A little under three months ago, we listed our home in Wisconsin. As with all things, once, I have done something, I proclaim myself an expert and give unsolicited advice to anyone looking. 👸🏼
Ha. Just kidding.
But, I do like to share some of my own personal tips based on my own
Today’s nuggets of knowledge are all about trying to stay sane during the exhausting and
sometimes annoying process of selling your home! 👩🏫
Clean Before You Even List the Place. We listed our house the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was clean enough for the realtor to take a peek around and grab a few photos (we would move random personal items like photos & such as she moved through the house with her camera.) But the real estate market is muy caliente right now. Meaning most homes don’t sit for very long at all, let alone without minimal activity shortly after listing. Thanksgiving was obviously a day where people were too busy eating (or shopping, apparently) to be requesting showings, thank God. But we did receive a request for 9am the next morning. Which unfortunately for us meant a couple things:
“Are you done eating yet?! I need to wash that dish & make the house look like this holiday never happened.”
Basically, once all the hot mess cooking was done, this happily staged scene of holiday & alcoholic bliss turned into a frenzy of Anthony down in the basement finishing the last few items on his punch list & me running around the house packing away all our photos, making sure every room was spotless without a single strand of dog hair nor evidence that we ever lived there. Anthony’s brother had a relaxing evening scrolling through social media though, so at least someone was doing Thanksgiving right.
So, while the house was clean when we listed, it wasn’t showing clean. So I definitely recommend having that all in ship shape in anticipation of the flood of showings you’ll receive once that new listing hits the market!
Do Your Research & Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for the Price You Want. Anthony’s an architect. His family is in real estate. I have small obsession with the industry myself. So Anthony & I were thankfully armed with info coming from all sides. Anthony knew what kind of value had been added to our house (we purchased it as a foreclosure three years earlier) with the work done, he knew the price he wanted, and then his dad told us to take what we thought it was worth and add $10k, because you can always lower but you can’t add. We do suspect our realtor was a little green too, since she did some research and gave a very by-the-book suggested starting price. It was $10k lower than what we were thinking, and $20k lower than what we ended up getting for the house. So, not to say the real estate agent is going to give you a bad price nor that you can’t trust the number they give you. But you know if it’s not what you were thinking. Within reason, of course. Obviously you can’t list your house for $1,000,000 just because you want to. 😂
You Don’t HAVE to Counter Offer. Now of course I don’t recommend not counter-offering if the offer isn’t what you were hoping for. In our particular situation, we had some nerves since we were not only heading into winter, but we were leaving the state in a handful of weeks, whether we sold the place yet or not. Not wanting to worry about leaving in on the market through winter and without us living in it, we did accept our first offer without countering. It was full asking, but they did ask for a pretty hefty closing credit (where we cover their closing costs so that they don’t have to bring that cash to the closing table). In the moment it felt like they were asking a lot and that we weren’t actually getting full-asking. Even Anthony’s parents were kind of “wait though… what?” when we said we never countered, because I think more often than not, everyone counters. Our buyers were first-time buyers and seemed kind of skittish, so we were hesitant to scare them off with a counter, because in our situation, a quick sale was better than a top dollar sale. Luckily for us the closing didn’t cost as much as was budgeted for it, and so we ended up getting part of that credit back, which was an amazing surprise! So, if you’re nervous about your buyer walking, or pressed for time, not countering isn’t always a giant mistake!
Now these aren’t exactly pearls of wisdom, but just what I learned from the whole frustrating process. In the end it’ll all work out. Just remember to stay ahead of the showings, and that your realtor works for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for something if you need it. I kind of bit my tongue a little and wish I hadn’t. Happy selling!
And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the stress vortex that is buying a home… but that’s a story for another day. But if you ask me, of the two ends of real estate, that is the one that would sooner land me in the loony bin. 😂