Selling a House is Hard. Here Are 7 Steps To Make it Easier.
THE HARD PART: IT'S FRAUGHT WITH EMOTION.
This isn’t about people who are investors. It’s about the rest of us, who love our homes but need to move because of a life event. Our homes can become too small - because our family is growing, or we need to accommodate new working arrangements - or too big - because we have become empty nesters. All of the above are stressful enough, to then pile on a move.
In fact, moving is ranked 3rd among the most stressful events in life according to University Hospitals, right behind the death of a loved one and divorce. And it’s not just because of the super long list of things to do, it’s because (please forgive me my globe-trotting millennial friends) we all need a to plant roots. The longer you have lived in a house, the deeper the roots are, and the more painful to pull out.
As emotional as the selling process is, right up there with it is buying a home. The prospective owner hopefully will walk into the property and fall in love, and you will together work to make it happen. But herein lies the rub: with so many styles and tastes out there, how do you make sure that you won’t turn a buyer off because they don’t share your taste in décor?
GETTING TOP DOLLAR TAKES LOTS OF HARD WORK
We recently had the opportunity to work with a client who was very stressed about selling her home. At a moment with lots of life changes (adult kids leaving the nest, a recent divorce), she wanted to move on, and the house was her nest egg. We connected her to a great real estate agent, and the three of us worked together get the house into shape for sale. The result was a contract in after only 3 days on the market, at a record-breaking price. 6 weeks and a lot of work went into prepping the home, but the payoff was huge.
Here are seven things to consider doing (short of calling us to do it for you - hassle-free) before you call a realtor to list it for sale:
1. Declutter, then declutter again. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure – true. But if you’re selling, de-personalize your home as much as you possibly can. I’ve written a separate post about organization that you can start with. If you’re selling your house and showing it with your stuff, less is ALWAYS more. This is the most important time for your home to be organized. By removing personal items and clutter you are opening your space up to new possibilities for your potential buyer – who can envision what to do with the space without the mental block of the stuff you’ve accumulated over time.
2. Paint and patch. Paint is the easiest and cheapest way to make your home feel fresh and clean. Go neutral – it’s easier for a prospective buyer to see painting a white wall black because it’s their thing than come across a black wall if that’s not their thing and get hung up on it. Light makes spaces feel larger too.
3. Deep clean your floors, refinish if needed. The state of the floors is a huge pain point for potential buyers as they will see it as a costly fix. Before listing your house invest in polishing or re-finishing your floors, and deep cleaning carpets. This will take years off the look of your home.
4. Pay special attention to the kitchen. This is the heart of the home. There are small and inexpensive things that you can do (in addition to clearing your countertops) if the kitchen is looking drab, including painting your cabinets (go light / be bright!) and replacing the cabinet hardware.
5. Pay extra special attention to the bath, and make sure it’s clean and pristine. Same rules apply as the kitchen when it comes to cabinets and hardware, and you may also want to replace your faucets with new shiny ones. Re-caulk if you have any stained or missing caulk, and re-grout your tiles. It will make a huge difference.
6. Curb appeal. This is the first impression your prospective buyer will have. You don’t have to re-landscape the whole thing, just add some new plants to fill in the bare spots and make mulch your best friend. Make sure your front door is freshly painted, and your entrance inviting.
7. Styling. Not to be confused with staging (which if you have an empty home is a great way to move it quickly) styling is about re-arranging your stuff and working with what you have - and maybe a few new items and accessories like bedding and linens, rugs and plants - to make your home inviting. If you can hire someone to do it, all the better, they will bring a fresh perspective to the space that you’ve always lived in, and not have the attachment that you do to your stuff.
For more inspo on getting your home market ready, check out what we did for a seller in in Fort Lauderdale. It sold fast and very, very well!
Where we live can become too small - because our family is growing or we need to accommodate new working arrangements - or too big - because we have become empty nesters. All of the above are stressful enough, to then pile on a move.