This blog post is pretty near and dear to my heart. When we bought in St. Albert, Alberta the summer of 2015 we really did feel we bought our forever home. It was large and in charge on a cul-de-sac and when we were faced with the decision to sell we knew we had our work cut out for us. We got my husband’s letter of employment Spring of 2019 (so March/April of 2019) and knew we’d be leaving in the summer after our son’s grade 2 year completed so we’d need to have a quick home sale.
It’s so hard to not get caught up in the “what-ifs” when you are selling a house. We wrestled with, “if we do all this work and it doesn’t sell, will it have been for nothing?” or “I don’t want to spend all this money and effort if it doesn’t sell”. But we decided to stay true to our mission which was “more adventure, less house”. So with that in mind, we had my husband’s company movers come to take what we wanted to Kitimat and I’d deal with the rest.
I started watching Marie Kondo’s “The Magical Art of Tidying Up” for purging motivation. I cleaned up everyone’s closets, donated everything that didn’t fit, didn’t serve or was out of fashion. I can’t even tell you how many trips to VV I made that month. I went through kitchen cupboards, the play room, the storage rooms, the laundry room. ANYTHING that didn’t come to the next house was gone.
I started selling furniture. For those of you who know me, I love giving old furniture new life and had a few projects that served us well in that house but would not be coming with us. So I posted on Facebook Market Place and our house became a shop-stop for people who loved a furniture project over the next few weeks. If I didn’t feel we needed it, it was gone.
Once it was cleared out enough I began pulling things off the walls that were “extra” or if it felt like I had too much on the walls. My husband now has a rule for me that if I don’t know where it’s going prior to purchasing it, it doesn’t get to come home with me. So down came the paintings. In came my father and we patched and painted alllllll the walls that needed a touch up (you can’t just spot paint where the holes were filled) and we bought soooooo many quarts of touch up paint. I even left the new homeowners a list of the paint colours, finish and where we used it on possession day.
I finally felt like it was MLS® ready so I called in my photographers and videographer. My house cleaners literally walked out as my photographer walked in. I should also mention that in addition to all of the painting we did, I rented a carpet cleaner from Home Depot and we steam cleaned the fabric furniture that was dirty. My father-in-law was even enlisted to make a new mantle for our fireplace (which turned out STUNNING) in the family room. It really was a team effort.
We priced aggressively (basically wanting what we paid for it, despite the improvements we made over the years of owning it (major landscaping and a new fence on a massive pie-shaped lot). The result? A multiple offer scenario the first two days on market. It sold for 99% of list price in a mere 10 days. Needless to say, we were ecstatic.
We knew we were lucky because of the location of the home, but sometimes location isn’t the only thing that matters in the sale. Other major contributing factors include the condition of the home, whether or not the home was maintained, cleanliness, staging, but in my experience, pricing is what drives the sale in any market. Paired with the rest of the work we did, we got the best result possible and kept almost all of our equity in our home.
I know that I pulled out all the stops to sell my house fast. The thing is, when I meet with prospective sellers I will also recommend you do these same things if you want to maximize your selling strategy. It just really depends on if you want to do them or not. I felt selling my own home was the ultimate challenge, because if a REALTOR® can’t sell her own home, how can you hire her to sell yours?
Any questions, I’m here to help as your Trusted Advisor in Real Estate.