Our house is still on the market but I figured I might as well share my “what I wish I would have known before putting our house on the market” post now. And then God willing it sells, I’ll sell my “after” experience then. How do I know all of this stuff? We had an agent open house last week where they offered constructive criticism. And boy do I wish we would have done this earlier. It may have made a world of a difference right off the bat.
Buying and selling a house are both stressful, however different kinds of stressful. Buying a house is stressful because you’re not sure if the owners will accept your offer, you have to make compromises, there may potentially be things you’re unaware of, it may need work, etc. When we were in the process of buying our house I pretty much made Z handle all of it. I had enough on my plate and since he didn’t really need me, he took the reigns on that one.
This time, Z isn’t here so the selling part is all on me. But that’s not even the reason it’s so stressful. It’s stressful because it always has to be clean, showings can happen in spurts, people know what they’re looking for, and you’re constantly wondering WHY DIDN’T THEY LIKE MY HOUSE?!
Well I’m here to tell you what I’ve learned over the past month and what I wish I would have done sooner.
Declutter. Yes, how you decorate your house is important. But keep “chotchskies”and “knicknacks” to a minimum, if at all. The less crap= the bigger the house looks.
Depersonalize. Take down all of your family pictures. You want the people looking at your home to picture themselves there, not look at the family who currently lives here. I left all of our pictures up and it wasn’t until our agent open house where they suggested it that I did it. I wish I would have done it weeks ago!
Touch up paint. We repainted three of our rooms before listing it, in almost the exact same colors as they were. Stay away from crazy colors and keep it neutral. A lot of people like to paint it how they want to anyways when they move in so don’t spend too much time doing this. Just touch up window frames, door frames, etc.
Pack things away or get rid of ’em. Put away things you know you won’t need. Toys the kids never play with, the opposite season clothing, access picture frames, etc. Since we will have movers pack everything for us, I simply put them in plastic bins and stored them away. If you’re planning on moving yourself, you could definitely start wrapping things in bubble wrap and packing in boxes. But this will help you get rid of things you don’t need and clear out the stuff you want to keep.
Stage rooms. Our dining room was used as a playroom and when we first listed our house and had showings, we just left it that way. But after receiving some feedback, I changed it back to look more like a dining room. This helps people visualize it as the space it’s meant for.
Deep clean. Sue me, this isn’t something I’ve done yet. I’ve cleaned and cleaned well, but I haven’t had a DEEP clean. And I plan to do this before our next showing. Including things like wipe down cabinets, baseboards, etc. The cleaner=the better.
Make sure you have a residential photographer. Your realtor should have this lined up but ASK to be sure. I took all of the photos on our listing, and while they’re not bad, a residential photographer knows what they’re doing and can make sure the rooms look their best. We are going to have someone redo all of the photos and re0-list again. Such a pain in the ass. Do it first!
Curb appeal. We did a ton of landscaping last year after we bought it and my husband has done an excellent job to keep it up. But if you need to re-mulch, add plants, sweep the front doorstep, do it. First impressions are huge.
We kind of went into this blindly. Neither of us have sold a house before and we had no idea what we were getting into. And we still have a long road ahead of us. A friend of mine told me that the first 30 days are crucial and now that we have passed 30 days, I’m starting to get nervous. So I’m hoping the new photographer and listing at a slightly lower price help sell this thing. We’re running out of time and renting is a last resort for us at this point.
Do you have any tips? Anything you wish you would have known before putting your house on the market? SHARE THEM… PLEASE! And then say a prayer/cross your fingers/rub your rabbit’s foot.. whatever… that I sell my house! xo