Prepping our house leads to a quick sale

We’ve been asked a few times about how our house sold so quickly. We had 6 showings lined up the first day on the market, an offer within 3 days, and a second offer (full price that they agreed to have held as a backup!) that came a few days later.

Of course we can’t be certain what did it. It was a beautiful house in a really nice location for the right price. Being on a busy road, while an inconvenience while living there, meant a lot of people saw the sign and stopped for fliers.

But I’d hazard a guess that in some part the quick sale was also due to what we did to get it ready to sell. Most things were standard home staging tips that you’d find in almost any online article and including:

Decluttering – We started working well in advance to declutter and had many of our belongings boxed and stored in the basement.

Painting – We repainted the most worn areas of the house in a neutral color in the places where paint was rubbing off, discolored, etc. (the painters called the new color “sell it beige”) and also repainted the white trim and kitchen cabinets so they looked like new.

Depersonalize – We depersonalized, taking down family photos and anything that would take buyer’s attention away from examination of the house.

Professional Photos – We had excellent photos taken by a professional, as opposed to doing them ourselves or having our Realtor do it. We got a lot of comments about how nice they were.

These things got lots of people in the door, and once they were there they typically liked what they saw. We helped this along by turning on all the lights, keeping the spaces cleaned and clear, having fresh flowers around, etc.

We did have difficulty figuring out what to do about a few key items, given that it was winter. But in the end we figured it out. (See our tips for winter home staging.)

Since we have a child, we kept him happy – and the toys in check – by letting him play as he liked in his room. We regularly rounded up toys found elsewhere in the house and deposited them in there so the house was always in order. People seemed understanding that a child’s room would be a bit messy and full of toys, whereas it wouldn’t have been good for the whole house to be that way.

We kept showing the house after the offers had come in, until the point contingencies were cleared and we knew the sale would go through.  Even though we only showed the house for a couple weeks in total it was a challenge. Hats off to anyone who has to do this with their family for months on end. I can’t imagine what a toll that takes!