So, even though we’d only been in our house for a little over a year, we had decided it was time to move. When we moved to this house, we knew it was temporary. The house was small and lacking a few things. That’s not to say we didn’t like it – there was a community pool that we loved and as a bonus, it was only a block away. However, we didn’t have a garage (aka workshop for hubby). The backyard was small because the houses were set so far back from the road (although our neighbors told us it’s OK if the kids run through their yard as well). It was in a deed restricted community (which is someplace we never wanted to be). We invited our real estate agent to our house and she gave us some ideas for staging – mostly pack up everything you won’t need in the next few months.
We tried – we really did. But honestly, we had purged so much when we packed to move and then again when we unpacked. Some things had never been unpacked – almost all of our books were still in boxes. Our winter clothing was in suitcases – not that we need it very often. We went through the kids toys again. We packed up a lot of knick knacks and stored them at my parent’s house. We packed up all our pictures. We kept it as clean as possible. However, in the end, we still had to live there – with three kids and four (and then three) cats life can be messy.
Moving whether just around the corner or across the country is an adventure! So, if you’re trying to sell your house, here are three tips to make it easier.
First, forget about those people you see looking at home on TV shows. I’m sure that “real” people don’t say half of the things they say (I certainly don’t)! When we look at houses, we want to know if the A/C works (this is FL after all!)? Is it in a flood zone (major insurance increase!)? Is the roof insurable? Is it stick built or block? These are questions that are important to where we live. What questions would buyers want to know where you live?
Second, do pack up what you can. But don’t make yourself crazy! If you pack up too much you’re going to be digging through boxes to find stuff you need. When we first started packing to move from PA to FL, we thought our house would sell quickly so we packed up all our winter stuff (it was April). By the time winter came around, I couldn’t remember what I had done with our winter coats. Since I was too cheap to buy new (or even used ones), we just wore extra layers. Then, when we were pulling out all the packed boxes, guess what I found in a big box at the bottom of the pile? Yep, all our winter coats…which at that point went in the donate pile.
Third, remember that unless you’re very lucky, it’s going to take some time to sell. When we sold our house in PA, it took over a year (not to be depressing, just keeping it real). When we sold our house in Florida, it took about five months. Continue to live your life – don’t put everything on hold! When we were selling our house in PA, I thought it would sell quickly and so I told our homeschool group that we were moving and basically said our good-byes. When the summer was coming to an end and I realized that we were going to be at least starting school in PA, I felt a little silly telling them we were still here. The lady who ran the group (who was also had her house on the market) told me that I needed to continue with life until the house sells (or is at least under contract), then I can switch to moving mode. We ended up being there for the whole school year! So, when we put our house in FL on the market, we put up our Halloween decorations, and then our Thanksgiving stuff, and then (even though we had a serious buyer), we decorated for Christmas too. We didn’t start seriously packing until after the New Year (closing was on Jan 15). Two weeks of being totally focused on packing was a lot better than randomly packing with no real deadline!
What would you add to the list?