If you’ve read my recent post about the toughest 30 days of my life, you’ll know that we’re moving to Hawaii shortly, and with a huge move like that comes a ton of priorities that need to be checked off the list.
Aside from arranging a move of practically our entire life overseas, I racked my brain thinking of what I’d do with my house. Should I rent? Should I sell? What happens if I rent it out and there’s an issue with the tenant? Would I be willing to fly thousands of miles back and forth? What happens if I can’t sell the house in time? Should I prepare to come out of pocket to pay the mortgage until it sells? I was getting stressed out just thinking about it.
Yea, I’ve thought about this a lot. We decided the best route for us was to sell the house.
My neighbor was also selling his home, but his had been on the market for over 8 months, I couldn’t imagine paying for 8 months of mortgage while still having to pay the high prices for a Hawaii home.
My search began online, I read review…after review…after review on relators in the area. After narrowing it down, I made the calls and had them stop by. I didn’t mention it to them, but I was looking for a few specific things:
- Years of experience
- Online reviews (read these carefully, some bad reviews are just minor complaints)
- Number of homes sold in the last year
- Average days listings stay active
- Timeliness of arrival
- Presentation (how in depth? how knowledgable?)
- Photography of their latest listings (photos bring potential buyers)
These are just a few things I took note of, and to be honest, it wasn’t that difficult of a choice. I went with the only realtor that took the time to walk room to room with us and tell us how to stage the furniture, what items we should take out and what should stay, oh, and their photographer wasn’t bad either.
The true secret:
Tap into your inner minimalist. Simple as that.
I get that it’s tough to pinpoint when exactly to sell and you can’t really tell how long your home will stay on the market, but in our case, I think the minimalist approach made the difference. As you can tell, I didn’t go full-monk and give up all my wordly possessions, we still have a few things around the house.
Literally just cleaning and decluttering the place made the difference.
Hide or get rid of anything that resembles clutter. Search online or take a weekend and go look at some model homes in your area, notice they only display the essentials. By strategically placing a few items around the home, I honestly believe we gave the buyers a sense of a true home feeling versus walking into an empty or cluttered house.
In the end, our home went live on the market on a Tuesday morning, we had three showings and an offer by Thursday evening.
Many thanks to my wife for twisting my arm into accepting minimalism, to our realtor for the excellent recommendations and showings, and to the future homeowners, you’re getting a great home and you’ve made our crazy transition to Hawaii a little less hectic.