Preparing Your Home for Sale

How to Prepare Your Home for SaleFor some of you, oil is in your blood.  You have grown up around it and many family members are in it, it is simply what you know.  Real estate is like that for me.  As a child, it was Saturday mornings at Home Depot so my Dad could repair something at his rental property.  It was looking at houses “just for fun” with my parents.  I work in the same real estate office as my mom, dad, brother’s wife, and my mom’s identical twin sister.  We work separately from each other, but we are all in the same RE/MAX office.  I’ve been a licensed agent since I was 19 and used that for part-time work in college.  Once I graduated,   I started with RE/MAX in 2004.  I’m not an expert at many things, but I know real estate.

I also know that real estate agents are like ants, we are everywhere.  You will find that some of us are good at our jobs and others are not.  Some of us are trustworthy and others are not.  Some of us want to help you and others are more concerned about getting a pay check.  You may wonder if you can trust a REALTOR’s advice.  A lot of times you can, don’t worry.  If you want advice on how to get your home sold, I am about to tell you.  You don’t have to worry about where my motivation lies, because you aren’t paying me a commission.   I will tell you that this is what I recommend to my clients, my family members, and what I did to my own personal home to get it sold.

If you are thinking about selling your home this year, the time to prepare is now.  Procrastinators, if you wait until the last minute on this you will feel overwhelmed and stressed (but you already knew that didn’t you?).  For oilfield wives, it is even more important to start early as you may be doing prep work primarily on your own.  In our case, Oilman patted me on the back, said, “Let’s get the house on the market!” and went to work for a 20 day hitch.  You might be in the same position I was.

There are three factors in the sale of a home:  the presentation of a home, the way it is priced, and marketing.  Two out of those three factors are in your control.  Homes that are clean and show well, sell quicker and often times for more money.  You are protecting your family’s investment when you prepare your home for listing.

The most important thing you will do is de-clutter your home.  This can be the most time consuming task.  It is amazing how many things we accumulate over the years.  A closet or pantry that isn’t packed in like a clown car will appear larger.  People WILL be looking in your linen closet and under the sink when your house is on the market.  Go through every room, every closet, and every kitchen cabinet.  You will want to make three piles:  trash, donate/sell, and storage.  If you aren’t going to use the item before the move, box it up now.  Items you aren’t using can be stored in a garage (neatly and organized) or storage unit.    This step quickens the moving process for you.  In addition, it will help to make your home appear larger.

It is time to take a keen eye to every aspect of your property.  When buyers tour a home, they start looking at repairs or cosmetic changes that need to be done.  The more work needed, the less money they will offer on your home.  You can save money for your family by doing small jobs before putting your house on the market.  Start at the outside of your property.  Clean up the flowerbeds and put in fresh mulch.  Power wash, re-paint, or stain your front door. Clean the windows.  Are there places that need touchup paint to cover finger prints or everyday wear and tear?  Change your AC filter.  Clean and/or repaint the baseboards.  A trick I have found through the years when touring properties with buyers is to look at baseboards.  A homeowner who cleans their baseboards is more likely to take care of other big ticket items in the home like servicing the HVAC system.  Neutralize paint colors.  This means that if you have one room fuchsia and another room aqua (normally the kiddos pick these out) it would be best to change these to more neutral colors such as a light grey or beige.  Give your house a deep clean, not the clean that we all do normally that takes 45 minutes.  I’m talking a deep, time- consuming clean.  Have the carpet steam cleaned.  Hire a cleaning crew if it is in the budget.

Once you’ve prepared your home and de-cluttered, you are 80% ready for your home to go on the market.  You are almost done!!

The final stage is the cherry on top.  Find a real estate professional you feel comfortable with.  Do you trust them?  Do they return your phone calls in a timely manner?  During the home selling process you will spend a lot of time talking with your REALTOR.  There are some clients that I end up speaking with on almost a daily basis for weeks at a time.  That is a lot of time to spend with someone you don’t like or trust.  An experienced agent can help you avoid pitfalls during the process and save you money.  They will also give you a market analysis on your property.  They can explain current real estate trends and accurate pricing information.  They will help you finish the final touches on staging your home to be on the market.

Moving can be a stressful and exciting time for your family.  With the right preparation and planning you can save yourself a lot of time and stress while adding to the value of your home.  Good luck!

Do you need help finding a REALTOR in your area or have a real estate question?  Email me at Lindsay@realoilfieldwives.com.

About LC

Howdy! LC and her Oilman live in the ‘burbs north of Austin, TX. She is a real estate broker, but you won’t find her face on a bus bench and she doesn't drive a Cadillac. Oilman works in Texas as a Completions Consultant. Don’t worry, most people don’t know what that title means either. LC calls him frac guru, for short. She may be the only woman in America that hated both "Twilight" AND "50 Shades of Grey". Oilman and LC like wine, good music, their two dogs, and cervezas in Central America. Follow the adventures of LC and Oilman at: www.LivingOilfieldLife.com or on Instagram at: living_oilfield_life

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