Monday Musings: Before Listing Your House for Sale, Try These Tips
It’s no secret the housing market is bananas right now. Inventory is at a historic low and new construction has slowed significantly -- these are a couple reasons for the wild seller’s market that has quickly driven up sale prices and home values. It’s mind-blowing.
In the midst of this, my husband and I decided to jump in — I know— we were completely out of our minds! Six weeks ago, we sold our 4th home and bought our 5th. We are seasoned at this, by most accounts, but our two previous moves were corporate relocations, which tend to ease some of the burdens associated with moving. But this last one was all on us. We moved within the same city -- to a neighborhood we have admired since moving to our current community. We were eager to embark on this adventure but it was still stressful!
I’ve been reflecting on the buying and selling process in recent weeks and wanted to share a few helpful tips and tricks you may want to consider before listing your home for sale.
De-Personalizing Your Home - Every real estate agent and online resource will tell you to do this before your house ever hits the market. The most commonsense reason is to make your house more appealing to potential buyers. Buyers want to envision themselves in the home as they walk through each room. The constant barrage of family photos and memories can be very unappealing. Another added bonus to de-personalizing, which I think is the most satisfying for sellers, is that you can start packing your home early on. You will be so glad you did this when it's crunch time and everything you own must be packed and ready for loading as closing day nears.
Boxes & Packing Materials - I recommend having a plan for how you will go about packing your items before you actually pack anything. We do a combination of plastic tubs and cardboard boxes. I like to use tubs for items that are stored in our attic or basement and cardboard boxes for most other items with a few exceptions. You can buy plastic tubs at Target, Wal-Mart or most retailers. When it came to cardboard boxes, we got lucky and a friend of a friend had moved right as we started this process. They gave us loads of boxes. We also bought a kit of boxes and moving supplies from U-Haul for a couple hundred dollars. (Be sure to have several rolls of packing tape on hand -- we never seem to have enough!) We ended up spending less money on moving supplies than we originally planned, which is always a sweet surprise. To save money, try asking people in your circles if they know anyone who moved recently and have boxes they want to get off their hands. If your current neighborhood has a social media account, consider doing an ISO for moving boxes. You may just get lucky!
Importance of Purging - After living in our home for 6 years with three kids, we had a lot to purge. Our closets and attic were full of items we no longer needed or wanted in our new home. We spent hours going through things before we listed our house (and even during the selling process). I highly recommend purging as much as you can before packing. There aren't many things more deflating than unpacking a box at your new house and realizing you have no place or need for the items inside. It should have never gotten on the moving truck! I have lamented in the past.
When purging, these are some of things I did:
I donated items to local stores and charities, such as Goodwill and an emergency pregnancy shelter. I brought several tubs of my maternity clothes to a local charity that supports the needs of young mothers and their babies throughout their pregnancy and the baby's early months.
I donated several large pieces of furniture and toys that were in good condition. I have always used Habitat for Humanity's ReStore. ReStore will come to your house with a truck and pick-up most large items and even soft goods. You have to call ahead to schedule the pick-up -- it's free of charge.
I went though tubs of my children's outgrown clothes and consigned a good amount of them and walked away with quite a bit of cash.
We had several nice pieces of furniture we wanted to sell so we could make room (and some money) for new pieces in our new house. Facebook Marketplace was the best place to sell them quickly and for a good price. New furniture prices have increased and production is behind across the country so there are a lot of pre-owned furniture buyers out there. We waited until the final days before closing to sell the items and we didn't have any issues.
Moving is overwhelming, time-consuming and exciting. I have found that sharing what you've learned from transitional life experiences can often times be beneficial to others. I hope this post has been helpful - I plan to do at least one more post with moving tips and tricks!