Now that our home is under contract (see the post here!), I figured I would share some things that made prepping and selling our home sale a little easier. We have three kids under four and no family near us, so we didn’t have any help when it came to prepping the home or having a place to go during showings. But some points may apply to you, even if you don’t have kids! Here’s what worked for us and helped it go a little easier:
Get Rid of the Clutter
The biggest piece of advice I could give would be to streamline. It is so easy to have the toys and clutter build up. When you are thinking of selling your home, make it easier on yourself and start paring down. We donated, purged, and put in storage anything that cluttered our home. The kids’ kitchenette went into storage. We traded our amazing king size bed for our guest room’s queen size to make our room appear bigger. 80% of the kids’ toys either went into storage or into bins in the basement. This made showing the home SO much easier! AND the kids didn’t even notice. I wasn’t running around like a crazy lady before showings cleaning up toys (have you seen this video? Definition of me. Hilarious.). I mean, I definitely was running around crazy. But toys weren’t the problem! We had a few small baskets of toys in the living room and the rest in the basement (now playroom).
Most people have a hard time imagining themselves in a new home. If you have pictures of you and your family all around, it makes it even harder. As sad as it made me to take down all our family photos and snapshots of our kids, it helped the buyer envision entertaining in the living room, not focus on the pictures of our family. We tried to keep our decorating and style very simple. Same as with the family pictures; you don’t want the potential buyer to focus on your decorating sense, you want them to focus on the potential of the room. So if you are a collector or have a very strong sense of decorating, put it in storage. Simplify. It is only for a short time!
Repair Any Issues
If you’ve been putting off repairing a small issue with your home, do yourself a favor and do it before you list. I am talking small things, like repairing a trim piece or ice maker, not a major renovation. Repair little things that may be a distraction for the buyer or make them question the condition of your home. Being a stay at home mom, I was able to schedule contractors to come do repairs during the week. But if you are a home where both of you work, keep in mind it may take longer to organize repairs around your work schedule.
Remove Anything You Aren’t Leaving
Are you obsessed with a certain light fixture? Are you really attached to the curtains you put in your baby’s room? Take them down before you list. Anything that is affixed to the wall is generally included with the sale of your home. To make things easier, take it down before you have pictures taken of your home. They can’t ask for something they haven’t seen! You can replace them with inexpensive versions that will still be appealing. You can specify you aren’t leaving certain items (washer/dryer, kitchen appliances, etc.), but in general replacing them before you list your home makes the process a whole lot easier.
Plan Way Ahead
Every real estate market is different. Your home may be on the market for two days, or nearly a year. It really depends on so many different factors. I would recommend giving yourself an extended timeframe. If you would like to sell your home by a certain date, put your home on the market a couple months earlier than you think necessary. During negotiations you may be able to push your closing date further out if you need more time. It is better to have more time on your hands than to be scrambling and stressed if your home isn’t selling! Thankfully we were in no rush to sell our home and planned to move in with my parents for a bit after we sold. But I know not everyone has that same situation!
Are you planning on moving this year? Or have you purchased recdently? Share your experience below and what you did to prep your home!
Did you miss the first post? Click here to see our moving announcement!