It took so much saving, effort, and love to get you into your first house. However, as time passes and the family’s needs change, the term “starter house” seems to speak to you differently. If it’s time for you to upgrade and find something that fits you a little better, you might not have a clue where to start. Never fear, there have been plenty of people in your shoes before, and there will continue to be after you. Take these simple steps when selling your first home and you will be in pretty good shape when all is said and done.
If your gut instinct is to hand the reins over to someone else and contact a moving agency, that’s totally your prerogative. Moving agencies get your entire move under control, from finding you a selling agent to packing your stuff. They make the process simple and stress-free, so that all you need to do is kick your feet up and watch your items disappear into boxes and into the moving truck.
If, however, you would rather handle the move the old-fashioned way, that’s certainly an option as well. Getting organized means getting the ball rolling; there are people to contact, decisions to make. Some helpful places to start might be:
- Find a selling agent to work with you. This is the person who will list your house and advertise it on the market, offering home showings and tours to prospective buyers.
- Get your financing together. Contact a loan officer, figure out what debts you need to pay off, and work on your credit score.
- Think about where you’d like to move and look at the cost of living there. Can you even afford to move where you want right this moment, or is there still some work to be done?
The more work you put into your house, the better the payoff will be when you decide to sell. Think about it: Would you be more willing to choose the dated house, or the one with fresh paint and modern updates? Take a good, hard look at your home and try and prioritize what needs to be fixed. Certain updates pack a bigger punch than others; here are some that buyers love to see:
- Updated bathrooms and kitchens. Are these the most expensive rooms in the house? Yes. Are they the rooms that buyers get the most excited about? Also yes! Taking the time and the money to get these rooms fixed with modern appliances, plumbing options, and flooring can make a huge difference in whether or not someone decides to choose your house.
- Paint and floors. A fresh coat of paint is one of the cheapest, quickest ways to transform a room, and new flooring is simply the icing on the cake. Old, musty carpet is gross and unsanitary, whereas hardwood, tile, or laminate makes a room look clean and fresh and helps it to flow better.
- Get your yard in order. Seriously, mow the lawn and trim the hedges. Spray the weed killer on the cracks in the pavement and get everything under control. Curb appeal is a massive aspect of the homebuying process; homeowners often get a sense of whether or not they will like the house based on its curb appeal alone.
Declutter and Depersonalize
This is the saddest part about leaving your first house: Making it a blank slate. Over the years you and your family have turned that piece of property into a home, and now you need to take away all the things that make it feel that way. Regardless, it’s for the better; prospective buyers have a difficult time seeing past your wedding photos and Care Bears collection. Take photos off the walls, remove anything that might be considered offensive or upsetting, and turn the home into a house once again. It’s not easy, but if it helps you get into your new house, then it’s for a good cause.
Find Your Dream Home
Now that you’re on the road to selling your first house, it’s time to start looking seriously for the next one. It’s bittersweet to leave the first place you were able to call your home, but life is long. Hold onto your memories and march forward, ready to make new ones in another place.