Girl On The Move: Top Tips To Sell Fast

I like to keep things organized. While I don’t mind my kids being kids and with 5 of them that means a lot of “kid” – still when things start to get too cluttered around me I can feel myself starting to tense up.

Do you know what I mean?

I don’t ever want my kids to feel like things were more important than them, yet at the same time I want them to grow up with an appreciation of nice things and the ability to take care of things, especially vintage pieces and antiques. I won’t bubble wrap them. I believe in having those treasures out and using and enjoying them.

That being said, I’m sitting at my kitchen counter this morning, surrounded by dirty dishes, grumpy kids and rambunctious dogs. The maid apparently called in sick today, the dogs need to be walked and I’m not sure what can be done about the bad attitudes on the kids.

You see, our house and their world is upside down right now. We have 3 weeks to be all packed up and out of this house and they aren’t liking the fact that most of their toys are packed and things are changing and I’m not liking the fact that not nearly enough things are packed and I’m nowhere near as ready as I should be by this stage of the game.


I need some fresh coffee.

So I do what I often do when things get stressful. I dream. I design. I teach my kids to dream. And design.

I laid on the bed last night with #3 and showed her a couple pictures of what will be her room in the house we are trying to buy and we talked about what the walls would look like and how the trim needed to be stripped back to its original state (it’s been painted out in the bedrooms) and where we would put her bed and what kind of curtains we would put at the windows.

It was fun. It was relaxing.

This morning reality has struck again and although I would love nothing more than to go outside and stare at the clouds while I dream about what I will do in the kitchen to restore it to it’s original glory…..I can’t. I need to pack this kitchen up first.

So I thought I would delay packing a little longer and share a list of my tips for selling your house fast.

Apparently it worked a little too fast for me this time! 😀

1. Declutter

Case in point are kids bedrooms. In this house they aren’t very large. None of them. Imagine toys all around and extra pieces of furniture that make them appear even smaller. Not smart!

Pack up all the extra toys, stuffed animals, remove any extra pieces of furniture that isn’t needed for day-to-day living. Make the rooms appear as large as possible. The less things you have sitting around, the larger the rooms will appear and the more storage it will appear that your house has. This is especially important if your home is lacking in this area as mine is and many newer constructed homes are.

This is a prime example of what I’m referring to. This particular child is a collector. Her room does not appear like this normally but imagine if I showed this already small room in a cluttered state to potential buyers? Note that I even cleared out most of the contents of her bookcase so it appears streamlined and doesn’t make the eye feel too distracted by all the items.

2. Neutralize spaces

I’m particularly talking about bedrooms and rooms that could need to be used with a specific gender. Now if you are a creative type you would say – buy a couple gallons of paint, lady! I agree.

What might surprise you though is that the majority of people viewing your home won’t consider buying your home if they can’t move their furniture straight in without having to do anything to the rooms at all.

Since I have 2 girls with their own bedrooms, imagine with me that I had their walls in those rooms in various shades of specifically girl colors. Maybe one room was all pink and the other all purple. Someone comes to see my house and decides not to buy it because they happen to have boys and therefore can’t use these rooms because their sons can’t have pink and purple rooms!

I’m not kidding.

If you have gender specific colors in bedrooms it’s a good idea to re-paint to a more neutral tone. Change the decor in the room above and you could easily have a boys room since the walls are simply gray.

3. Depersonalize

Along the same lines as what we were just talking about, depersonalizing your home is HUGE!

Remove all family photos, certificates, awards, trophies, anything specific to a certain person/family.

The reason for this is not anonymity. It’s not that you are not wanting random people to see your children’s pictures (although this is perhaps also a consideration) it is that you want those random people to be able to envision themselves living in your home. Believe it or not, once again, the majority of people cannot imagine themselves living in that space if they glance over and see a family picture on the wall and it isn’t their family. At that point they feel like they are visiting someone and they disconnect.

Call it crazy. Call it whatever you want. Laugh. Make fun. But at the end of the day it makes a huge difference.

Now I am also going to touch on a very sensitive subject related to this. You know those precious collections of yours? Those Rae Dunn pieces? Or maybe those Ironstone pitchers…..vintage flower frogs….whatever it is that you have excessive amounts of. Yup! Pack them up. They’ll make potential buyers jealous.

Say whatever you have to say to yourself to get them packed up. You can leave one or two out as part of your decor but large collections of anything looks like clutter to anyone who doesn’t collect what you collect and that’s not appealing. Besides you will be one step closer to being ready to move to your new home when your current house sells really fast as I know it’s going to!

4. Clean every surface

I’m not kidding. If hubby sits too long in one spot he gets cleaned too.

Clean walls if they are dusty or at the very least, clean any and all smudges and dirty spots. Clean all trim and doors, particularly around doorknobs.

As you clean, it’s a great idea to take a roll of painter’s tape along with you and put a little piece of tape any place you find a spot on a wall or trim that needs some touchup paint. That makes it super easy to come back later on and not miss anything.

If you have carpets, get them cleaned just prior to when you start showing your home. Just the fresh clean smell alone will make a big difference.

5. First impressions are everything

Regardless of whether or not you are an avid gardener, you can make your yard look it’s best. Make sure you have your grass trimmed nicely before showings and your sidewalk and driveway swept free of any grass clippings and debris.

If you have flowerbeds, make sure to have them free of weeds. A fresh layer of mulch doesn’t cost very much but sure makes a difference in curb appeal.

Buying a couple pots or baskets of flowers at a local grocery store or home improvement center also doesn’t cost a whole lot but makes a lovely first impression to your home placed by your front door or steps etc. You don’t have to have a green thumb to place a pot of flowers on a porch.

6. Touch-up paint

Trim is especially important when it comes to things looking fresh. If your paint is especially old you might find that a quick coat of fresh paint is needed because touch-ups might show as a different sheen or color due to wear and fading even if it’s the same paint. It doesn’t take all that long but can make a world of difference.

At the very least, make sure to touch-up any places that paint has been scraped off the walls or trim etc or any place that walls have been patched or nail holes have been filled.

7. Staging

Once you have done the basics, if you are into it, staging can really make a big impact and help to majorly increase the appeal of your home.

What do I mean by staging? It’s those little extras that make a person envision themselves living the sort of life they would like in your home.

It’s the flower petals floating in the bath water.

It’s the beautifully set dining table, all ready to entertain.

It’s the tray on the bed in the Master Bedroom with the chocolate dipped strawberries and the champagne glasses.

It’s the bowl of delicious fruit and plate of cookies on the kitchen counter.

It’s the lights strung on the patio and the candles lit.

You get the idea.

8. Removing pets

Always remove pets from the home along with signs of them before each viewing.

I know this is a major pain but it’s important.

If someone comes to see your home who isn’t a pet lover, any sign of your fur babies around your home will be a major turn off.

I removed the crates, the toys, the food and water bowls and of course the dogs themselves each and every time! And let’s not forget to pick up all the lovely treasures left out in the yard! Nothing would turn off a potential buyer more than accidentally stepping in one of those landmines, even if they do happen to like dogs.

If you have cats, those litter boxes are not very appealing to look at or smell. Yes smell. I don’t care if you just cleaned it and claim to have all sorts of miraculous methods to prevent all odor. As pet owners we become nose blind to our little darlings.

9. Make sure you “click” with your Realtor

This sounds silly but it’s important. There is nothing worse than trying to sell your house and your Realtor is either not working as hard as you are, or is inconsiderate of your needs, or some other issue.

You want someone who you “click” with and who is ready to work their tail off to sell your home – after all that’s how they earn their bread and butter – but is realistic and isn’t just blowing smoke. If your home simply isn’t going to sell for half a million dollars, then you don’t want them to tell you it will, am I right?

While it may hurt your feelings for a couple minutes, you want someone who will come into your home prior to listing and, as an unbiased third party, give you a list of things that need to be addressed pre-listing. Suck it up and do them. Remember this isn’t about you anymore. Do you want your house to sell or not? Who cares if you thought your house was perfect the way that it was. If your Realtor comes in and notices something straight away that you didn’t even think was an issue and feels you should do something about it, chances are the potential buyers will also notice it. Deal with it.

10. Sit back and get ready to count the cash

You did it! Now let your Realtor earn his/her payday and get all rested up because in very short order you are going to be packing up the rest of your things and m-o-v-i-n-g!

In our case with this house we had an accepted offer two days after we started showing the house. I knew it was going to sell fast but to be quite honest I wasn’t thinking it would be quite that fast.

Now I have to put my money where my mouth is and start packing because they also want to move in very quickly. Yikes!

Image by Sofia Iivarinen from Pixabay 

Better grab another cup of coffee and a couple more boxes and get to it!

Until next time….

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  1. I have been there minus the kids. Always in awe of 5 of them. We have our two fur babies and we sold our previous house when we had them.

    Great tips for selling your home. I hope you sell yours quickly. I can understand it’s tough for the kids. You’ll get through this and they will too.


    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Already sold, sweetie. Too fast! lol In the midst of packing everything and we have to be out in a matter of weeks now. It worked too well! hahaha

  2. Wanted to stop back and say thanks for the follow. I look forward to seeing your new home and decorating


    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      My pleasure! I’m sorry to say it’s taken me this long to stop by your blog but I will be a regular visitor now. lol I can’t wait to start sharing the new home and our restoration journey. SO EXCITED!

  3. Julie says:

    Great tips for selling a home quickly! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About, Tara!

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      My pleasure, Julie.

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