Before I got into watching HGTV, I thought basically all you had to do to sell a house is tidy up a bit, and throw it on the market. From touring other houses, it’s fairly obvious that a lot of people out there think this, too.
But hours and hours of watching the Property Brothers and talking with realtor friends have vanished that notion. Instead, getting a house ready for market is a long and tedious project.
First, purge. Purge the closets of clothes, leaving the minimal amount of clothing you can get by on so the closet looks as big and airy as possible. Stuff approximately 20 pairs of breeches of varying ages into a tupperware and vow you’ll go through it later. Purge the garage of leftover yard supplies, but tidily stack those future chevron jump supplies in the corner. Be prepared for the SO to question the number of saddle pads you own. Grudgingly throw away the rattiest, ill-fitting pad you have in front of him then squirrel away the rest in another ambiguous tupperware. The purge process will also be an excellent time to discover last year’s blankets that you meant to wash. Take them to the cleaners- you don’t want potential buyers to confuse eau de horse with rotting dead body.
Next, put away all the photos. Yes, that means every show photo, no matter how badass you look running cross country, riding some spirited stallion through the water like Xena astride an aqua nymph. Trust me, your buyers don’t care. In fact, they may even think you’re weird.
Question all the foxhunting artwork around the house. Ask your realtor if it can leave it up or if it will freak people out. Luckily, your realtor is also
a crazy horse people an equestrian and says leave it.
Purge again. Trust me, you didn’t throw away everything you could. Come across that Waterford Full Cheek you thought you returned ages ago. Use this opportunity to hide every evidence of pets. Hide the dog toys under innocent looking towels in a basket. Move the enormous dog bed to a hidden spot in garage, and place cat food and cat beds in the attic. Move litter boxes to a convenient place near a doorway where you can put them in your car when prospective buyers come.
That’s right, you’re going to take your cats and their shit with you every time a potential buyer comes to your house. Welcome to the cray.
Now you can clean. Get down on those knees and scrub around every toilet, windex every remnant of dog snot off the windows, deep clean every red wine stain from the carpet. Lament the fact that the last time you put that much effort into cleaning it was your tack, for a recognized show, which sounds way more fun right now.
Then put your house on the market fast, because everyone knows ain’t nothin gonna stay clean for long.
Feel vindicated when 24 hours later you accept an offer, and pour yourself a glass of wine and toast yourself. You done good.