Getting it Sold....

25 January 2010

This is not a fun market to be putting a house up for sale. For those of you facing this soon, my heart goes out to you!
Ours sold quickly (4 days, 2 offers) and some have asked for tips or things we did to help it move quickly. I'm no realtor or expert, but here are a few thoughts:
1. Start Now
If you even think there's a slight possibility that you could be selling in the next couple of years, make a list of all of the projects you want to complete to make it sale ready. Replace those brass fixtures, put in that flooring, get that wallpaper down, dig the paint rollers out. Tackle one project a week. Don't do all the work for the new owners~get it done and
enjoy it.
If you are in a time crunch with lots to do, really consider taking some time off of work. This is the biggest ticket item you'll ever sell and a few days of projects around the house could mean thousands of dollars in the end.

2. Price it Right
You cannot price your home on what you need or want to get out of it, or what you paid for it just 2 years ago. You have to price it according to the current market. Go look at your competition, scour the internet, consult with your realtor about what homes have actually
sold for and then price your home so that when prospective buyers walk in, they can see that compared to the other homes they have been looking at, this is the best deal.
3. Clear it OutHave a yard sale, take truckloads to charity, and rent a storage unit for the remainder of your stuff. It will be well worth the money. (But ask yourself if you really want to keep it before it goes over there) Start boxing things up~you'll have to do it soon anyway. It's amazing how few toys kids can survive on. Go through your rooms and clear furniture and closets out. You'll be amazed at how much cleaner and spacious your home feels. Be sure that rooms clearly have one purpose. My husband's office was in the corner of our bedroom~it had to go when we put the house on the market. He had to set up at the kitchen table every night for a month. Inconvenient, but well worth it in the end. Make it look like a model home with a little furniture, a FEW accessories (nothing taste specific), and spacious closets and walkways.

Here is a picture of a tiny closet I cleared out~look at what I pulled out of it this thing! There was a really good sale on Ziploc apparently :)
Only about 1/4 went back in:

4. Watch HGTV
Sabrina Soto on Get it Sold and Lisa LaPorta on Designed to Sell are my favs. Watch a few episodes and you'll get a good idea of what you need to do to get your home ready. If you don't have cable, you can watch full episodes on the internet.

Lisa has made a great staging list here
and Sabrina's is here

I hope this helps. Our favorite compliments were realtors that would tell us that their clients said, "it just felt like home."

Now go...make your house feel like the home you want it to, whether you're selling or not. This is advice for myself today as I sit amidst boxes, walls that need to be painted, coats that need hooks to hang on, fluffy flowery curtains that need to replaced...