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So as I explained earlier, we have just put our house on the market.  I have a few tips for everyone undertaking this feat.  And trust me, when you have kids nothing is ‘easy’.

First know your market.

  • What are the interest rates like.
  • How many houses are typically on the market.
  • Go to a few open houses and take notes, what stuck out as appealing or an eyesore.  Write these down and keep them to refer back to later.
  • What is the average price per square footage.
  • How long a house typically is on the market in your area.
  • What type of family/person are you selling to (small one bedroom – bachelor, young professional, 3-4 bedroom family with kids most likely etc.)

Take notes on…

  • What sold you on this house when you bought it.
  • What improvements you have made.
  • What value you have added.

Find a Realtor.

You want someone who is going to work for you.  I personally want someone who will get in touch with me on everything and on a regular basis.

Sidenote -with our first house we were 1000 miles away when it was on the market.  After a bad choice in realtor – lack of communication, almost no communication and the realtor not trying at all to sell the house, we let her go and found someone willing to work for us.  It paid off.

  • How will the house be marketed and how often.
  • Discuss with your Realtor whether any open houses would be beneficial.
  • What changes would the Realtor recommend.  Something as simple as altering furniture placement or a wall color could make a big difference.
  • Remember this person is working for you, and it is your money on the line.

Ahh the dreaded cleaning.

  • Plan on doing a full top to bottom Spring Cleaning.
  • Baseboards, windows, behind furniture and appliances, fans, lights, light switches, outlet covers, oven, the full workup.  Including the carpets professionally cleaned.
  • Sweep the garage, porch, outside stairs or walkways and basement.
  • Power Spray the house and driveway.

Declutter, declutter, declutter.

  • Start one room at a time.
  • Anything that you won’t be needing for the next 6 months, pack up immediately.  That means out of season clothes, shoes, blankets, toys that aren’t being played with daily, all the nick nacks that you have collected and sit out on shelves and dressers.  You are basically pre-packing for the new house, throw away items not worth saving and donate anything you can do without but is worth saving.
  • Go room to room and declutter (don’t forget your kitchen cabinets too!), then when you are done, do it again.  After 2 times through you will find your house newly organized and a LOT more easier to clean too.  My motto – If it doesn’t have a ‘home’ then it goes.
  • One way to think of it is; you are not only selling your house but a new way of life.  If your life is organized, and free from clutter those viewing the home will not only be able to concentrate on the house better but they will also be able to view themselves in the space.  Most people want to live in an organized space.  So sell it baby.

Last minute checklist before showings.

  • Dust the main areas that collect dust.
  • Clean major windows (front door, main windows on the first floor that collect finger prints)
  • Wipe down appliances.
  • Make sure there are not any dishes in the sink and countertops are clean.
  • Light a candle to make the home smell fresh.  Typically if your own home has an unpleasant odor you are accustomed to it but others are not so make sure there is a pleasant homey smell.  (I love apple cinnamon or fresh linen, hiding dryer sheets in closets and dressers helps too.)
  • Sweep main areas.
  • I like to have my laundry done and put away.
  • Walk through make sure all toys and items are put away in their ‘homes’.

Most other things should already be taken care of.  I like cleaning up every evening before bed so the house is ready to go in the morning.

Good luck everyone!

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