Living Laughing And Creating

Loving Life On A Budget

5 Things I Learned While Selling My House

on August 20, 2014

Sold House

  1. Declutter! Most Realtors will tell you to declutter your home before putting it on the market. Their reasoning is the people looking at your home need to be able to picture themselves living in your house. This doesn’t work well if there is an abundance of personal items all over the shelves and walls. That means most of the family pictures need to be boxed up. Fortunately for us, we don’t have a ton of family pictures around, so one little box took care of that for us. The benefit I found in doing some pre-packing is it made the daily cleaning a lot quicker. Dusting takes less time when there are less items to dust! Before we listed our home, I went through every room and boxed up anything I could do without for a while. This has actually helped move our packing process along quite nicely now that the house has sold.
  2. Pick a Realtor you trust. I was fortunate enough to know exactly who I was going to call when we decided to sell our home. If you are like me, you probably know a few Realtors, but trust your instinct when picking the one you want to sell your home. There is a lot that can go wrong, so pick someone you know is trustworthy and will tell you exactly what you need to do and when it needs to be done. Working with a friend is great, because you know them personally and can even text them without feeling like you are crossing a line. Having the personal relationship has made this such an easy process. Some people prefer to have a strictly professional relationship with their selling Realtor and that’s fine too. I just feel the personal connection really makes the process a lot easier and provides more benefits.
  3. It’s OK to say “No.” I had a call one day from a Realtor wanting to show our house in 30 minutes. We may not have children yet, but we do have two dogs that I had to remove from the house. Not to mention, it was my birthday and I had decided to give myself the day off from cleaning. The house was a mess! I rescheduled the appointment for later in the day, cleaned like crazy, removed the dogs from the house and the people never showed up to look at it. I cried and felt horrible about not being prepared. Then I came to the realization that if someone really wants to see my house, they won’t mind rescheduling. I’m almost positive those people didn’t show up because we were just added to a list as a comparison. That day I came to the conclusion that it’s ok to tell them no and request another time. Try not to do this, but let’s just be honest and say only giving 30 minutes is quite ridiculous. This is also where having a Realtor you trust and can openly communicate with is important. One day, we had to say no because we were too far away to get home in time to remove the dogs. Right after we got the phone call, I texted my Realtor to see if we could reschedule and he made it happen by contacting the other Realtor personally. This actually resulted in the showing that sold our house, so always make sure the Realtor is in the loop!
  4. Be Patient. This one was tough for us, because we are both very impatient people. It took about 4 months for our house to sell. It’s hard not knowing when it will sell; especially when you are wanting to build your new home and have to wait for the house to sell first. Every day I would catch myself staring at my phone just hoping it would ring. This, my friends, will make you crazy! Even though it’s hard, try to go about your day as usual. The phone will ring when it’s time, and it will probably ring a lot until you get a contract. I did find that our calls usually came around 2-4 pm.
  5. This Too Shall Pass! Probably the hardest part of this whole process, other than the waiting, is keeping the house clean enough for a showing. Remember, we don’t want to have to say no, but it’s ok if necessary. In order to be ready, the house must be clean. (As a side note, I actually questioned some friends who had recently bought houses. They all said if the house was not clean when they walked in, they were less likely to consider it as a possibility. Cleanliness makes a big difference!) The best thing to do is get into a routine. Dishes, vacuuming, wiping down the bathrooms and keeping the dirty clothes at bay can be done quickly each day with a routine. However, the hardest part is keeping everything looking good until you feel it’s safe to dirty things again that day. I would wait until at least 6pm to cook dinner, because I felt it was a safe bet no one would call at that point. Try to find a way to use this time for something you enjoy and it will take your mind off wanting the phone to ring and having to sit in a perfectly cleaned house. Since I wasn’t sure what our temporary living arrangement would be, I decided to go ahead and make some Christmas gifts to pass the time. Do your best to find the good in the situation and keep in mind this is only temporary!

This has been quite the process and it’s not over yet! This is not our first move, but it’s definitely the biggest move yet. Over the next few months, I plan to write about our journey while building our new home and the adventures we have in our temporary home! 🙂

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