Selling a house, moving to a new place or even simply taking a gander on Zillow for a possible new spot are ALL total nightmarish and super stressful things to do. Unless you are me and simply can't get enough of the moving process. I know, it's weird and oddly embarrassing to mention that I have moved 15 times in my life. For fun, for love, for a cool job, for a fresh start or simply when I was younger and without strings to see what would happen in a new place.
Are you one of those people attempting one of these awful and overwhelming roads in the current climate that is 2021 ALMOST 2022? The follow-up question is, do you know all of the simple yet stacked list of things to do to get your home ready to sell? Are you wondering about the process of getting it all done in time to make a move? Well, the housing market is absolutely BANANAS this year and doesn't really show a sign of slowing too much. Going from the seller to the buyer in a 3-month swing, one thing is true in the home-buying/selling process--it is a Seller's Market.
So where did we start in the four years of living in our Missouri home? Let's take a walk down memory lane...
Projects happened during our stay starting with our kitchen but reached into each room for an updated house that felt more like us. Here is a look back at our projects!
Our kitchen transformation that was a budget-friendly update featuring new countertops, backsplash, wall color and sink, faucet and hardware.
| before |
| after |
our laundry room
a quick update
after our update
| after |
master bedroom bonus room
after a new vanity, mirror, lighting, paint and decor. The flooring had to stay so we worked around it and updated everything else!
main living spaces from front door
fresh paint goes a long way...
My husband accepted a new job on the east coast in mid-December which prompted a major shift in priority for my days. The process of prepping your home for selling is a major PROCESS that is both organized chaotic and a de-clutter, liquidate a variety of unused/staging furniture and majority of our furnishings to downsize to a two-bedroom apartment and of course, go through and make sense of all of the stuff hiding out in our closets and drawers to finally be able to stage our house to sell. This all happened in THREE WEEKS for our timeline of relocating to work successfully.
We had a deadline for making the cross-country move, so this was my catalyst for the steady and somewhat stressful Covid-plagued process. But, luckily, Facebook Marketplace was the best way to list/sell and liquidate what we had to get rid of! Yes, the contactless- Venmo situation was seamless if I do say so myself, and I never jeopardized my family's health with unknowns entering my house. The front porch pickup was a life-saver in this and I doubt I will ever have a garage sale again thanks to the buyers knowing the prices and being willing to pay for quality pieces.
Rule of Thumb: You are selling Space, Light & A Beautiful New Way of Life for the Buyer!
Tips for Taking Top Dollar for your House when you are SELLING:
1| Deep Clean. Clean is king. You'd be amazed at how good your space looks with a little elbow crease, Magic Eraser and a good deep cleaning of all surfaces before setting the stage with furniture and decor. Start here and set the stage for a CLEAN and staged space that looks, smells and shows bright and beautiful! Remember, nothing matters if it isn't clean.
2| Create Memorable Moments with Accent Paint Colors, Woodwork Additions and Livable Spaces that buyers can see THEMSELVES in. That is the key!
3| Up Curb Appeal - add inexpensive greenery/ starter plants that are hardy for instant appeal. Refresh paint, add new house numbers and place potted plants at the entrance for a lively pop of color. Plop an entry doormat on a cleanly swept surface and make sure cobwebs have been cleared!
4| Fresh Paint- The easiest refresh for dingy, dark and dates spaces is paint! An instant space lifter and the #1 most cost effective way to turn the look and feel of a space around for the better is a gallon of paint! Don't forget the trim and ceiling for added crispness and the front door for a nice pop of color, too!
5| Light the Way! The most enjoyable homes have layered lighting that is warm and welcoming. Add a Table and/or Floor Lamp to a space with an overhead light to add interest and a variety of lighting to show your house in the best light! LED are great however don't get the super bright bulbs that seem like you're about to do surgery.
6| Add Live Plants to a few spaces- living greenery adds life to a space, literally and uplifts a room plus some will actually IMPROVE the air quality where they are! My favorite Etsy store for hardy plants of all kinds is American Plant Exchange.
7| Space Planning is a major part of showing your rooms to the best of their ability. Feng Shui tips can be discovered and researched for quick tips on appropriate placement of beds, sofas and lights in each room for a great flowing home, which will sell your house without having to say a word.
8| Update Fixtures + Faucets + Hardware- Believe it or not, if you want top dollar, these small details leave an invaluable impression on buyers and share with them that you have taken great care of your home, thus they will be willing to make an offer, hopefully, over asking! These offer more of a "turn key" house that doesn't need immediate attention to buyer's. Swap these and reap the benefits!
9| Fix it! Obviously, you will want anything broken, leaking or stained to be removed, replaced or fixed! Hiring a trustworthy electrician, plumber, etc is worth it in the end, when you have a fresh home that doesn't need buyer's immediate time and money. Score!
10| Stage your Home Setting the stage for your home begins with 1.Selling 2. Donating 3. Storing your excess, unused and outdated items. Make room for your goodies that you want to show off and more often than not, you have TOO much and the furniture you do have is TOO LARGE for your rooms. Take an inventory of what is working, what you don't want to move with, things you could get rid of and that begins the staging process.
Secondly, you will refresh what you DO keep with a good cleaning, AGAIN.
Removal of all overly personal items like family photos, strange nick-nacks and other personalized decor that doesn't "make sense" in a room should be packed up, you are packing up anyway, so this step is just happening sooner than later. Easy and makes more space in your rooms.
Simple is the best way when it comes to your large pieces of furniture like bedding, couches, accent chairs and the fabrics that you will place on them. Your walls are a neutral, freshened up paint color so... color is fine, just keep it minimal, chic and purposeful. The room should feel collected, curated and easily assembled.
Bottom Line | Show Me The Money!! Spending a few thousand dollars on the above items before listing your home to sell, will be the best return on investment you can imagine. Just like on shows like Buying & Selling or Love it or List it, sellers cough up some cash to get their house in tip top shape before taking the leap into sellersville. And, for those correct updates and investments like adding curb appeal, updating bathrooms and kitchens and making those aesthetic updates, seller's walk away with 3x what they put it, creating a home that buyer's can envision themselves in. Fact. And staging your home professionally is also part of this equation.
our kitchen before our minor renovation
Here are some other examples of clean, crisp kitchen for buyer's to see themselves in that we have been a part of.
Kitchens and bathrooms have the greatest ROI (Return on Investment) when doing a renovation in your house so keep that in mind as you progress through getting your home prepped and ready to sell. These are the main areas to focus on when making updates as they will reap the largest benefit to your asking price.
At the end of your journey whether moving across town or across the world, one thing should be true at the conclusion of it: you have gone through a major ordeal and you've come out on the other side in one piece with less baggage. This is a win and you're on the road to bigger and better things, most of which are unforeseen and yet, unforgivably amazing.
Here's to finding the perfect home, selling your home in a single day and opening up a world of possibilities and opportunities in your next house that you and only YOU will make a home.
Donate + Recycle + Feel Good
Organizations to donate gently used furniture/household goods that you could donate to that I think are simply amazing are below. If one is in your area, give them a shout!
#1 \ HUMBLE DESIGN - Togetherness to End Homelessness
#2 \ Love Columbia- Resources and support for families in Columbia, Missouri.
#3\ Habitat for Humanity REstore -
#4\ Salvation Army-
#5\ Craigslist "Free" Section
#6\ Facebook Marketplace
#7\ Renovation Angel- Renovate responsibly and donate ALL of your unused or unwanted items!
**IF you have REAL wood, search here for a recycling spot near you!