How we sold our home in under 5 hours: for list price

2016 was a doozey for us. Murphy's Law was in FULL effect every time we turned around, but come hell or high water we were determined to make our dreams a reality. The first step on that road was to get our current home SOLD. We bought this house in 2010 fully intending on NEVER living here with children. Well, here we are.. seven years later and TWO kids - ha!

We have always taken pride in being homeowners. We've kept our home in great condition and anything that could have been an issue, we took care of before our house even went on the market. We spent a good 6-8 weeks getting our house prepped to sell. Mainly because when you have a family schedule like ours and two small kids, doing BIG projects or A LOT of work at one time just isn't possible. It was insane. A LOT of hard work and I felt like I had more plates spinning than I could handle, but it's a season. You will survive it!

We are so thankful that all our hard work and dedication paid off - and QUICKLY at that. Within an hour of our house going live on MLS we had multiple scheduled showings for that afternoon and an hour after the first showing we had a full price offer! Let me share my formula for making sure your home sells quickly.

Check your ego - do your pricing homework

This is your home. It's easy for you to get hung up on a price because you're emotionally attached to what this home means to you. Try your best to kick that to the curb. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. For a good 4-6 months I studied homes in our area that could be used as comps when we listed. Comps don't lie. They will ultimately determine how much your house can sell for. Make sure your realtor is up-to-date on what's going on in your neighborhood/area. They will be able to give you a good idea of where to start and keep you from being unrealistic. A prospective buyer may LOVE your home, but if it's not priced right, you'll never get to the closing table.

Take your pets with you

We have a dog and even though he's older and on the smaller side, he came with us when the house was being shown to buyers. Not ideal, especially when you already have small kids to tote with you as well BUT it makes a huge difference not to have a potentially barking animal in the home while it's being shown. We also made sure all signs of having any pets were put away - food bowls, crates, blankets, toys, etc. It was all completely out of sight.

Clean & De-Clutter

This is a HUGE one. The same day that we had the photographer come over to take photos {we will talk about that in a minute} we had a cleaning crew come in and deep clean the entire house. I wanted the house to look perfect for photos that would be listed on MLS. We also had the carpets professionally cleaned and we rented a 10x10 storage unit to get all the clutter out of our house.

De-Personalize - THIS IS KEY

It is SO important that you DE-PERSONALIZE your home. Take down the stuff on the walls. If there are family photos, kids artwork, etc hanging everywhere it's hard for the potential buyers to imagine THEIR stuff in your house. Make it EASY for them and make everything very neutral and open. If you have drastic paint colors on your walls, repaint before you take photos and list your home. We have always kept our home very neutral colored with soft sage green in our living and soft grays as accent walls in bedrooms.

We removed EVERYTHING from the counters throughout the house, opened all the windows, turned on all the lights, closed all the toilet lids and just in general made everything feel very light, bright and open. We got rid of furniture, nick-nacks, emptied closets, emptied the garage, backyard and attic. There was not one section of this house that wasn't 100% cleaned out and staged.

Pay attention to curb appeal - back yard too!

If your home doesn't look nice from the street, you can forget it. It can be the most beautiful house on the inside, but if it looks like a hot mess from the outside you'll never even get buyers inside. We made sure we paid close attention to our yard {front and back!} even though it was January when we listed. I spent time raking and blowing leaves out of our flower beds and yard, we put down new mulch in the flower beds, we pressure washed any areas on the house that needed it, we washed the inside AND the outside of all the windows, put a new potted plant on the front porch with a new welcome mat and we got rid of ALL the toys in the back yard the kids used to play with. Stand back and take a good, objective look at your house from the street and back yard. If it looks a mess, FIX IT!

Take great listing photos

This is another perk of listing your house with a realtor. Our team has a professional real estate photographer come in to take all the listing photos as part of their fees. If your realtor doesn't include this, I would highly suggest you looking into investing in this service on your own. These are the photos that will show up everywhere MLS listings go live - Realtor, Zillow, Trulia, RedFin, etc. I cannot stress enough how VITAL this is to the success of your home selling quickly (or at all). You cannot afford to lose a buyer before they even step into your home because of terrible listing photos.

Before any showings, I made sure of the following things:

1. House is in pristine, clean condition

2. House smells good (I chose to burn the Home Sweet Home candles from Yankee)

3. Soft music playing in the background (I chose the smooth jazz station on Pandora One Radio)

4. House is nicely lit with blinds open & lights on throughout home

5. All toilet seats are down/closed

6. Take everyone with you - including pets!

We hope this helps some of you who are looking to sell your home quickly! It should be noted that selling your home is a stressful event but the hard work DOES pay off. For us that meant we got our dream listing price and an under contract sign in our yard within 5 hours of going live on MLS!

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