Wednesday, January 7, 2015

90 Day Home Staging Challenge!

It's that time of year, where most many of us ponder the thought of selling our home. While diets and goal setting are all the buzz, there are plenty of us that are getting ready to pull the trigger on selling our home this Spring. In an effort to ease the debilitating panic attacks and mind boggling to-do lists, we thought it might ease the pain {a little} to do it together! 

So this year, we're kicking off the selling season with a challenge for the serious Home Seller!

Here's where {together} we will create a list of action items, tactics and strategies that can be implemented to best prepare your home for the selling market. No matter where you're "at" with the process of getting your home market ready, there are some basic strategies that can be used to get the ball rolling. Since selling a home in the Spring is prime market time, I'm confident that giving us a goal of the end of March will be the best time. With that said, there is also a lot more competition in the marketplace during that time, so in order to get top dollar, we'll need to get busy!

I don't like daily checklists because I feel like if you get off track for one day, you feel like you're off track for the whole plan. For this reason, I'll be giving 14 weeks of benchmarks to follow. If you get behind, no need to throw in the towel, just jump back in and catch up.

Are you up for it? If so, get ready for a little sweat equity and lots of momentum. Since the 1st week of January was a short one, I'm going to combine week one and week two into one post.

WEEK 1 BENCHMARK: {Getting Everyone On Board}
     Understanding our own motivation to sell can help prepare us in advance for feelings or circumstances that may arise, allowing us to move through the selling process with a greater sense of control. Once the decision to sell has been made, every household member should be on board with getting the house ready for selling. My biggest advice for parents talking to children about selling is this: 
It's all in the delivery!!

If you are a sobbing, hysterical mess when breaking the news about selling the house to the kids, then you will likely get that same response mirrored back to you. If you however, talk about the excitement of the new place and offer up reassurance that you are positively moving through a new chapter of your life, your kids will take cues from you.  Regardless of your situation, there are some things we can do to make transition to a new place/home easier. Here are some ideas:
  • While packing up personal belongings, favorite posters, photos, cards, and keepsakes, create a scrapbook or a memory box to store all of those goodies. 
  • Remember, you're not getting rid of important memorables, you're simply packing them up for safe keeping.
  • Talk about where you'll put them in your new house. What color will your new room be? 

Have a family meeting about this 90 Day Challenge and talk about your goals. Whether you have kids or not, it's important to have a time line. Here are some discussions to have:
  • Ideas on talking with a mortgage lender to find out what you should expect for closing costs. 
  • Talking about a Realtor. Do you know someone? Do you have a friend or family member who sells real estate? 
  • If we sold the house early, do we have somewhere to live until we get in the new place? 
  • What if we find a new house before selling this one?
These seem like basic questions but it's better to discuss them ahead of time instead of someone bumping into the "Yeah, we're selling the house" conversation at the grocery store with a friendly Realtor before discussing with the spouse. 

WEEK 2 BENCHMARK: {Pack Up Un-used items}
Before we get into checklists and mind blowing to-do lists, let's ease into this challenge with some easy packing. Here is your new best friend:

Here is the task: {Should take 3 full days at least. This is just the first run through!}
Step 1: Try to give each area(room) it's own empty container. Some rooms may need more than one (ahem, teenagers) but the goal is to pack up items that you want to keep but will not likely use in the next 6 months. As you go through closets and drawers, purge, and fold and organize. Think Martha Stewart. And keep an ongoing list of things to pick up from the store. ie: new hangers, etc.
Label and place the storage containers in the attic or in a designated area in the garage. If you do not have space for storage, then repeat this task until you do. :) If you must get a storage unit, then go for it, but be smart about what you're PAYING to store. If you are paying $200 per month to store stuff you aren't using- get rid of it! That's $2400 a year! {Hire a housekeeper twice per month instead!}

It's so important to get any unused, extraneous items out of the house before selling.

Step 2: Take all of those empty shopping bags from the holiday, and fill them with items to be donated. ANYTHING you are not keeping, needs to go. If you think you're going to sell it on Craig's list, you have one week. If it's it's not sold- it needs to go. Take those bags to your car as you make trips around the house getting organized. Deliver the bags to donation today or tomorrow.

Step 3: The third bag is for trash. Anything you have left should be only the items you use often. Think you might wear that formal dress to a wedding this summer? Pack it in a container labeled "formalwear" and get it out. 

Staging Tip: Store your flip flops, your bathing suit and any other "get away" items in your suitcase. That way, you'll be ready to go if a quick trip comes up, but in the meantime you can store your suitcase out of way.

That's enough for this week. Keep in mind, small steps make big momentum. Don't get overwhelmed by the papers you uncovered, the laundry piles, the lack of storage space. It will come together.
Let's stick together and share ideas!
We want to know where you got that storage container for $5 or where to buy 20 wooden hangers for under $10. Let us know what's helping your progress! 
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Let's Get Moving!!

Who's With ME???

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