I’ve been wanting to write this post for weeks now but le sigh things happen. Today I vow to get this thing posted before something new distracts me or things change (which, hopefully, will be our next episode).
Here are six things I’ve learned while trying to sell our house.
- Make it as easy as humanly possible to clean and keep your house clean.
Having a clean house is super important yet its something a lot of people get lazy on, myself included. Never fails that the house gets messy and someone wants to come see it in an hour! So deep clean everything, including inside cabinets. Ya’all, people snoop more than you’d think!
Downsize EVERYTHING as much as you can. I’m talking silverware, plates, all the way down to linens and your shoe collection. Not only does this show potential buyers the amount of space and storage your house has, it makes it easier to keep clean. Think about it, the less dishes you have to wash, the quicker it is to tidy up your kitchen. Plus, the more you pack in the beginning, the less you have to do later!
I hate cleaning, it feels like a punishment to me, so I’ve broken up chores throughout the day to make it easier. I also give everyone jobs to do, because I’m not the only one living in this house and I refuse to be the only one cleaning it. Ahem. We’ve had the house on the market for almost two months this go round, and I’m still finding areas that need more decluttering to make cleaning easier. Like the kitchen and bathrooms. Face palm.
- Fix the things you can, as best as you can, don’t worry about the rest.
If you have broken light fixtures or wobbly door knobs, fix them. If your roof is leaking, fix it! But if you have a window that won’t stay open, or carpet that needs replacing, leave it. These things shouldn’t be seen as deal breakers. If they are, those people are crazy and you don’t want them living in your house, haha…I’m mostly kidding.
Our house is beautiful if I do say so, but the builder cut some corners like the cabinets and counter tops in our bathrooms. They aren’t the prettiest and we’ve wanted to update them since we moved in. Problem is, we never had the money or the time to do this project. Instead we focused on other upgrades and put this at the bottom of our list. We can’t replace either the tops or the cabinets now by any means, but we can paint the walls and the cabinets themselves, which will still make the rooms look better.
Ask for feedback after every showing, find out what people complained about and if you can do something about it, then take care of it if you can! The main complaint we have about our house is that it’s next to a busy street, we can’t change that! Another complaint was the backyard is boring, which I have to say made me laugh and worry about these people. Our backyard is empty for two very good reasons. One Bane, he chews up EVERYTHING. Two, even if he didn’t, we don’t have room for the dogs plus lots of flower beds and a fire pit. Sooo can’t change the backyard either, sorry. People it’s an empty canvas, that’s a good thing! But we can paint rooms and update light fixtures.
I always thought you had to have the house absolutely perfect before trying to sell, but that’s not true. Unless you just want to and have the money to upgrade/repair everything, you don’t have to. Fix the major issues as you can, and let the rest be.
- You don’t have to go crazy with decorating.
Yes, a nicely decorated house shows well, but it’s not necessary. You don’t need to get someone to style it, or get fancy expensive decorations to make it look nice. Work with what you have, buy a few, cheap but nice accents that you can take with you, and leave it at that.
I have read many times that you don’t want any personal pictures or things that personalize your house, to well you, because people can be distracted by them. Personally, I think that is total BS. A hotel styled house is pretty, yes, but it’s not warm and inviting, which does not make me feel like I want to live there. I absolutely love seeing pictures of the family, kids drawings and craft projects in a home. It shows the house is loved and used like it’s supposed to be! That’s the kind of house I want to be in, not one that looks like no one kicked off their shoes and had a food fight.
Which is why I have out a few of the kids projects and family photos, even a picture of Bailey’s feet. I see it as telling the buyers “See that? We love this house, we made memories here, and we will miss this place terribly. But now, it’s your turn to make memories and fill the house with a new level of love.”
- Make sure the pictures of your house show the goods.
If you see a picture of a toilet and the very edge of a counter top, do you know how big that bathroom is? Nope. Or if all you see is a close up of a window, do you even know what that room is? Nuh uh. This kind of thing happens all the time! To the point that I really want to call up some realtors in town and ask them wtf is wrong with them. That is a really nice wall decal, ma’am, but uh what room is it in, how big is that room and in what condition? Because decorations tells me nada. Blows my mind! Pictures are super important, they need to actually show what the house has to offer or people won’t even want to look at it.
If you are taking the pictures yourself, get as much of the room as you can in the shot. Don’t focus on just the window or your fireplace for the love of humanity! They tell buyers nothing other than oh look I can see outside of some unknown room, and I can possibly keep warm in the winter in some part of the house. Don’t take 12 pictures of your kitchen either, two or three per room is enough to get an idea of how it looks. Don’t take pictures of your kitchen sink full of dishes or dirty laundry on your bathroom floor. No one wants to see a messy room! Also, make sure you can see the room as well, so open up all your blinds and turn on all the lights. If the room is dark in pictures, people 1) can’t see what it actually looks like and 2) will assume the house is a dark cave, and only vampires will be interested in it.
If you aren’t taking them, make sure you check the photos your realtor takes BEFORE they publish them. If you don’t like the pics, ask for them to be re-taken or do it yourself.
- Tell everyone you know that you are selling
Seriously, everyone! The more people you tell, the more traffic you will get. The more traffic, the faster you get your house sold. Realtors are fabulous, they work hard to advertise their clients homes, but you can help them out by spreading the word as well.
Consider having a garage sale, or letting a friend have one at your house even! Post it on Facebook, instagram, any site you can think of that you could advertise as well.
- Not everyone gets a buyer right a way
I’ve watched a good dozen houses come on the market and sell within a week or two, while ours just sits here with no offers. Many times our house is WAY better, and that is not me being partial. This is frustrating to say the least, but it’s part of the game. Certain price ranges sell faster than others. As does features, house size, and location. It is what it is folks. Try not to get discouraged!