Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Sell Your House Quickly: Our Version

About a year ago now, we got this brilliant idea that it would be fun to move.
A month later, our house was on the market.
A month later, it was sold and we were on the hunt for a suitable home for our brood.

This isn't my standard kind of post, but I'm going to offer some tips today on how to sell your home more quickly.  (I can't guarantee a 30-day turnaround, but this is what worked for us.)  I'll try to scout out some pictures to add to this post later on....but right now, all of our pictures are on a different computer.  These tips are all besides the obvious: paint over any murals or any wild-colored rooms, keep your yard mowed, finish any unfinished projects, and take care of natural odors.

1. Rent a storage unit.  Just flat out get rid of about 30% of your possessions, then take stock, and store 90% of what you have left in the storage unit.

2. Don't have a lot of kid stuff around.  I mean it.  People don't want to think about your kids when they're walking through a house.  We limited ourselves to a crib, changing table, diaper pail, and any toys that could fit in a 2x2x2 basket. We had a 3-year-old and a 7-month-old at the time.  It can be done.

3. Buy flowers.  Cheap flowers.  We didn't know about Trader Joes' really insanely well-priced flowers until after we sold our house.  We spent about $10 a week on flowers at Wal-Mart instead.

4. Get a sample size of a "green" and trendy dish soap and display it whenever you know you have showings.  This appeals to the females walking through your kitchen.  The idea behind this (at least, in my imagination) is that they see that you use good cleaning products, so they will associate it with a clean house.  They also see that you take care of the environment, so you are apt to use less harsh chemicals around the house----hence, it's a safe place for them to bring kids, if they have any.  We use eco-friendly soap, but it didn't come in a pretty bottle, so a sample size of Mrs. Meyer's Lemon Dish soap worked wonders.

5. Take down all personal photos, but don't take down all your paintings--especially if they speak to the house's character.  Since our house was in the historic district and a historic house in our old town, we left up our display of photos of what the town looked like in the 1880's when our house was built.

6.  Neutral bedding everywhere.  White if possible in the main bedroom.  Have throw pillows and matching nightstands and lamps.  (We spray-painted some lamps from Savers in a chrome-ish grey.)

7.  If you have a small enough family, skip the multiple laundry baskets, and just have one close-lidded laundry hamper.  Do your laundry pretty much every night, but if you miss it, at least you can close the lid.

8.  Pretty up your bathroom.  Buy some white towels and hand towels to display for showings.  Don't have shampoo and conditioner left out in the showers; keep them in a caddy that you store in the linen closet or other closed area.  You want your bathroom to look spacious, especially if it's tiny.  You also want it to look luxurious---hence white towels and fancy-looking soaps (or hotel soaps in a glass jar without the wrappers on...that's what we did).

9.  Pretty up your laundry room.  If you use powdered soap, display it in a pretty glass jar.  Again, the idea is to make them forget that it will never look like this again.  It will look like a laundry room.  But you can give them a momentary illusion.

10. Lastly, this one is more contingent on the real estate agent you work with.  Be open with how often you allow showings.  We were open to any house showings that gave us at least half an hour notice.  So that meant that every time we left the house, we left it "showing ready."  Because we were open to spontaneous showings, we had about eight viewings right in three weeks.

Okay, that's all I've got for today.  Hope this info helps anyone.  I'm always open to questions.  But I am NOT a professional real estate adviser.  ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment