29 July 2011

Tips for Selling Your House

I've had a few emails about how we were able to sell our home so quickly.  I thought I'd share my tips, with the hopes it may help someone in a similar situation.

Tip #1.  De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter.  Before we put our house up for sale, I went through every room.  We packed up several boxes of knick knacks, sentimental tchotchkes,  kid stuff, and other things a family accumulates all over.  I took down several pictures off the wall.  I love a big photo wall, but buyers need to be able to imagine their own things in your home.  We rented a storage unit and put all those items away while the house was on the market.

Tip #2. Mind your curb appeal.  My husband I did a lot of work in the yard, including laying the sod, and adding some new plants in the front and backyard.  I added some flowers and ornamental grasses, too.  We stayed on top of the weeds, and mowed the lawn twice a week.

Tip #3.  Deep clean your house.  I went through every room and meticulously cleaned.  It's a lot easier to keep a clean house clean.   After the house was on the market, I did a quick, light cleaning in all the spots that get the most use...bathrooms, kitchen, and family room.  Here are some of my favorite cleaning supplies:

To keep bathrooms looking their best, I tucked a bleach tab in each tank.  I would use the wipes for a quick touch up, and then shine the mirror and faucets with windex.  Not pictured, daily shower cleaner for the master shower.  A definite must-have.  Touching up the bathrooms took me five minutes...of course I was cleaning them quickly every day.

We were lucky enough to have hardwood floors in our last home.  For a quick clean, I would sweep up all the crumbs and then spray diluted Murphy Oil Soap and wipe down with my microfiber mop.  For the carpets, Folex is awesome.  I learned about this stuff from Shannon.  It rocks.  Of course, plan on vacuuming well and often.  Our carpet had some typical wear patterns.  To disguise them, I vacuumed in a diagonal pattern.

We have stainless steel appliances, and I found that Weimans' polish worked great...a bit pricey, but all those smudges and finger prints disappeared.  I also used my all-purpose cleaner for counters and Barkeeper's Friend for the sink.  Another great use for the Murphy Oil Soap is wiping down the cabinets.  All in all, I could be ready for a showing in about 30 minutes.

So, what did we do when the house was shown?

Tip #4.  Prepare a get-away plan.  I packed up a basket filled with things to keep my kids busy.  I also figured on a few places to go while we had to be gone.

Our house was near the school, so one of my favorite places to go was to the playground.  I kept this basket in the minivan, filled with activities to keep everyone busy.  I also included snacks and took advantage of the picnic in the park program on a few occasions.  I also always kept bottled water in the car.  When the weather was inclement, we hung out at the public library.  The kids loved to pick out new books to read, play on the computers, and our library also had a play room for my toddler.  One day when it was really hot we hung out at the mall.  There was an indoor playground which kept my kids happy for an hour.  Plus, I got some shopping done!

Tip #5.  Turn on all the lights, but don't use air freshener.  As I herded the kids into the car, I'd make sure all the lights were on.  I was warned by our realtor not to use air fresheners...people might think you're hiding something. (Which of course, you are!)  Instead, put a bit of aluminum foil in your oven and warm it up for a few minutes...then turn the oven off.  It will smell like something is cooking.

Tip #6.  When conditions warrant, hire a professional.  We've sold two houses on our own, and this last one with a realtor.  Although I don't like paying that commission, in the market we lived in, it was essential to have a realtor's access and advice.  Our realtor hired a professional photographer to take wide-angle lens photos of our home, and put together one of those cool virtual tours online.  It really helped generate interest to have good pictures.  When the first offer came in, our realtor was able to negotiate for us in a way that we would not have been able to.  If you're in the Boise area, email me and I'll share our realtor's name and number.  He was amazing.

There you go, my tips for getting and keeping your house ready for sale.  I've got to go unpack some more boxes.  My sewing/crafty stuff is still inaccessible right now.  Thanks for all your well wishes.  It's fun to be back "home".

Sharing with The Girl Creative.

14 happy thoughts:

Sandy said...

Great tips... thanks so much. I will be needing these when it comes time to sell our home that we are currently renting out.

freckled laundry said...

Great tips, Chris! My sister is getting ready to sell her home so I will share these with her.

Happy Friday!

celeste said...

you make it seem easy! you're amazing.

Tasha said...

Chris, these are some fabulous tips!! I am pinning this so I remember just in case we ever need it. (or friends and family)

Tasha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caroline said...

Great advice. You DO make it look so easy. Good luck moving!

Tiffany said...

This was a gooooood post for me. I am 'mentally' prepping my house for sale in a year or so. Starting early. But you said something that made so much sense to me, professional pictures, duh. I always notice the quality of the photographs. And congrats on a quick sale btw...no small feat in this market.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Great tips, Chris. We've sold two houses, and the de-cluttering and cleaning are absolute essentials. Another thing that I did was bake a couple of chocolate chip cookies shortly before we left for a showing. The cookie smell is very inviting :)

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Excellent tips, I will share this with anyone I know who is moving. I have never heard of Folex before, I am going to look into it. We have hardwood on the main level but carpet on the second floor and I have been looking for something to take care of a couple of spots!

Anna said...

great advice! you are one prepared lady! I'd probably run around frantic each time before a showing instead of planning a cool basket like yours. Of course, I'm also not planning on selling our house ever, so hopefully won't need to worry about that! :)

Erin said...

excellent advice! i hope to be able to use it someday! are you getting settled in your new place? did you get that old farmhouse?

Jessica said...

we're getting ready to try to sell our house this spring and I remembered you had good tips! Glad to find them again!

Emily said...

These are great tips. Did them all 4 years ago and the house still hasn't sold and we are still living out of boxes that are stored at the in laws house. :(

sinuse jill said...

Thanx for share your view with us...i always learn new things to see your post.. thanx
Tips For Selling Your House

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