This post started off as a simple “tips to sell your house quickly” post…but then it just couldn’t stop writing and it kinda turned into a brain dump on everything. So keep reading if you want to hear about how we sold our house in a day (for over the asking price!), how much profit we made, the final house tour, and other various thoughts on the subject.
So as you may have guessed from the title, we sold our house is a day, which is crazy. What’s is even crazier is that we had multiple offers, one for full price and one for over asking (and one offer for even higher a few days later).
There are two reasons I think it sold so quickly (besides luck and having a great realtor)…
It showed well – Adam and I worked our butts off to clean it up and make it shine. We had running checklists of every little detail that needed attention and worked on it for months. I’m not even kidding, it kinda sucked.
Timing – We had planned to list our house in the spring (peak time), and then a giant hailstorm hit and devastated the neighborhood. Adam and I scrambled to fix everything the hail had damaged (roof, windows, landscaping, etc.) so we could list it ASAP. Because we hustled we were able to list the house when there weren’t really any other options available, and I believe this was the main reason I believe we sold quickly and for full price. So that stupid, stressful hailstorm that we cursed for it’s terrible timing actually turned out really well for us (on both houses).
So while I can’t tell you a magic foolproof formula that will guarantee great results, I can tell you a few things that I think helped us get multiple offers the first day on the market.
Finish all the little things you’ve been putting off
You know the things I’m talking about. That piece of trim you replaced three years ago but never painted? Paint it. The threshold on the floor that came off and has since turned your flooring transitions into crumb gutters? Replace it. The front sidewalk that needs pressure washing something fierce….FIX IT ALL. These kind of things don’t cost a lot of money to fix, they are mostly sweat equity and it is absolutely worth it to fix them. You may have stopped seeing these things because you’ve gotten so used to them, but buyers will notice. If you need to bring in a friend or family member to walk through and point out all the little things they notice and make a list, do it. Adam and I spent weeks, maybe even months, fixing all these little things. We do a ton of DIY projects (obviously) and we are really bad about finishing them 100% of the way. We usually get to about 90%, get bored, and move onto the next thing. So our punishment for ignoring all the finishing touches and maintenance was months of just doing these monotonous tasks. It was not fun, especially while also working on the new house and trying not to neglect our three boys . After it was all said and done though our house looked amazing, and I wished I had been keeping up with it all along.
Purge (even the places you don’t think buyers will look, because they will)
If there was ever a time to purge the many things you have accumulated over the years, moving is it. You are going to touch everything you own anyway, might as well be brutally honest about the things you actually use and love, and ditch the rest. This will not only make packing easier, but also make selling easier. If buyers open your closet (they will) and see it stuffed to the brim they will automatically think the house doesn’t have enough storage. On the other hand, if they open up your closet and it is 50% full and neatly organized they will think that if they buy this house they will be organized too. It’s not true, but it doesn’t matter…lie to them and pretend you have your ducks in a row and are effortlessly neat. Then take all their money and run.
Make your house look staged
The easiest way I’ve found to do this (well, not the easiest, the most effective) is to completely empty a room and put things back one item at a time until it looks perfectly staged and semi-empty. Everything that didn’t make it back into the room goes into storage (not storage in your house or on your property, storage somewhere else). I know this sounds like a ton of work, but you’re moving anyway…might as well get an early start by getting some of your stuff out. A big bonus to this is that by semi-emptying your house it will be that much easier to keep clean for showings.
This one pretty much goes without saying…scrub that thing from top to bottom and make it shine.
Take your family photos down
I feel like this one may be taken the wrong way, but hear me out. When a buyer walks through your home you want them to picture them living there. You want them to look around and think “I could put my couch here, and my grandmothers china cabinet would look great over there….” The last thing you want them to be thinking about it you, the seller. So if you have an entire hallway dedicated to family photos (I did) take it down and just have a nice, empty hallway or wall. You don’t need to strip the house of every bit of personalization, but keep in mind that selling your house isn’t about you, it’s about the buyer.
One thing I DIDN’T do….
One thing I didn’t do that professionals recommend is paint my house neutral colors. The majority of my house was green, and there was no way I was repainting the whole thing. I figured my house would be quirky no matter what (with the planked walls, penny countertop, two-toned painted cabinets, rock wall, etc) so whether the walls were green or tan didn’t really matter.
Alright, now let’s get to the part everyone os wondering about, the numbers. So how much did we make on our house after living in and working on it for nearly eight years?
Well, we bought our house in 2008 for $133,500
We put about $30,000 into updating (including a carport/garage, fence, flooring, kitchen and bathrooms, everything)
We sold our house for $210,500
Total profit – $47,000
A little over four years ago we paid off our house, so after closing fees and all that fun stuff we walked away with a check for roughly $196,000. We will add a bit of our savings to that and put it down at closing on the new house (which cross your fingers is soon, because the construction loan is getting crazy expensive at this point). I know y’all are curious how much building the new house cost, and I do plan to share that information once we close and have all the numbers in front of us.
And now, the final house tour. Here she is all cleaned out and ready for the new owners.
Here is a video of me walking the house for the last time…
Seeing it like this was a little bittersweet. Mostly I was super relieved to finally be at the point of saying goodbye to our house. It’s been a stressful year, and finally crossing this giant hurdle off our list felt really good. Somehow we actually finished our massive to-do list for the house, got more money than we thought we would for it, and managed to pack up and get all out all our stuff out (which is no easy task with three little boys and seven months pregnant). I literally felt lighter on that final day, knowing that from here on out we only had one house to work on. At the same time, saying goodbye to a house that we put so much into and bought our babies home to wasn’t easy. And leaving a perfectly clean, finished, and (most importantly) paid off house for an unfinished pile of work with a mortgage made me feel a little crazy. Perhaps we are a little crazy, but either way we’re onto the next adventure. Thanks for coming along for the ride.