info. Tell me about the wood flooring you had put down. What kind is it and what color. It looks good.
It is vinyl plank flooring. We love it.