How To Make Moving Easy….No, Really!
My husband and I recently sold our home and moved to our “lake house,” a property we’ve owned for many years.
Although moves can be stressful, our experience was fast and easy, which was our intention. Our home went on the market May 30, we had a full-price offer within days and the closing was July 17th.
In less than seven weeks we cleared 32 years of possessions, emptied and deep cleaned the house. We also fit in a pre-scheduled vacation.
Prior to listing our home, we did a bit of prep work:
- Conducted ongoing clutter clearing.
- Used Good Timing to select a contract date.
- Selected the right real estate agent for ourselves.
- Created curb appeal.
- Did necessary maintenance.
- Space cleared the house and set an intention to attract the new owners.
Contrary to popular belief about what you must do to sell your house, we didn’t repaint the inside nor did we do any staging. Our house had the original windows and boiler. We wrote a lengthy disclosure and priced accordingly. Then we continued to clear things out and proceeded to move. Our buyers got a great house at a very good value. In return, we had a fast and easy sale. It was flawless.
Our real estate agent said I should teach a course on how to sell a home. At the closing the representative for the title company said that this was his easier closing ever. The process can be simple and easy if you expect it and allow it.
Here Are the Steps We Took:
1. Clutter Clearing
Clutter is anything you don’t use or love. We had a lot of storage in our house: an attic, basement, a two-car garage, a garden shed and lots of closet space throughout the house. The downside of having a lot of space is that it fills up!
About 18 months ago I began to remove at least one extra bag of items from our house each week. I focused on things that were mine or “common” items for the
family. I began with the easy things and left the harder decisions for later. When the initial hard items moved to the top, the decisions were easy.
I often hear many people complain about other family members’ clutter. The truth is, each of us typically has more than enough items to release before having time to help others remove their excess. When you focus on your things, others family members will soon begin to do theirs. No prodding is necessary.
2. Good Timing
Madeline Gerwick of Polaris Business Guides provides custom timing for important events. She provided me a specific time to sign our contract with the realtor to list our house for sale. The best time was late at night, about 10:45pm on May 30. The realtor we chose was happy to accommodate us. We prepped the documents in advance and submitted them online at the precise time.
Madeline thought we might get three offers and that it might take three weeks to a few months. We got three offers from the same buyers and we signed the final offer on day nine. The process was fast and smooth.
3. Selecting the Right Agent
We have many friends who are realtors and who would have loved to list our house for sale. For us, it was important to separate business and friendship. Things get complicated when these are mixed. My husband and I needed to be true to ourselves. We established selection criteria and had a friend research the most productive agents that met our criteria. After the first interview, we knew we had the right agent. She worked hard on our behalf and made the process so easy for us. We were on full speed ahead and didn’t hit any speed bumps along the way.
4. Create Curb Appeal
First impressions are lasting. As soon as the snow melted, our landscapers repaired our mailbox, which was hit by a plow late in the season, repaired some broken sprinkler heads, spread fresh mulch over our many gardens and placed stone as a drip edge around the house. I trimmed the shrubs and made sure that none were touching the house. Things grew fast this spring and I had to trim twice.
Over the years our original builders returned periodically to do some updates and maintenance. In early-spring we agreed that we would get together after the snow melted so that they could provide us a “punch list” of what needed to be done prior to placing our house on the market. They did a walk-around one day in early May and provided us a comprehensive proposal at at very fair price. Then they set another job aside and fit us in, which we really appreciated!
The repairs included some cedar siding replacement and painting, power washing and staining our deck, painting the bulkhead, screwing a few upper windows shut (which we disclosed), removing moss from a shed roof and one area of siding, and painting one heater cover. They were relatively minor and the changes freshened the house up quite a bit.
In addition, we also had our septic system pumped and a water filter added at the kitchen sink to remove elevated arsenic.
6. Space Clearing
A few days before putting the house on the market, I space cleared it to help attract the right buyers quickly and easily. Space clearing is a process that releases attachments, blockages and shifts the energy. I removed our attachment to the house and asked the house deva (spirit) to bring in a family that would love the house. They showed up on the second day and were our eventual buyers. They loved the house from the outset.
Our Process From Listing to the Final Purchase and Sale Agreement
Once the house was on the market we had ten showings over three days. Due to the damp spring our basement had some moisture. We had a solution, which we implemented immediately. The basement had a three-day ozone treatment followed by the installation of a humidex, a permanent dehumidifier that continually removes humid air and draws in fresh air from above to replace it. Problem solved.
The home inspection was easy. Our house needed one electrical repair. Water was seeping in from the electrical box. Once we were aware of this, an electrician was recommended to us and within days the problem was solved.
Radon was not a problem. The readings were within the norms.
Our buyers mentioned that a few other items came up on the home inspection and that they would take care of it. We felt that they knew they were getting a very fair deal. A great house at a very reasonable price. In turn, they were easy to work with too.
As we were going back and forth with the purchase and sale offer, my husband mentioned that an outside faucet was not working. He was inclined to leave it be. Fortunately, our real estate agent was present and recommended that we call a plumber and have it fixed. I’m so glad we did! It turns out that there were two leaks: one in the Prosperity gua and one in Partnership. The day the leaks were repaired our buyers submitted a full-priced offer, which we accepted.
The Process From Agreement to the Final Sale
The idea of emptying our house within a month seemed daunting at first. I knew we could do it though. Shortly after signing our agreement, my husband and I put together a plan. We knew we had to clear and clean the house by July 10, since we were leaving for a few days of vacation on July 11. We also knew that the July 4th holiday might limit the days help was available.
We planned to have the house ready for clearing and moving by July 6th and to complete the deep cleaning process by July 10th. Rather than go the yard sale and dumpster route, we chose to give things away and toss out everything that was worn or ready to be retired. The plan worked. People showed up unexpectedly who could use many items we were giving away. In addition, everyone we contacted was ready, able and willing to meet the dates we proposed. This is synchronicity and good fortune at its best.
A few days after returning from vacation, we completed the sale. Everyone was very amicable and pleased with such a smooth transaction.
Reflecting on the Process and Outcome
One approach we consciously took during this process was to focus on getting the job done and only telling people about it on a “need to know” basis. We avoided everyone who might put out negative energy or have doubts about the process being easy. People operate from their own perspective and life experience. Many people take a negative or problem-ridden approach, which we chose to bypass. So we sold our house, moved, and told family and friends about it afterward.
Setting an intention for what you want, taking inspired action and staying focused on the outcome is my recommended and proven approach when it comes to getting important things done. Contact me if you’d like help moving toward one of your important goals. Identifying and removing the obstacles will help you get there more quickly.