You all watch those shows on Cable TV where they give advice on selling your house, right? They are really interesting and somewhat useful in the advice they give. Most of the time they “re-do” the house in a major way. But what do you do when you don’t want to put out a lot of money into your old home so that you can save up for all the things you will need in the new home?
That’s where we are coming from here. After all, we are saving money by selling it ourselves. There are things that you can do that really don’t cost any money at all. But some of our ideas do cost money but we truly believed that, in the big picture, those dollars will be well worth it. So here are some of our tips for selling your house.
House Selling Tips – Our Version
I guess it would go without saying that you should get all the plants you want temporarily dug up and planted into pots or relocated into a new planting spot ( such as at your Mother’s House – “Happy Dance”). You don’t want to give a new owner an idea that all those dahlias come with the house, for instance. Unless they do.
And definitely get the kids to put all their toys in order – bagged, boxed, parked. More about that later.
We bought some signs from our local Lowes and put them in the front yard. Adding the little Info Box worked for us because we know there are some lookers who want to know the price that you are selling the home for, but hesitate to call. And I am dealing with enough calls from agents wanting to list the property.
Lots of agents……Lots.
Storage Units – Your Best Bet
One of the best ideas coming from those Home Shows was to store everything. Away from the house, not crammed into closets or garages. We had done that at a previous home we owned and sold it within the first week of listing. Awesome!
My daughter boxed up just about everything. Dishes, glasses, some utensils and pots and pans. So many things that when I went over, I couldn’t find a dish towel! She had packed all but three. Oh my!
Use a big black marker to write what is inside. Be sure to categorize that label. For instance, Kitchen/cookware/baking or Kid’s Name/clothing/shoes. That way you know where the boxes should be put in the new home. If you can color-code with stickers and things, you are freaking awesome! Can you come for lunch?
Here’s a must do: Get rid of everything you don’t really use. Extra pots and pans, too many toys saved from so many years, all the knick-knacks that you hate anyway. Get rid of them! Sell or donate!
Have a garage sale! And all the rest can go to the Goodwill donation center.
Getting a storage unit near the home is great, but if you have any idea where you may be moving to, perhaps you’ll want to get one nearer there. We chose to have one close to home to make it easier to transport boxes or furniture quickly.
Sizes of units? They vary between locations but we chose a 30×10 for $195 per month. This was well worth it since we quickly filled it up with boxes and boxes of stored items and excess things cluttering the house.
(I was even inspired by the amount of room my daughter freed up that I began doing the same thing here. It is astounding how much clutter I have when I don’t even realize it. I needed the extra room too, since they were moving in with me.)
Remove all Your Personal Stuff
Guilty as charged. A stairway full of family photos. Gone! In my office room off the front door was a collection of my grandson’s baby pictures, year by year, and wedding pictures of my daughter, my son and grandson, some of my husband and I ( and there are only a few that I allow published.)
I remember buying about 25 matching wood frames to hang them and using a laser light thingy to get them into perfect lines. Down and packed, put them into albums. Really think about your walls and what you may change down the road.
Yes, I patched holes for weeks and repainted that wall. Note to self: No more random photos on wall, frames sitting on tables or bookshelves is more than enough.
Wall Repairs and Painting
Of course, it’s best to paint the whole house in a neutral color etc, just like they say on those shows. But sometimes you don’t have the time, the ability, or it is just too costly to repaint it all. ( Weigh this cost carefully since you get more $$ on your offer the better it looks.)
In my case and a few of my daughter’s walls, we repaired and painted only the wall itself, not the whole room. Just take a small area to be matched to your local paint store. They can create the same color very closely. Even if you saved some paint, the aged wall paint won’t be the same. Have them re-try if they don’t seem to match at first.
I take a small chip and they will dab the new paint right on it. You can see right away if it matches. Don’t hesitate to ask them to remix – light or darker or whatever. You will be glad you did.
Then just paint the wall only, corner to corner. I have done it many times and no one can tell the difference. If there is even a slight variation, it just seems like the light hitting the room differently. Works like a charm!
Best Tips for Selling Your House?
- Make it look empty. It looks so roomy and bigger which is always better.
- Clean empty walls help for this illusion. Remove all wall hangings, pictures, etc
- Pack all extra furniture. No tables, plant stands, bookcases, large lamps, anything you can do without until you move.
- Clean all nooks and crannies. Watch overhead lights! We toured a house and I saw a bug crawling inside the light fixture. I wanted out of there immediately. (It was a Eyesore House anyway.)
- Do like my daughter did and move in with your Mom til it’s sold! Problem solved!
I hope I hit all the highlights, but if you have questions, let me know. I will keep you updated on the sale, but don’t want to jinx anything at this time. Exciting!
Update: Yes, we sold both houses and for basically what we had them listed. We saved in the many thousands of dollars $$.