It’s hard to believe, but four short years ago my husband and I were preparing to sell our home of 11 years and move to a different state! At the time, we had four children aged 5 and under: a 5-year-old, a 4-year-old, and 2-year-old twins. If you can imagine, our house was filled to the brim with kid stuff and eleven years’ worth of collected belongings.
Needless to say, we felt pretty overwhelmed. Where do you even begin? Enter our fantastic realtor, Keith. What I really appreciated was that he didn’t walk in and tell us what we wanted to hear. He listed the essential things we needed to make happen in order to sell our house during the worst housing crisis the United States had ever experienced. He was honest; we needed to lose half the accumulated belongings in our space, including the endless kid stuff! We had to repaint our main living space (living room & dining room) that had been well-loved by four toddlers. And finally, it was necessary to make critical repairs to our detached garage. Within a short amount of time, we took his advice and rented a storage space and cleared out all the clutter. We made a few cosmetic changes, as well as repairs, to the garage, and got the house on the market.
I recently chatted with him to get his input as a realty veteran for twenty-plus years, on essentials for prepping and staging your home to sell. Here are his tips and some of mine, too!
Segregate Your Belongings
Now is the time to declutter. I know it’s hard to let go of the treasures you’ve hung onto over the years, especially those with sentimental value, but it’s crucial to get rid of what’s no longer needed. Not only is it the first step to getting your house cleaner and more organized, but you’ll be thankful come moving time that you’ve got less to pack away and cart around.
Perhaps the best way to tackle this daunting task is to sort your belongings into different piles: what you’ll keep, recycle, donate, or throw away. Getting a rental unit is another option; I know I couldn’t bear to throw away some things that reminded me of family milestones, but that weren’t necessary to our day-to-day life anymore. Storage lets you put those away so you can still get back to them later on. (more…)