My family is in the middle of a move right now. Since we really needed this particular house, we had to buy it – despite the fact that my wife recently lost her job. Those two things don’t naturally go together, so we have had to cut every corner we can financially. These tips can help you, too, even if you’re not hurting for cash.
Move as much as you can yourself. We were fortunate enough to have access to our new home, so I spent two months hauling vanloads of small boxes to the new place. Sometimes this was a pain, but it paid off when Moving Day came. The movers only had to carry the big stuff, and that saved us time and money.
Get your family and friends to help. If you get one or two friends to help you move bigger stuff three or four times, you can get a ton of stuff over to the new house. It also works for painting, plumbing or minor repairs. Don’t overburden the same person over and over, and work around their schedule. Just make sure you say yes when they ask for your help.
Small investments can go a long way. You can do some simple things to boost the resale value of your old home. Call in the cleaners, so the house will look and smell nice. Make sure all of the plumbing works properly. If the house is not empty, spruce it up with some flowers. Remember, home buyers don’t want to fix up anything. They just want to move right in. Don’t give them any reasons to knock down the price.
Sell it yourself. I know this isn’t for everyone, but it can save you a lot of money. If you go this route, you have to make a commitment. The house won’t sell itself. You need to advertise in the paper and online. You need to conduct open houses every Sunday if you possibly can. If you’re married, figure out which one of you is the best seller and let that spouse take the lead when potential buyers arrive.
Remember why you bought the home you are selling. In our case, we bought the house because it was four doors away from a park. Now we need to find another family like ours: one with small children who will benefit from being so close to a park. We always consider the park to be our extended backyard, and we will hit that hard as a selling point. That leads into our final point.
Tell everyone you’re selling a house. Talk really is cheap. You never know who wants to buy a house. Often, you’ll talk to someone who knows someone else who is in the market for a house. Even if you’re sick of talking about it, keep it up. When people ask “How’s it going?” say “OK – still trying to sell the house.” You never know when you’ll make that connection that leads to you selling the house.
Then when people ask how you’re doing, you’ll say “Great! We sold the house!”