Selling your house? Moving? It all takes planning

By Barb Swadburg

Buying a new home and selling your old one? It is a process that can send even the heartiest soul into a state of nervous indigestion.

Take heart. The adage that planning makes perfect really fits this process.

With today’s tight real estate market, you might start with the idea that you need some concept of where your next house will be located.

Then you will need a plan of action, and that may need to include professional help. Professional help is available every step of the way, from decluttering to boxing, from furniture moving to painting and decorating as well as from real estate agents to stagers. Help is out there waiting for your call. No matter whether you use professional services or go it alone, please allow yourself the luxury that planning provides.

Let us start with the idea that you know where you are going. Have you decided to move to Hawaii, or into the next block? Knowing where you are going can help you decide what you want to take with you.

Remember, moving is a process, and part of that process is deciding what will fit in your new space and lifestyle. The plan for decluttering and downsizing is now before you. This task will call for you to take the memories and get rid of the junk.

This might be the right time for you to call in the troops to help you with triaging. Friends, neighbors and kids might be available, or you might wisely decide to call in a professional downsizer. Oh, and do not forget, the decluttering plan extends to the attic and the basement as well as to the garage.

You know where you are going, and you have decluttered. Now let us look at the house and decide what you can do to start the process of getting it ready for sale.

Your goal is to decide what needs to be done to show off your house in its best light. Here is where a professional housing stager may tell you to start:

All minor repairs that affect the feel of the quality of your home need to be addressed. Missing doorknobs, handles and hardware need to be replaced or repaired and all leaky anything, from the roof to the basement, must stop leaking.


Clean, clean, clean! This should be at the top of your list. Part of cleaning is organizing those closets and drawers and neutralizing pet and cooking odors. No short cuts in this area, and a word to the wise: Potpourri is not your friend!

As you are organizing your closets, kitchen and bathrooms, remember that buyers are concerned with where they can store their stuff. So, your goal is to let the storage space be visible. A buyer needs to see the spaces and believe that they fit his or her living needs.

Wow, shoulders back and chest out!

Now, at this point you really can be proud of yourself. You have done a lot of the heavy lifting to start yourself on the road to an effective housing transition.

Next, you need to decide whether you want to do “for sale by owner” and start your search for a new home yourselves or if you will engage a real estate agent to sell your home and help you to find your next one.

With all these tasks completed, you are now well on your way to a successful selling and moving experience.

Barb Swadburg lives in St. Anthony Park and is a real estate agent for Lynden Realty.

Leave a Reply