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How to Get Your House Ready to Sell

It might sound impossible, making a home sale-ready with kids under foot. It’s not. Keely Flynn, the super mom of three behind tidyish.com, got it done quickly recently after 11 years in her house. Within 24 hours she had a bidding war on her home by following a few of her own pieces of advice. We convinced her to share them.

Find a realtor.

The realtor should know how to communicate with you and understands your end goal.

Be realistic.

Think about about what you can afford to have done for you. Can you paint or do you have to hire it done? While Flynn painted the walls to get rid of the colorful world she created in the space, she needed to hire experts to fix places in sheetrock.

Look at everything.

Decide if repairs are in the budget or can be recouped in the sale. Fresh paint and fresh flowers, yes. The $20,000 new landscaping? Probably not.

Declutter, declutter, declutter.

“That’s not even half the battle, it’s three quarters of the battle,” Flynn says. Take everything off the shelves and counters and only put back what is immediately functional and helps make your house appear as appealing as a great Airbnb or hotel on the beach. “You want your house to feel breezy,” Flynn says. “When you walk in, what does that feel like? Are you are struck by the essence?”

Quiet the space.

Go neutral with grays and beiges and remove the personal stuff, no matter how painful it might feel. “You want them to walk in to immediately see themselves,” she says.

Make sure to hire a great photographer.

It’s usually something the Realtor might set up but “it’s definitely something to double down on.” Not only will the photos highlight the best of your space in great lighting, they will be a keepsake for the kids down the road.


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This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s June 2020 magazine. Read the rest of the issue here.

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