I’ve mentioned a couple of times that we are planning to sell our house and move to a new one (still in the Springs!) this summer. Naturally, this means a lot of projects that we need to get done in order to have the house ready to sell for top dollar, so we are going to take you along for the ride with an update once a week on what we are doing (and in some cases, why). So, this is the first post in the Moving Along series.
When my husband, Jeremy, gets ready to sell a home, he usually ends up giving the owners a list of things to do before selling and two prices: one that you can sell the house for without doing anything, and one that you can sell the house for with the listed improvements. The improvements list might be long, but they pay for themselves many times over because most buyers like uncluttered, clean, shiny, and new so they are willing to pay more for that! (Ahem – we did when we bought this house!) We have one of those lists for ourselves, and it’s long, just in case you think we got off the hook on our own house. ;)
So, here’s what we’ve done in the past year or so:
Things that we did specifically for selling
- Improved the lawn for curb appeal
We let it go for a couple of years, so we’ve spent the past two years really working on getting it looking great again.
- Paint inside
Painted with neutral colors to maximize appeal to the most number of people
- Electrical improvements
To make for a smooth home inspection
- Painted basement stair treads
When the rest of the house will look like new, our worn wooden stairs to the basement were a stark reminder that the house is really eight years old.
Needed to be done in a couple of spots, and it was just the right thing to do for the future owner!
- Moved doorbell box
We call those things “white zits” and Jeremy became my hero when he moved it from right in the middle of my living room wall to the other side of the same wall. White zit, be gone!
Things we did for ourselves but should pay off when selling
- Installed air conditioner
I am so going to miss this if our new house doesn’t have AC!
- Built in bookshelves and storage
- Planted trees in the front and back yard
We started a lot of these projects last summer, when we weren’t 100% positive we were going to move but knew that if we did end up moving the next year, we were going to need to be working on certain things well ahead of time. (It’s hard to get the lawn looking nice and do a bunch of outside projects in just a couple of months when you want to sell in the summer!)
We also did a bunch of general decluttering and getting rid of stuff. We took a loaf of stuff to the dump, sold a bunch of stuff on Craigslist, and gave away an embarrassing number of vanloads to Goodwill. I think, at this point, that I have given away or sold everything that we don’t use on a regular basis and I am so glad that I am not doing that at the last minute as we are trying to list the house – or worse yet, packing it all up and then having a garage sale after we move!
You might think it’s crazy, but I also started packing up boxes last November. I’m thinking that moving is going to be crazy enough that I don’t want to have any more to pack than is absolutely necessary! It has been really nice to be able to methodically pack instead of doing it in a hurry, because I’ve been able to take time to think about whether or not I really need to keep something if I’m OK doing without it for 6-9 months while it sits in storage! I got rid of a lot of stuff because I just couldn’t see needing to ever get it out of the box, which is exactly the type of stuff that I want to get rid of.
Most of what I packed was books and toys. I’m thinking that come Christmas 2013, I am just going to unpack all the toys that I put away and that will be their Christmas gifts. (I’m only 75% kidding!)
So, that brings you up to speed on what we’ve done in preparation to sell our house this summer. I’ll share more about what we are currently working on as we are counting down to selling next week!
PS – If you are thinking about selling in next year or two, don’t think that it’s too early to talk to my husband, Jeremy, about the things you might want to do to sell your house for the maximum possible! He frequently talks to people that are a year or two out from selling, but want to know what types of things they can improve now to help when they sell (and then you still get awhile to enjoy it yourself, too!). You can call or text him at 719.231.9043, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his website to find out more.
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