19 Things We Learned Trying to Sell Our House

by Kevin on November 1, 2010

If you haven’t been paying attention recently: we’re trying to sell our house and move cities. Here’s 19 things we’ve learned.
  1. We knew buying a home was a big decision. A really big one. Even knowing it was a huge decision I think we underestimated what we were getting into.
  2. We did end up buying at the peak of the market and had planned to stay in our area for quite some time. We thought we were thinking ahead, but the draw of being closer to family is too strong. That’s why we’re trying to move now only 3 years after buying our house.
  3. The real estate industry is designed to nickel and dime you to death.
  4. We will be losing thousands of dollars selling our home.
  5. But we’re glad we’re in a financial position where we won’t go broke doing it. The years of saving and spending less than we earn are paying off, and will continue to do so.
  6. It just sucks that “doing the right thing” (putting down a down payment, paying off our 2nd mortgage early, and making our payments) is still going to result in us losing money.
  7. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. A hard lesson that I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.
  8. We own too much stuff. We decluttered and moved a bunch of stuff into the attic. Walking up the stairs so many times makes your realize you own too much stuff. It makes me want to go live in a one room cabin in the woods.
  9. Staging a house isn’t all that difficult once you move your crap out. Yet so many of the houses we look at online are not staged. Horrible.
  10. Perhaps that is because living in a staged home — and trying to keep it that way — is incredibly difficult.
  11. Especially when you have a dog (like us) or kids (not like us).
  12. To move to a different city, three things need to happen: sell your current house, find a new job for him, find a new job for her.
  13. The odds of that happening all at the same are somewhere between zero and zilch.
  14. That’s where that saving, spending less than you earn, and planning ahead come into play.
  15. There are a lot of bad real estate agents out there. When you meet with agents treat it like an interview. Grill them. If they don’t pass, don’t hire.
  16. Even good real estate agents can take poor photos. I’m paying you thousands in commission… you think you could take a good photo and learn how to use Craigslist.
  17. Seeing someone put a hole in your yard to put up a for sale sign can make the gardener in your cringe.
  18. Especially when you just got the grass to look really good this year.
  19. You then stop worrying about the grass and start worrying about getting an offer.

I’ll share some more next week. Thoughts?

{ 2 trackbacks }

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philip November 1, 2010 at 11:47 am

The real estate industry is designed to nickel and dime you to death.

This is the worst one to me. I hate that they add so much on and take huge chunks for themselves. I really would rather sell by myself than use all of them if I can figure it out when the time comes.

Best of luck, and sucks that it costs money to sell a house.

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff November 1, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I’m sorry it’s being such a pain. Reading your list and keeping in mind how hard buying a house was, I never want to move. Now I just need to convince my husband that our “starter” home is a great retirement home too, lol. 😉

First Gen American November 2, 2010 at 4:15 am

You are right about agents. The good ones are few and far between. Many agents don’t treat the profession seriously. I’ve seen more that treat it like a hobby than a career. The good ones are really incredible though.

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