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At the start of 2015, I had no idea that just a few short months later I'd have sold my current house and moved into another house. Or that I'd be drawing on past experience and new suggestions from our realtor on tips for getting your house ready to sell. I had no idea I wanted to move so badly or that I would move into a home that was a bigger and better version of our current home. We could upgrade our home and our lot without really change a whole lot. Schools wouldn't change. Commutes wouldn't changes. Our zip code wouldn't change.
Three days after even talking to a realtor, before our house was even on the market we went looking at other houses on the market for our new home. Our realtor said that it's rare we'd find something right away but sometimes the stars align and with a hot market, you just never know how things would turn out.
As it turned out, we only looked at five houses. And the first one we looked at is the one we wanted and ultimately ended up buying.
Our timeline to buy and sell was now on a fast track. We didn't want to buy the new house without selling our current house, so we needed our existing home to sell…and fast.
This wasn't our first time buying or selling by any means. This was not our first rodeo so we had some things we had learned over buying and selling our two previous homes to help us with prepping for the sale of this house. It may be hard to believe but just 11 days later, we had 8 showings, one of which was an offer on our house!
Buying a desirable property to start with definitely helped, but I don't doubt that staging our house to appeal to buyers is what ultimately helped us to sell our house. Now I want to share these tips for getting your house ready to sell so you can get your house sold too!
Tips for Getting Your House Ready to Sell
1. Declutter, declutter, declutter. For everything you find, separate it into three piles – save, donate, toss. If anything you're trying to save doesn't fit or display into your home in an orderly fashion, box it up and put it into the garage. You don't have to stage a garage to sell. As long as your boxes are stacked neatly, you're good to go. If you don't feel comfortable keeping your boxes in the garage, you can always rent a storage unit.
Don't just shove things into closets or drawers. Buyers will open EVERYTHING and look EVERYWHERE. Make sure you keep things organized with things like baskets or these stylish DIY boxes for storage. They're super cheap to make and will keep everything in its place and are just one way you can organize your bathroom.
2. Before even meeting with a realtor, the cheapest and easiest way you can help to sell your house is by cleaning it. We're not talking surface level, having a playdate clean. We're talking your mother-in-law is visiting and will be inspecting with a white glove clean.
3. Now that you've decluttered and clean, declutter again. Even when your house appears to be clean and alluring, you still need to remove personal photos and collections.
While my husband and I have lived in houses (more than one) with rooms that had no furniture in them (again, more than one), we know that when space is tight you tend to accumulate furniture. Why throw something perfectly good away? I agree, so take the excess furniture the way of the clutter and tchotchkes.
These first three tips for getting your house ready to sell are the surest way to get it done. The others are all nice and definitely speed along the process but clean, uncluttered home is key.
4. Swap out the door mat. Your well loved door mat that says “Beware of Dog” might be endearing for those that know you, but to others it's off-putting. Remember, not everyone shares your sense of humor or loves dogs. I had that doormat and swapped it for a more colorful variety that says “Welcome”.
5. Curb appeal. You want to be eye catching as soon as a potential buyer drives up. Plant colorful annuals (and water them) and set out welcoming patio furniture to showcase every space as an outdoor oasis. After all, your space is what you make it.
6. Decorative touches to make the house look lived in. Add back in some decorative touches. You want to stage your house to look like a dream home with all the little touches like throw pillows that you see in a magazine.
7. Now that you’ve added in decorative touches to make the house look lived, you’ll want to remove all of the real clues that someone is still living in the house. This goes beyond the earlier decluttering, we’re talking hide your toothbrushes and anything else on the bathroom counter, and take out the trash.
8. Before you leave the house for a showing, make sure you prep your house to sell. Turn on all of the lights and fans (even in the closets), hide all the dishes in the dishwasher, put all dirty clothes into the washer (don’t turn it on, just store it there as opposed to ugly piles in your closet), take out the trash, and ensure the house smells nice. I like to use plugin air fresheners that smell like vanilla or other baked goods to create a pleasant and appealing atmosphere for potential buyers.
So go on, get out there and use these tip for getting your house ready to sell and get your house sold! Make sure to bookmark these 6 Tips For Packing and Moving for when you do sell!
For those of you that out there that either do this for a living or have experience, do you have any other tips on how to stage your house to sell?
If you're in the greater Austin area and need a realtor recommendation, check out my awesome friend and experienced realtor, Autumn Lapaglia at Element Realty!