**Update** – Our house sold after only 9 days and I think these tips were a big reason why.
It’s official! Our house is on the market!!
Let’s just say it’s been a crazy busy couple months getting it ready. My house is looking better than it has since we moved in. Makes me wonder why we haven’t done some of the work while we lived here.
I guess a big part of it was we were busy raising 5 kids and those kids lead to an accumulation of items (i.e. a mess of toys.) Plus of course there is the matter of the extra costs it takes to fix up a house.
But you know what, it doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact I have 4 frugal ways to get your house ready to sell.
#1 Bring in a Realtor at the Start
This tip does not cost you a cent, but boy is it so helpful, and I’m not saying you have to sign with a realtor right away.
When we first found out we were going to move, my husband and I went through the house and made a list of what we thought needed to be done. In addition, we realized we were going to have to clear out a lot of items (those toys and more) but really didn’t know where to start. That’s where the realtor came in. She came over at the start of the process and told us what should stay, what should go, how to rearrange what we had and what tasks actually needed to be done to make the house “sellable.”
While painting items and fixing some broken items were necessary, we were actually able to cross off some of the items on our to-do list since they really wouldn’t effect selling the house. That alone saved us some money and time. In addition, her tips for how to stage the house provided a great guide for starting to pack things up to put in storage.
#2 Use Coupons for Your Storage
Knowing that we were going to be moving the items in storage across several states, it didn’t make sense to store them in a local storage facility. Instead, we decided to get a Pod. If you are not familiar with Pods Storage, they bring a box to your home (ours was 16 feet) and you fill it up on your own timeline. You can also buy boxes from them that are delivered to your door and are actually a much better price than buying boxes at a home improvement store.
Once the Pod is filled, you can choose to keep the Pod in your own driveway or have them come pick it back up and store it in a temperature controlled storage facility. Since the goal when selling a house is to have your yard and house as clean as possible, we chose having them pick up our Pod. It’s currently being stored in Pittsburgh, but when we are ready to move, they will move it down to Florida for us.
Now, I must say I was very impressed with how reasonable the charge for the Pod was when I first called to reserve it. But then a couple weeks later while buying something else online and checking for an online code, I thought I wonder if there is a coupon for Pod. Sure enough there was and it was a 10% off coupon. I figured I would call and see if they would accept the coupon even though I had already made the reservation. The Pod representative let me know that yes they would definitely accept it and if any one mentions a coupon they are to accept it. Made my day and saved me $167 since the savings was on the transportation portion.
#3 Be Ready to Learn New Things
I am very fortunate to have a husband who is familiar with and good at home repairs. This automatically saved us money. One of our first fix-ups was a new storm door. Home Depot wanted $300 to install it, but he said he could do it himself. Then we refaced our kitchen cabinets and once again he (with assistance from my 15 year old daughter) did it.
The other major job was painting. With the exception of a couple bedrooms, the plan was to paint the whole inside of the house. As all the other work started to progress, I realized there was no way he could get everything done by himself in the timeline we were hoping for. I started to consider hiring a painter to come in and do the work, but didn’t really want to spend the money. So what’s a frugal minded mom to do?
Well that was easy, learn to paint herself. I can now tell you I’m an expert at painting doors since I literally did every door (including closet doors) in our house. Since they were 6 paneled doors they took a bit of patience. I also became really good at painting cupboard trim. I did walls too, but will admit I did not become an expert on cutting in so my husband would do that and I did everything else.
#4 Cut Down on Your Grocery Shopping
It used to be that the store I visited most frequently was Giant Eagle. You could find me there at least once a week. However, since we have started getting the house ready to sell I’ve actually only been there once. Seems my new favorite store is Home Depot. My kids joke that I’ve been more there the last month then I have ever been in there life. They are right too. There were weeks when I was there at least 3 to 4 times. Many times getting paint samples to check out colors.
So why wasn’t I going to Giant Eagle as much anymore? A big part of this was because I had to clear out the clutter to get the house ready to sell. The drawers I used to store my coupons had to be cleared out. (You can check out how I remained frugal without coupons here. hint, hint Aldi saved the day)
Not only were the coupons gone, but I also needed to start clearing out some of my stockpiles. There were two reasons for this. First a couple of the cabinets in the basement that I used to store food in had to go and also I needed to start using the items in my freezer and stockpiles. Especially those liquid items since the moving company won’t move those.
The savings on the grocery bill definitely helped offset some of those expenses at Home Depot. I’m not saying every bit of it, but it definitely helped out.
So that’s it. The four ways I used to be frugal getting our house ready for sale. Do you have any great ideas? I would love to hear them.