First, a quick update. With our pending move, we decided to sell the house. We put our house on the market this past Friday and received multiple offers by the end of open house day on Sunday; we are now under contract. I'm relieved because my biggest fear was having our house sit on the market for a long time.
So everything worked out perfectly, right? Well.....the end result seems to be really good. But, it was a bumpy ride. Having just gone through the selling process, I thought I would share a few lessons learned for those of you that have not sold a home before. For those of you that have, perhaps we can commiserate - or you can add your opinions.
Lesson #1: Don't wait to renovate!
If you're a regular reader, you know we just finished renovating our upstairs bathroom. And, now we're selling. I don't regret it because the updated bathroom made our house more attractive and helped us to sell quickly (so our agent told us). But we will only get to enjoy the benefits of a newly renovated bathroom for a month or two. :(
Lesson #2: Fix the little things - they make a difference.
You would be surprised how easy it is to get used to things not working in your home. For example, the entire time I've lived in this house, our doorbell has not worked. It just was never a priority to get fixed. Well, of course, we had to fix it before the house went on the market and it 30 minutes to fix it. Thirty minutes! When my husband was done, I asked him, "Why didn't we do this sooner?"
Lesson #3: Don't let your design ADD/indecisiveness stop you from moving forward.
I am SO guilty of this. One thing I've learned is that when you sell your home, your home needs to look completed. So, in the interest of getting our house ready for selling, I had to sacrifice my design preference to just complete the room. Get it done! And, if you have time later, go back and play with the aesthetics. You can't afford to have a room that looks unfinished. People want to envision themselves living in the space.
Lesson #4: Farm out work, as necessary to stay on a timeline.
When we first had our upstairs bathroom appraised, the contractor quoted $27K. Yes, that is right - $27K for a bathroom smaller than a jail cell. That really scared us so we agreed we would do the work ourselves. This was a great idea from a financial perspective but it really, really stretched out the project (longer than I even want to admit). Obviously, we should have gotten a second or third opinion.
Well, two weeks before our 'go live' date (house on the market), our realtor said, 'you have to renovate your downstairs bathroom.' With this compressed schedule and our experience, we knew we had to get outside help. We aggressively contacted contractors and told them our guidelines - renovate in less than a week and under $2.5K. It's amazing when you clearly and aggressively spell out your needs, how quickly things move. One highly recommended contractor agreed to do it and he knocked out the work. It was stressful because we constantly monitored progress and he was here sometimes until 9 or 10 at night. But, it got done properly and right before our 'go live' date. It's definitely not my dream bathroom (see above), but it is a huge improvement for our small investment (will post before pictures in a later post).
So there you have it!! Had we known these lessons earlier, I think we would have enjoyed this house more and the selling process would have been smoother. Just sayin'.....:) Stay tuned for pictures of our new place in Vienna!!!