Whether you really need to sell your home or not, I am going to encourage you to PRETEND. I know that sounds weird but hear me out. I work with people every day that are getting ready to sell, need to sell and/or have been trying to sell their home, so I know what is going on in their world (and sometimes I know too much!). You don't need to know everything I know about this because some things you just don't want to know (trust me on that). But there is one thing I know for sure that is so wonderful and amazing. And recently every time it has come up, I have felt like I'm keeping this secret from the world by not sharing it! So here it is: Right before you put your house on the market it looks fabulous. Absolutely amazing and perfect. And at that time, and maybe only at that time, the homeowner says, "Oh my God, I love our house!"
That's it. That is the secret. Doesn't sound that earth-shattering does it? But it is. If you've lived in your house for a couple of years you know that there is some caulking you need to do. It's been on your to do list for a couple of years now. And you've always wanted to replace the ugly brass light fixture in the front hall. You have a painting that is leaning up against your closet wall that you've been meaning to hang in the kid's room and the chair in the living room would look a lot better in the family room but you just haven't gotten around to moving it yet. Then there is that one piece of chipped trim that has been like that since you bought the house and you still wonder how it happened, but fixing it...just hasn't happened. And the appliances are super old and need to be replaced.
I challenge you to pretend that you got a new job in (insert your fantasy destination) _______ and you are moving in 1 month. You have to get your house on the market and ready for showings in 2 weeks. Spend the next two weeks doing all of those things that you know you would have to do to market it properly. Some of it you can hire out. A handyperson (check out our list of preferred contractors) can get a lot done in 1/2 days work. But most of it you need to take some time and do. With everything else you have going on in your life this may seem silly. But I can't tell you how many times I hear people say, "I always wanted to do that" and "if only I could have enjoyed my house like this longer." You get my point? So many people are buying new appliances for people they don't know. Future homebuyers are going to enjoy the fresh paint and the clean windows. You deserve to live in a home you love. So do it! Do it now!
You wanna know a secret? I create marketing materials for homes that I list and I always put together these homebooks for the buyers so they can have all the information about the home and the neighborhood. Well the home information page has a list of updates that the homeowners have done since they've owned it and usually it is organized by the year of the updates. Well most homes have the majority of the updates in the first year it was purchased and the most recent year (work done in preparation for the sale). Then there are some years that the poor house was neglected. So I'm always on my husband to update something. And I'm nagging him for the simple reason that I want to fill up my homebook page with updates when we are finally ready to sell. Yeah, okay, I nag him because I know things need to be updated and maintained too but secretly I'm thinking of my future homebook! (only slightly pathetic).
If you need more inspiration than that (which would be kind of pathetic) then read this blog post called Low-Stress Ways to Move House and De-Clutter Your Life by Annabel Candy who was guest blogging for one of my FAVORITE blogs, Zen Habits. Now go pretend to sell your house.