As we make our way through the process of selling our home, packing it up (that’s next on my BIG list of to-do’s!) and moving to a new home (y’all were still trying to figure that one out, so that’s more updates to come when we get there) I thought I would share all the knowledge and tips we have learned in our process with the hopes it can help someone else! That’s honestly my favorite part of owning my own corner of the internet is passing along helpful tidbits to someone else who is in need of them! I have been putting together this list over the past few weeks and think I have come up with an all-encompassing summary of everything we have done and found helpful!
FIRST THINGS FIRST.. so you have made the decision to put your home on the market!
Woohoo! ..now what should you do??
We started prepping probably too CLOSE to when our house was scheduled to go on the market - inevitably making it harder and more stressful than it had to be. We only started about a WEEK out of listing, (so its possible) but I would suggest giving yourself more time!
Go through each room with a fresh set of eyes.
You see your home all the time and may not notice small things that an outsider would immediately be drawn to! - pretend to be a prospective buyer and look at everything! What I did was started by looking at listings in our area and price range that had recently sold on Zillow to see what their photos look like - How tidy were they? The listings that look good to you- what about the home made it seem desirable and more spacious ..inviting? . Another helpful opinion would be to ask your realtor to go with you room by room to see if they have any input
Fix and touch up where needed
Things like little paint jobs… tacking up holes from where pictures used to hang.. just the little details of fixing that needs attention.
Purge, donate, sell!
We started going through everything almost like we were getting ready to pack it up - with the thought that we wanted to minimize, get rid of clutter, and make spaces more open and organized.
Purge- the more you get rid of, the more you don’t have to move later!! I actually watched a few episodes of Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix to get pumped up to go through all our stuff! It really did help me better evaluate what we did and didn’t need.
Donate -items like clothing or pieces of furniture that you never use anymore. I made quite a few trips to the salvation army!
Sell - We sold our upright piano on Facebook marketplace but also had listed it on Nextdoor. Facebook marketplace had more responders than Nextdoor, but in the past I HAVE had success with Nextdoor!
Minimalize. Your counters should be relatively clear! It photographs better, makes you look like you have more space.
Organize your storage areas! Our basement was completely unorganized and pretty full of stuff. It looked like we were bursting at the seams and made it look like our home didn’t have enough storage, when the reality was we just weren’t utilizing the space like we should. We organized and stacked everything against the walls better and it made a HUGE difference.
Pack up and Store unnecessary items (for right now) at a friends, families, or storage unit!
We made the decision to completely store away all of Jett’s toys, besides a few of his favorites which we eventually would pack up in the car when we had showings.
We went back and forth on whether to clean ourselves, or to hire a service to come clean our home. We actually found someone last minute because we were running out of time before photographers were coming to shoot photos of our home and it was the BEST decision ever! 2 hours later, our house was sparkling from top to bottom. We had our home a day before photographers came which was 2 days before the house officially was put on the market. (If you are in Kansas City and want the recommendation - Send me an email, would love to pass on their information- they did a wonderful job!)
Consider Staging - And Landscape Staging!
So we didn’t end up hiring a stager for inside our home (although we did borrow a dining room table since we didn’t even have one - our dining room has been our makeshift playroom.. but putting a dining table in it has completely changed the look and I think has become my favorite of the house!) BUT - after a suggestion from our realtor, we had a LANDSCAPE stager come and make suggestions for the outside of our home. Which for us was fantastic because our curb appeal was good.. but not GREAT (lacking flowers, and personality!) The company came and brought flowers for our front steps and side porch, suggested getting these magnets for our garage door to give it a little oomph (THIS WAS SUCH AN EASY TRANSFORMATION and for only 15$) and also tended to the mulch in our back and side areas that needed a little love. I really think this made a huge difference in making our outside spaces look more welcoming!
Hiring the RIGHT photographers.
The first time around, I took photos of our home with a wide angle lens and edited them myself. Now the photos weren’t HORRIBLE, but I realized I am NOT a real estate photographer. (If we would have thrown a few people in the rooms and made it a fun lifestyle shoot, I could have done a better job - but I just didn’t have the right camera/lens/ editing skills to capture our home in its BEST light!) Our realtor suggested iMoto Photo ( which I believe is nationwide!) and it was a GREAT decision. The photographer did a fantastic job capturing our home and the company has people who professionally edit the photos pretty much immediately as I believe we got our photos the very next day.
Managing Showings with a Toddler!
**Honestly the most important thing we did to try and make sure the “showings” period was as short as possible (trying to sell it as quick as possible) was to work really hard on the PREP to make sure our home was in tip-top shape. BECAUSE managing showings with a toddler who has a schedule, and nap times to stick to (this kid really ONLY sleeps in a crib. Many times its hard for him to sleep in a pack n play in a place that is new to him) is pretty stressful (well for me - a very timely, schedule-adhering momma:)
*Because we had expected a ton of showings the first couple days and weekend, we made a plan to stay with Brandon’s parents just to completely be out of the house, and not worry about picking up and maintaining a clean, organized house in between showings. Staying with a friend, or maybe even a hotel - if you expect a ton of showings and are in a “hot market” area (like we are in Brookside… we knew it was very possible to sell quickly so making plans to stay elsewhere was totally worth it)
*Pack up all toys except for a few- easy to move favorites. We were amazed at how a few toy cars and some books have been able to entertain Jett for this time period of selling our house!
*If you have to - say no/reschedule a showing if it is going to stress you out. I said no twice because it fell during one of the days we were still at home (not at B’s parents) and it was naptime. My realtor ensured that if the people wanted to see the house - they would just reschedule. If they weren’t serious about the home, it wasn’t meant to be anyways! ( I think that one of the one’s that rescheduled was the person who eventually put an offer on the house!)
Personal Update on where we are at with our home now: Like I mentioned above, we did receive and accept an offer within the first week of having our home on the market! We are currently undergoing the inspection and renegotiation phase… I’ll keep you updated as we go!
Hope this was helpful! More home & moving updates and tips to come!!