How to Prepare for a Quick Home Sale
“How did they sell their house so fast?”
“I just can’t imagine having the house on the market for months and having showings all the time. Selling the house is going to take too long and be too stressful.”
“I just don’t know how to get my house ready to sell. It’ll never show like the houses I see at open houses or featured on listing sites.”
I hear these statements from friends and clients who are considering selling their homes. It’s a big, daunting task, I get it! But I’m here to share my simple advice and strategies for getting your house sold pretty quick (assuming we have priced it reasonably).
Take all these suggestions or cherry-pick your faves… But they work!
1. Fill a storage unit with your extras. It’s ok to get help.
2. Freshen up your walls + trim. It’s ok to get help.
3. Consider updating your fixtures. It’s ok to get help.
4. Clean like a maniac. It’s ok to get help.
5. Plump up/thin out that landscaping. Get help.
6. Let me bring in a staging consultation team to wave a magic wand and give you more tips and tweaks.
7. Let me send in professional photographers.
8. Take a long weekend trip for the first 3-5 days we are active on the market.
1. Get a storage unit NOW. Plan to have it for perhaps 3 months? It doesn’t have to be huge, but get it and start emptying the nooks and crannies of your house into it. Whatever is on the top shelf of those closets, most of what is in your linen and bathroom closets, the off-season clothes, the dishes and pots and pans you never use, the extra bedding and blankets, the holiday decorations and wrapping paper, the game cabinet, the tchotchkis, lots of books. Sports equipment. Ski Jackets.
Having a hard time deciding whether something should go to the storage unit? Ask yourself this question: Would this item be stocked in a vacation rental home/AirBNB? If not, and you don’t use it at least weekly, pack it up!
2. Freshen Up Your Walls + Trim:
Neutralize your paint. Especially in the main living areas. Perhaps in the bedrooms too. In my opinion, the best places for bold paint are bathrooms and dining rooms. But when it’s time to sell the house? Go crazy with that greige (warm grays) and fresh white trim. And say buh-bye to that old wallpaper. Sorry. (I have a couple painters that I highly recommend. Message me for their info.)
3. Consider updating your fixtures:
You may be surprised at how easy and inexpensive it is to switch out your aged eye-sore light fixtures and/or faucets for new ones. These have a BIG impact on the first impression that buyers will have in your home. A task that will cost you $100, a couple hours buried in YouTube tutorials, and some elbow grease can pay off big when it comes to your home value and how quickly you get offers.
4. Clean Like a Maniac
Behind the toilets. The baseboards. The shower. The shower. The shower again. I personally hate deep cleaning, so I convince my kids to do it for rewards… but also, do you know the power of hiring a cleaning crew to help with this pre-listing scrub-down? If you need recommendations, let me know. I love using Renee’s 757 Cleaning.
5. Landscaping Update:
How does your home look from the curb? Need some fresh flowers planted? Mulch? Bushes trimmed, trees limbed up? Pull the weeds. Edge the yard. Honey, it only needs to look awesome for a few weeks, but your landscaping and curb appeal make SUCH difference on whether a buyer feels drawn to tour the home. Overwhelmed? I’ve got a great referral for you… my neighbor Amber. No joke. Message me and I’ll connect you with her. Freshening up landscaping is her super-power side gig.. and she’s fun.
Or? The neighbor kid needs cash. Get him over there.
6. Staging Consultation
I hire a staging team to spend about 90 minutes in your house with you- this can be done early in the process to give you a vision for what to do in bullet points 2-5 above, or they can come toward the end of your process and prep the house for pictures with you. I try to attend these sessions too! Many hands make light work. During this session, the stagers won’t be bringing in any furniture or accessories but instead will shift around what you’ve got and “shop the house” to stage each room for pictures. They are available for further services too (hauling your stuff out, bringing in staging furniture, etc.) and they’ll be a resource if you need them!
7. Professional Photography
Prepare for your jaw to drop when you get the photos back from your home’s photo-shoot. You won’t believe how it will shine! I pay for this service. Depending on the property, we may choose to get aerial drone photos, videos, or 3-D home tours done as well.
8. Get outta town!
Let’s time it perfectly so that the buyers start funneling into the home the day after you drive away for a little (well-earned) vacation. Or a stay-cation at a local timeshare resort or airbnb? (I like this one! Or I love to book resort stays via Hotels.com) Either way, ideally we will have MANY showings in the first three days and you may find it most efficient to vacate while those showings take place.
If you can’t leave town, that’s ok! We will decide ahead of time what blocks of time you’d like to have those showings funneling through during the first week. We will share a google calendar where you will see the showings I’m scheduling for you within your parameters and we will communicate closely throughout the process! Believe it or not, this is the fun part. 🙂
9. Let the offers come in– pick your fave– and celebrate!
Can I make a quick comment about getting help? It’s ok to ask for it. Your friends, your family, your favorite co-workers, your fave neighbors… professionals… handymen. You don’t have to go this process alone.
What if it feels too expensive to make ANY of those updates or hire ANYONE? Set a budget. Sell something. Use a credit card with a strict limit for yourself. If you have equity in the house, you will get cash out and be able to pay off that budgeted expense. But if you don’t take that leap, make those moves, and grasp the future, you will stay stuck. I have a lot more to say about this. Look for future posts about a “moving on” budget plan.