My husband has taken a job opportunity in Oklahoma. We are both from there and have family and friends there so it was a no-brainer for him to accept the job. We bought our house in Albuquerque in May of 2015 and have enjoyed it for three wonderful years. It is bittersweet to be leaving our first home, but we are ecstatic to move back to Oklahoma and be closer to our family, friends and of course, Oklahoma State football.
Let’s get to it! Selling your home can be overwhelming. Here are some tips that I have learned through my own experience that I hope will help you when you are selling a house.
First, map out a timeline. For us, Drew had a lengthy hiring process of 3-4 months and this was helpful. It gave us time to get organized and create a timeline.
Here is an example of our timeline:
- Finish any projects around the house that we needed to complete
- Declutter the house
- Staging your home
- Cleaning your home
- Call the realtor
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Drew and I did a lot of DIY updates to our home and we had a few left undone, because… life. It’s important to wrap these up and especially finish the ones you’ve started because no one wants a home unfinished.
Take it one room at a time, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or two per room, depending on the amount of clutter. Box up anything that you don’t need to store in the garage or move to a storage unit, or perhaps your new home if available. Organize what’s left in a visually appealing manner. This step can seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! Again, one room at a time, and in each room take it one item at a time. Each item you’ll either box, donate or trash, or keep in the room for staging. You’ll get the hang of it quickly and it will feel so good to be organized!
This is my favorite part! This is where you get to log onto Pinterest and do “research”. LOL! No, but seriously. Jump on Pinterest or interior design blogs or whatever you do to research and see how people stage their homes and have their homes decorated professionally. It is so easy now that you have decluttered and organized you know exactly what pieces you’re working with. This is definitely a fun part of the process but be sure to take it seriously. You’d be surprised how when people are looking to buy your house and the angle that the couch is set up turns them off and they don’t buy it! That’s an extreme example but it’s the simplest things. Basically, you want to make your house super simple, super clean and something that feels good and makes sense (feng shui is a thing!). With staging, also remember that less is more. If you feel like things are still looking overwhelming or cluttered, box ‘em up! Your realtor will also come through and tell you what to do before having pictures taken and listing your home. I’ll go into that in the realtor section later.
Cleaning. Deep clean. Clean. Clean. Clean. And then clean some more! My favorite phrase for this topic is definitely “take it one room at a time”. Don’t get overwhelmed. Also, if it’s in your budget, pay a professional cleaning company to take care of it. Boom! That was easy. We did not do this. My husband and I chose to clean the house ourselves and it wasn’t too bad. It was just the two of us and a poodle after all (Poodles don’t shed, they’re the clean dogs of dogs!). Be sure to get everything. Dust the ceiling fans, wipe down the windows and baseboards. Basically, take a long, good look in each room. Look in each corner and every nook and cranny.
Find a realtor.
I highly recommend using a realtor. A realtor works solely off of commission. Which means they only get paid when you do. Selling a house is a big deal in many ways. One of those ways being legally. A realtor knows a selling contract and can break it down and explain it to you. They also know all of the tips and tricks and many times it will pay off simply because of the networking you get from working with a realtor. They may know of a buyer and get your house sold before you even list it! We had a few more things to do to the house that Drew and I decided to hire contractors for and our realtor recommended people that he worked with on a regular basis. They gave us an incredible deal, did amazing work, and accommodated our schedule because of their relationship with our realtor. That saved us time, money and a headache! I personally recommend Keller Williams. My parents are both licensed realtors through them and I’ve worked with two other realtors for my own use who are with Keller Williams. I’ve heard through several professionals that Keller Williams has the best training program for realtors. With that being said, I do recommend you shop around and find your realtor through a personal reference. If you know a friend that has worked with a realtor and had a good experience, go with them. Now that you’ve found your realtor, they will come and do a walk-thru of your home. Be prepared to take notes! They will tell you what you need to work on as far as decluttering, staging and rearranging furniture, etc. It’s the realtor’s job IMO to be upfront and honest with you on these things. Don’t take it personally if they recommend you put a few family photos away or take a few more items off of a shelf or table. They are there to help sell your home, try to do what they ask or recommend if you can. A good realtor will pay for professional pictures of your home for the listing. Pictures are such a huge factor when listing your home. I personally won’t even look at a home online if the pictures are low quality or if they don’t have any pictures at all. This is something so simple that makes a HUGE impact.
In conclusion, try to do what you can in getting your house sale ready before contacting a realtor. This will make it easier on both your realtor and you. Try to stay calm and collected and be patient. I am currently struggling with the latter, but timing is everything and try to enjoy this new change of season!
Feel free to ask me anything else about the process. We are currently under contract for both selling our home in Albuquerque as well as buying our new home in Oklahoma. I plan on following up this post with a blog on “Buying a Home”.
Thank you for reading my blog!