Dudes. Seriously, getting a house ready to put on the market is A LOT of work. I mean, I have moved before and had to clean and all that stuff. But nothing like this. This house sure as heck better sell in a jiffy... because it looks pretty fly if I do say so myself!
My Mom and my Almost Mom Carolyn came up this weekend and for just the cost of a nice dinner and drinks, they helped me scour, clean, touch-up, organize and stage the house. We did everything from mulching, painting, shampooing carpets, to buying pretty plants, framing pictures and cleaning windows. The place looks 84 kinds of sharp and hopefully I will be meeting with the Realtor on Thursday to get this thing rolling. Phew! Now, all we need is a buyer! Cross your fingers all- with any luck I will be living in an extended stay hotel suite by late August/September!
I think the best pieces of advice I can offer anyone doing this are the following:
1.) DON'T BUY A HOUSE. I'm not kidding. Just don't do it if you have any inclination that you will be moving soon. ... Okay, I am sort of kidding. Owning a house has been awesome, but the stress of selling one with a PCS looming and a deployed spouse has been, well, not fun. So I say avoid it unless you are lucky enough to homestead at a particular post or have no real intentions of leaving even if PCS orders do come down.
2.) Get some help when you go to clean/detail it for sale... not only is it a lot of work, but it helps to have an outside perspective to edit/purge your personal items and stage the rooms you have done your way. I can't stress this one enough... my Mom and Carolyn were able to help out tremendously by telling me to can certain items, bring out others and rearrange furniture. It looks SO much better and I wouldn't have been able to do that all on my own!
3.) Buy lots of cleaning products and paper towels... I went through more Shaklee Basic H (LOVE THIS STUFF) this weekend than I have in the last year, but I didn't get high on chemical fumes and with the concentrate on hand, I was able to make more and more and more as we needed it. Is this a shameless plug for a great safe and green product? Sort of, but seriously, you are going to need about 4 times more cleaning products/tools/implements than you think you will. No matter how clean you keep your house!
4.) If and when you do paint, be sure to keep all the extras well labeled and on hand. We did a ton of tiny touch ups to the trim and the walls, it looks freshly painted and it was easy peasy because not only did I know where everything was, it was all clearly labeled. Even the stuff from the previous owners! Score!
5.) Keep all of your owner's manuals, warranties, paperwork and brochures pertaining to the house in one central location. Mine is all in one binder clearly labeled by room. It came to me all in one folder, which was awesome, but Mom organized it even better and it looks fantastic. Nothing says "I was a good homeowner! Buy this house!" like these little touches.
Now to get on the housing list at Fort X. Do you think they will let me simply reactivate our previous housing application with only date changes to be made? STOP LAUGHING! It could happen!!! Wish me luck folks! *Okay, y'all were right to laugh. No beans on reactivating applications... must go home and fill out 926 questions with answers. AWESOME.