Thursday, February 9, 2012

Time to Sell or Buy a House?

Spring is the time for love, the groundhog to see or not see his shadow and time to buy or sell a house. This year we are selling our house. We want to move to the country and have chickens, a goat, maybe a llama, fruit trees, and a big garden. As empty nesters, we don’t need to be close to the schools, and our current home is in the perfect neighborhood to raise a family.

As this is my first time selling a home, I am learning a lot about trying to maximize your selling potential. Here are a few lessons learned:

It takes time, energy and effort to get a house ready to show. We have spent the last few weeks cleaning, repairing, editing, and donating things we no longer need. Good Will and Habitat Restore are great places to take your good-slightly used items that you no longer need. To clean, organize and minimize can be revitalizing.

Make repairs when things break. We had to replace two bedroom doors. It wasn’t a big deal to replace them. To think, we lived with our “slighted bruised” doors for years! Though not that noticeable, we should have taken care of it at the time of injury. Keeping everything in good repair will encourage everyone in the house to maintain that level of polish and care.

If you don’t use it in a year, donate it. After living in one location for the past 18 years, we have many things we rarely use. When I first moved to Iowa, I moved once a year for three years. If I didn’t use it in that year, I donated it. I was able to pack light and did not have a lot of things cluttering my life. It feels really good to get to be purged of all clutter.

Take the time to clean daily – really clean. It is nice to be living in a house that is ready to show perspective buyers at any time. We are making a conscience effort to make sure we never leave a room messy. We are doing what we were taught as little kids – put your toys away after you play with them. The little things make such a big difference.

We might have listed our house at the right time. Interest rates are low and the economy seems to be tracking optimistically, at least in our community. So far we have had three showings in the first four days. We will keep you posted on ups and downs of selling a home. And if you are interested in buying our house….you know what to do! (contact us).