I just sold my home in this awful market and I believe how I went about making that happen will benefit you. I made a lot of mistakes along with the things I did right - you'll  benefit from what I learned, and hopefully will end up where you want to be, when you want to be there, and without nerve damage in your hands. For me two out of three was pretty good.

You may already have your house on the market, you may already have a place you want to move to, you may just be toying with the idea of selling - what I am getting at is that you may or may not be prepared. I was not. At all. I had no thoughts of selling and moving, only dreams of doing so about 5 years down the road when my son graduated from high school.... then, an opportunity presented itself and I started to research places to move to.

1 week later I saw a photo of a house for sale as I was putting the WSJ into the recycle bin, 1 hour later I was on the phone to the real estate agent for that house. Let's call her Sally, and 2 days later I was in SC, standing in that very house.

But, for the 2 days before I got there I looked at all the homes that were online in that area and so I was pretty familliar with what was available. When the house I went up to see turned out to be too small for me, Sally suggested another house, but being that I had done my homework, I told her that I had seen that particular house online, and that I didn't want to waste her time because there was no way in the world I would ever buy that home - the home I am now sitting in while I write this 'ible. How I got from there to here is what I want to share.

Step 1: Step 1 - Supplies

  • Almost mandatory - a gas powered pressure washer. This may be the best $400 investment you make in selling your home. I found mine on Craig's List for $250 but Home Depot has the same one for $399. If you read the instructions and take care of the thing it will last.
  • Leaf blower (mine had a vacuum too). I highly, highly recommend Stihl. The first leaf blower I bought from Home Depot lasted for 20 minutes and died. The Stihl, which I went and bought the next day, is more powerful, has variable speeds, is quieter (ha ha just kidding), is a joy to start up, and it came with an instruction book written by someone who was not translating English from another language, it was actually readable. Best of all it came with safety glasses - how cool is that?
  • Ear protection - I am so serious here, you will be using that pressure washer and leaf blower everyday for awhile. Save your hearing. What? I said SAVE YOUR HEARING!
  • Primer - yes you will be painting. I used Glidden from Home Depot and was very satisfied. 
  • Good paint in a high-gloss or semi-gloss, don't use flat paint, it's hard to clean, it's not shiny and pretty. Flat paint is great at covering imperfections, if you don't have imperfections then there is no reason to use a paint that has no sheen and looks dull - because it is dull. Humor me here and at least get eggshell. I was very happy with Home Depot's color matching and their paint. I think you have to use two coats no matter what paint you use - not because it might not cover well but there are always going to be spots, streaks, whole sections that you missed on the first go around.
  • Nice small flexible metal scraper, spackle, a case of paintable caulk in white, and a caulking gun.
  • A friend who's taste you admire.
<p>really very informative</p>
Thank you. I wish all that I know would help me sell my present home.
This was very detailed and informative. I will definitely be saving it for future reference!
Thank you!
Wow, I'd like to see more of the place that convinced you to move, though you did make a pretty penny off the place. Nice instructable too. I'll have to keep your points in mind when it comes time to move my family to a bigger place.
No, I lost a ton of money, read the last paragraph, but at least I sold it. Thank you for your comment, I do hope you will follow through with the 'ible when it's your time to move.
Oh yeah. From the amount you got and considering the different cost of living I just thought, man you could buy any place you wanted in SC. I always forget that unless you've paid off your house the money you make on the sale goes to pay off the remainder on the mortgage..
Fantastic! I live on the other side of the planet in Tasmania in a VERY slow market and I'm about to put my unit on the market, which has no street appeal at all, but has great space inside. Making a separate website from the run-of-the-mill and generic real estate sites is a great idea because that way I can highlight what I see as the best characteristics of my home. I wouldn't have thought of that. The professional photographer is a wonderful idea, too. <br> <br>Thanks for a truly inspiring ible! <br> <br>P.S. I have only a small bone to pick and that's the fact that your realtor didn't know the difference between dual and duel when writing up your brochure! :-)
That is funny about the duel and dual - I didn't catch that. Maybe bad spelling is endemic of realtors because the closing agent wrote on the selling contract &quot;to clothes in 30 days&quot;. <br><br>I'm glad to have helped, thank you for writing and good luck with your place!
Thanks for much for the walk through! We are hoping to list our house in the spring - my first time selling. Inspiring and motivating. Well done. You obviously posted it just for my us. :)
I did, I did!
What a great read! We are doing up a place in Western Australia and you have just inspired me just when I was beginning to flag. Great pics and your 'before' and 'afters' really add to the story. Thank you, Ninzerbean.
Oh I'm glad I inspired you, it seemed daunting sometimes but every day I would go to bed with stuff crossed off my lists - that felt good.
As ALWAYS!! you are the best!! Amazing tutorial. Thanks so much. I thought since moving 13 times I had it down pat...nope, you showed me otherwise. Hugs to you, and Happy New Year.
Happy New Year to you Porcupinemamma! Thank you.
Thank you for this very nice guide
You are very welcome, lots of effort with lots of gain should be shared, or maybe I am just opinionated enough to think my way was why it sold.
&quot;It was like having a fire without the fire.&quot; <br> <br>Did you forget the word &quot;sale&quot; as in &quot;fire sale&quot;?
No.... I meant like loosing everything I owned but without a fire. A chance to really start over.
OMG, I absolutely think you are 100% spot on when you said get a professional photographer! Had I seen these pictures while looking for a house (and I've looked at literally thousands in the hopes of selling mine in the next yr. or two) I would have thought, they must want a fortune for this place! It just screams luxury, especially the night time shots!! I, from the bottom of my heart want to thank you for this ible. I've heard a lot of different advise on &quot;staging&quot; a home but this made the best sense! I own another house that I've had on the market for a couple of years now and wish I could do something like this ( unoccupied &amp; not in a great part of town) but I will DEFINATELY do this with my house!! Thanks again, Lisa
You are ever so welcome and thank you for writing and best of luck to you. Those night time shots are so cool.
as i read, i started to make a list of what to do to my Phoenix, AZ house. <br>so far i am at 30 items, and growing. <br>and a second list of what to bring to finnish the first list <br> <br>FYI, the catus flower is a Hedgehog. the real bloom is so brite it blinds your eyes when in the full sun.
Keep your lists even after the stuff is crossed off - it makes an amazing journal of what you accomplished. Beautiful hedgehogs!
Really great stuff here, it's common sense but in a nice formula. 'i'll be selling my house soon so this is right up my street. Thanks a mill, and best of luck in your new place.
Thank you, it's really different here - this morning a giant otter ran across my front yard!
As a professional photographer I am so very glad you say to use a Professional real estate photographer. Study after study have shown homes that are professionally photographed sell quicker and for more money. So the cost of using a professional is quicky recovered. And in some places the cost is a tax write-off (ask your CPA). <br> <br>Terry Thomas... <br>the photographer <br>Atlanta, Georgia USA <br>http://www.TerryThomasPhotos.com <br>
Thank you for taking the time and effort to write this instructable.
My pleasure, thanks for writing.
Ouch! My back is experiencing sympathy pains after reading this. Both doing all the work to the home and then making time to compose this step by step plan was quite a feat! All really strong points! The idea of making the worst part of your house one of the best parts is a testament to your tenacity! The before and after shots are awesome. You provided some really valid points that everyone who's selling ought to know about -- like no open houses, no pano's and hiring a pro to capture the best shots of your home! Thank you for this!
You are ever so welcome! You just reminded me of how very sore my back was in the beginning. As I was dragging over 300 bags of mulch around I kept in mind what my brother told me &quot;concentrate on your core&quot;, so I would tighten my stomach muscles, and then pretty soon my back stopped hurting, and I got into pretty great shape as an added benefit.
Wow, this is amazingly thorough! <br />It brings back (suppressed) memories of doing the same to my previous house. What a ton of work you put into it. Looks fantastic. <br /> <br />The thing this taught me: do the same kind of work IMMEDIATELY upon moving into your new house so you get to enjoy it too!
Boy are you not kidding.
greatly elaborated.. i read each step! :) <br>thanks for sharing.. <br>What is the material of your new house, oh i mean home ? <br>looks interesting, i never seen it before..
Wood siding I guess, some of the 'wood' is really called 'hardy board', it's made of a cement type of substance. I was told that the wood that is real wood is cedar. Thank you!
meant to ask, could you please explain how you hid the outside wires?
I just cut them with wire cutters and used a chisel and hammer to get the screws off and patched them. I didn't have a land line phone anymore, nor cable. It seemed that phone company or cable company who did work on the house over the years left the wires from the previous work, they were everywhere!
What a fabulous 'ible, Ninzerbean! My son wants to sell his townhouse in Dallas now that he's living in Atlanta and this &quot;guidebook&quot; filled with info will make the task MUCH easier for him, I'm sure, with its step-by-step plan! And it has even provided me with some food for thought as I do some redecorating at my condo. Thanks!!
Wow, thank you! I'm sure hoping this helps a lot of people.

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Bio: I love to stay home as much as as I love to travel, I've been to 49 states (missing Alaska) and 31 countries. I ... More »
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