Yes, you read that right! LESS than twenty-four hours.
We listed our house on a Friday afternoon and had an official offer the following day. We had a total of three scheduled showings, two of which actually toured our home before an offer was made.
There was a lot of prep work before hand to have the outcome that we did. I’m here to tell you all my tips and tricks and things I wish I knew before hand that no one told me, so that you can hopefully have the same outcome that we had!
Update your Curb Appeal
The saying is true, we do judge a book by the cover and in this case the front exterior of your home is a huge factor in whether or not your home will sell. Scattered weeds were pulled, flower beds and garden boxes were given their yearly maintenance, and the lawn was mowed diagonally to have differentiation from our neighbors.
Make your Home Feel as Open as Possible
This is where you get rid of the “everyday” clutter. For the listing photos, you want your home to look as spotless as possible. The less things to distract from the photo the better. Of course you want your home to look polished and refined but for listing photos this isn’t the time for potential buyers to see what hand soap you may use or the makeup you leave out on the counter. Don’t forget to remove the clutter on the fridge!
Maximize your Floor Plan
Our sectional made our floor plan feel a little too small. We wanted potential buyers to love the open floor plan of our home so we took out the corner piece and pushed the two remaining pieces against the walls to create a more open feeling floor plan.
Depersonalize your Home
This is the hardest one to do. Why? Because you want potential buyers to picture themselves in your home, yet you are still living in it! Keep pictures to a minimum. If you do have a lot of photos, replace them with photos of generic scenery. Large items that are personal to you need to be stowed away. For example, Little Miss’s highchair was in the pantry and Hazel’s bed and food were moved to the garage for listing pictures.
Deep Clean your Home
This is the time to complete those spring cleaning checklist items that we always seem to put off until the next year. Everything was dusted and polished, cabinets were all wiped down, floors were hand mopped, walls and baseboards were wiped down, windows were cleaned, carpets were shampooed, closets were organized, the front porch and garage were power washed, and the basement had all of the seasonal decor boxes to one designated area.
Touch Up Paint Around Home
There are always areas that need a little TLC so grab a paint brush and touch up areas wherever they are needed, that way your walls look fresh and bright! *The paint color pictured below is Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore. I LOVE this paint color. It is the perfect greige. It has warmer undertones which makes your home feel welcoming, which is exactly what you want.
List Your House Right Before a Weekend
By listing your house before a weekend, you are giving potential buyers the ability to see your house first thing the next day. They have more flexibility and more chances to see your house over the weekend than during the work week.
Turn on every single light you own for listing photos, appraisers, and showings. Lighting adds an ambiance that makes your home feel welcoming and spacious. Add additional lighting wherever you can, I.e. floor lamps and lamps on tables and dressers.
Light a Candle
Thirty minutes before any showings or appraisers light a good smelling candle but please don’t forget to put it out before you leave! Believe it or not, the way your house smells play a substantial part on the value of your home. The better your home smells, the more they assume the property has been well maintained and taken care of.
Tidy Up Before Appraisers and Showings
After the long process of organizing and deep cleaning, make sure your house looks clean! You can have the “everyday clutter” back, meaning the soaps on the counters, the alarm clock on your nightstand, and toys picked up. Hazel’s beds were left out for showings and appraisals but were vacuumed so that dog hair wasn’t showing. Make sure your dishes are done and put away, your counter tops are wiped off, floors are vacuumed, and beds are made. I made sure the entire house was “show ready” the night before so the following morning I just had to make the beds, get Little Miss and I ready, and keep messes minimal throughout the day.
Hide Costly Items
Although showings happen while a realtor is there things can still be stolen. This isn’t the time to have your great-great-grandmother’s pearls out on your nightstand or money stashed in your junk drawers. Make sure anything that may have high monetary value is hidden and out of plain sight.
Pack Up and Leave
Load ’em up and bide your time…
This was the hardest for us. The first showing we had we loaded up Little Miss, Hazel, and Lucy into the car and drove around for an hour and a half. Lucy wasn’t loving this and therefore made Hazel and Little Miss very worried. The second showing we decided to keep Lucy in the garage in a bigger pet carrier with water and a fan blowing on her, that way she was still in her home environment but away from potential buyers. Because the second showing was so closely scheduled to the first, we didn’t want to be driving around again so we went on a family walk around the neighborhood, got drinks at a local Swigs, and then played at the park until the showing’s scheduled time was over.
Although it may be hard to pack up and leave, especially if you have a baby that will have interrupted naps like Little Miss, potential buyers need to have the privacy to express their opinions of your home. There may be things they want to change about your house that you love and that’s ok. Remember, it will eventually be theirs anyways.
Nobody Checks the Garage
If you need to store big bulky items, to maximize space or personalized items, the garage is the place to do it!
THINGS I WISH I KNEW
Appraisers are a lot like potential buyers the only difference is that you interact with them. Make sure your house is “show” ready to go and that you are also ready as well. The first appraiser that came to our home didn’t come during the scheduled time I was told he would be coming and Little Miss had been up teething all night. My house wasn’t “show” ready and I was still in my pajamas… It may not seem like a big deal but that really could have effected the listing price of our home. Fortunately, we were able to dodge that bullet.
It is a very stressful time! You basically are catering to someone else’s schedule with only a bit of notice in advance. Try to plan things out as much as possible.
The buyers’ inspection will take the entire time it is scheduled! In our case it took longer because the inspector was late to arrive to our house. Additionally, the future owners will come to the inspection. We were not told they would be accompanying the inspector with their realtor and had put our large sectional back together because the Hubster “needed” his comfortable corner seating to watch TV. Once we found out the future owners were there, the Hubster and I were worried that it would detract from the open floor plan that we had initially created by removing the corner piece. Thankfully, it wasn’t an issue. However, if we would have known that they would be at the inspection we would have moved the corner piece back into the garage.
I hope this post can help you sell your house just as fast as our home sold! It was a lot of work but the outcome made it all worth it.