7 Tips for Making Your Home Sell-Ready: Forbes Edition

Posted in: I'm Moving, Buying & Selling a Home


Don't Let Them See This!!

Don’t Let Them See This!!

What day is today?

No this is not a trick question. But for purposes of this post you must not answer like an eager, bright young elementary school child but rather like a soon-to-be-frazzled moving industry pro.

Give up?

Today – the day after Memorial Day – is known in the moving industry as Crazy Tuesday. Particularly in the self-storage realm this is the day the busy summer moving season kicks in like the roar of a diesel truck. Summer is the popular choice for moving because the kids are out of school and no one wants to move in a snowstorm. And so we stand ready, Gatorade in hand.

With the moving season comes a plethora of information on how to plan your move, how to smooth out your move and how not to get scammed when moving. Today, before the phones light up, we take a moment to pass on a few tips on a different topic: how to get your home ‘move-ready.’ We find 7 Helpful Tips in this article from Forbes but feel compelled to add a few options that are more realistic for most of us because the Forbes audience, it seems, has a lot of collective free time and disposable income. (Also checkout our post on staging and photographing your home to sell it quickly.)

Tip 1: Host a Pre-Listing Party.

To get your friends’ opinions on what they would fix or change before you offer your house to the buying market, they reason. We say great, now ask those same friends who are munching on your tortilla chips and three-bean salsa to help you since their ideas are so fantastic.

Tip 2: Consult with a Great Agent.

This to get more expertise on what to fix or not. What Forbes remains silent about is how to actually find a great agent. Our solution: call three realtors after office hours and leave messages, and go with the second one who returns your call. The first one will be too eager to be honest, the third one too busy to give you clear-headed advice. If the second shows up and hands you his or her business card before bothering to shake your hand tell them you’ve come down with the whooping cough, then send them away and try again in the evening.

Tip 3: De-Clutter.

Our Forbes expert tells us to get someone to plop a portable storage unit in your driveway, then box up and move out all the crap in your closets, all the books on your shelves and all the furniture you’ve been telling yourself needs to be sold, donated or burned. This to make your home look less cramped and more enticing to the prospective buyer. Good advice, though if you serve your friends a little beer or wine at your pre-listing party you might be able to convince them to take some of that unwanted stuff home with them – an advance thank-you for helping you re-grout the bathtub or put in a ceiling fan or whatever they suggested you do.

Tip 4: Clean Out the Garage.

Yes, take advantage of all that free time you’ll have in the lead-up to your move. Who needs sleep anyway? If you choose to try to tackle this beast, ask the guys who drank the most beer at your pre-listing party to help you. Promise them more beer.

Tip 5: Think Neutral.

Our Forbes freelance writer suggests painting everything a variation of white, turning your home into a hospital ward. “You want future owners to be dreaming of picking out paint — not how to get rid of not-right-for-them color decisions,” we are told. But unless your prospective buyer is carrying a framed, stitched Home Sweet Hospital Ward bit of décor in one hand he or she is going to be painting those eggshell walls anyway. Focus on fixing the hole in the drywall and getting rid of that musty odor in the basement instead.

Tip 6 (aka Tip 1 #2, looks like Forbes’ proofreader is on vacation): Grout, tile, and natural stone restoration.

“On a dime,” they say. Yes, pay phones and postage stamps used to be a dime too. Either way, upping your home’s spiffiness factor is a good idea. Incorporate a little extra elbow grease into your post-pre-listing party clean-up and see where you stand.

 Tip 7 (aka Tip 2 #2): Make those hardwood floors spiffy.

Get the kids and the pets out of the house and redo those floors. Then put old tennis balls on the feet of all the furniture… and the pets… and all your prospective buyers and their agents when they come by. Keep those floors looking good until it sells – after which point the movers can come in and start dragging your furniture out the door.

Which leads us to One Final Tip: Find a great moving company to take care of you.

Unlike with the search for a Realtor, we know exactly where to find the perfect mover. We couldn’t find an easy way to do it online, so we built this.

Happy Crazy Tuesday everyone!

*Bonus Tip: From Virginia Real Estate Pro, Gina Tufano


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