Want to sell your house fast?
We were moving to a new city and did not want to have two mortgages. We knew that to sell our house fast, we had to make it stand out from all of the other homes on the market. So we started planning for it well in advance.
Read below to see some of things we did to sell our house in under 24 house (and For Sale By Owner!).
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Here are my tips on how to make your house someone else’s dream home!
Get rid of all of your stuff.
Purge as much as you can, and then take the rest to storage. Box up or throw away all of your clutter. Remove about a quarter to a half of the furniture from each of your rooms. This will make the room look larger. Also, remove everything that you would not need for one week. This means empty your kitchen drawers, take 90 percent of the clothes out of your closets, remove everything but the essentials from the bathrooms. This will do three things.
- It will demonstrate how much room is in the house.
- It will make it easier for the buyer to visualize where their stuff will go instead of just seeing your stuff.
- It will look much more organized and will give the impression that this house will help the buyer be more organized.
Take down all of your personal pictures.
You want the buyer to see their family in the home, not yours. That picture of your baby is super cute, but a potential buyer does not need to see it. They may be a retiree, and not interested in children. Or they may be desperately wanting a child but haven’t yet had one. Either way, you do not want to invoke any negative emotions, so play it safe and just remove all of your personal pictures.
Clear your countertops.
This will make the kitchen feel spacious and clean. Put that toaster, mixer and coffee pot in the newly cleaned out cabinets.
When I showed my house, the only thing on the counter was my KitchenAid mixer, to show that this was a serious kitchen. Everything else was stowed out of sight.
Clean everything from top to bottom.
Here is a little checklist of chores to be completed.
- Vacuum every inch of the floors, including the edges of the carpet with a hose attachment.
- Mop all of the hard floors. I always do this on my hands and knees to get it sparkly clean. If your house does not sell right away, keep a Bona or some other mop nearby for quick touch ups (but remember to store it out of sight).
- Clean the carpets.
- Vacuum cold air return grates.
- Dust all flat surfaces.
- Wash the windows, inside and out.
- Set the oven on self clean and then wipe it out when it is finished.
- Vacuum kitchen and vanity drawers.
- Wipe down the inside and outside of all cabinets and vanities.
- Remove cobwebs from all rooms, including the basement.
- Dust light fixtures.
- Deep clean the bathrooms.
- Scrub your kitchen sink, stove and countertops.
- Clean out your refrigerator. Wipe all of the surfaces down.
Fix anything that is broken.
We replaced shower knobs, rehung gutters, patched holes in the wood siding, filled in cracks in the driveway, replaced a lock that did not work… the list goes on and on.
Make sure that closet doors open and close smoothly, bedroom doors do not creak, and all lights have working bulbs.
Bottom line is, you want the house to look and feel as perfect as you can. This gives your potential buyers the sense that life in your home is hassle free.
Spackle any holes where you removed personal pictures.
While you are at it, spackle any dents in the wall too.
Touch up the paint.
This includes walls, doors, ceilings, baseboards, and the holes you just spackled, as needed. If any of your rooms are painted a bright color, repaint them entirely in a neutral. Check out my whole house color scheme if you need inspiration. It is the color scheme I used in my house that I recently sold.
Spruce up your landscaping.
Trim the trees and shrubs. Weed the beds. Plant pretty flowers in any empty beds in the yard. Spread seed in bare spots (do this in advance so it has time to grow). Put planters on the front porch. One on either side of the door can look particularly nice. Put a wreath on the door to make it feel welcoming.
Stage the rooms.
Here is a guide on staging your house to sell fast. Generally speaking though…
Put little vignettes on tables, dressers, mantles, etc. in each room. This will give the buyer’s eye a place to rest and will give a warm, welcoming feel. Group items in sets of three or five, instead of 2 or 4.
Here are some of the things I use when making vignettes:
- Books with same color bindings in neutral colors such as beige, navy or black
- Candle sticks
- Vases with flowers
- Clear glass jars
On the walls, hang “neutral” decor. Remember, you should have already taken down all of your family photos. It is good to have something on the wall to create visual interest in the room. Here are some of the wall decor items I like to use since they go along with my farmhouse style:
- Mirrors. I had a mirror in almost every room. They are great because they add light to the room, can make it look bigger and are not offensive to any person’s style of decor.
- Wooden window frames
- Rustic signs
- Wreaths (typically over a shutter or window frame)
- Metal decor items
I typically ended up with only one or two things on the wall per room. This ended up giving the buyer something to look at but did not overwhelm the space with clutter.
A couple of other things that we did…
Get rid of your garbage cans. Hide a little one under the sink in the kitchen. By doing this, you are giving the potential buyer a subliminal message that this house is so clean, you don’t even have garbage.
Replace your welcome mats. Get ones that are clean and new to make the entryway look inviting. You can get stylish but cheap ones at target.
When all of those things were completed, which took some time, I listed the house.
I was nervous to list it for sale by owner, but after doing all of the prep work, I felt confident that my house had never looked better. Check out my post on how to sell your house FSBO if you are considering that route.
Those are the basic things you should do to sell your house fast!
If you have gotten to this part of the post and you are thinking, “Well that is basically just a lot of work,” you are right! Completing all of this may take some time and require a bit of planning to accomplish all of the tasks prior to your list date, but doing these things is so worth it. Selling your house fast means less money you are paying in mortgage expenses, fewer times you have to clean it for a showing, and less stress overall.
Good luck in your house selling adventure! Let me know how it goes!