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We Sold Our House! + A Master (Printable!!) List of To-Dos before Listing Your House

May 29, 2019  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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This post is part of a paid partnership with Lowe’s. 

We will be moving into a new home next week!! That’s crazy and emotional and exciting to write. When my parents decided to downsize and move from next door, we started casually looking at Zillow at night. It took some time, but we found the perfect home for us and can’t wait to share more in the coming days. We decided to purchase it without a sale contingency on our own home because we figured we could always start working on the new home while we lived in and waited for our current home to sell. Although it’s definitely a seller’s market, our town is very small and rural and the pool of buyers is not as vast. I’ll cut to the end of the story–Our house sold for cash within days. We’re so grateful! We won’t close until next week (which is about 3 weeks faster than we anticipated haha), but the inspection went well and it’s feeling really real now. There will be just a week between the close of our new home and this one.

Surprisingly to some, despite improving our home nearly every day for the past 6 years, I still made a 5 page list of everything I wanted to do before listing our home for sale. I organized it by room and included the exterior as a space, too, and hung it on the fridge so anyone that wanted to help (or said they were bored, haha) could pick a job to do. We gave ourselves a week to complete everything before listing. Luckily there were no major projects (besides converting/staging the office back into a fifth bedroom–see that post here) but I listed every little thing to do for each room, from replacing a lightbulb to laundering the curtains to filling nail holes. I think our home was great before we listed it, but I truly believe that doing these tasks is ultimately what helped our home sell fast. (Ps. the buyer is not a blog reader or online and has no idea who we are, haha).

I combined items that were a part of each room and deleted things that were specific to our house (uhh…find the fireplace remote–check!) and put together a printable checklist that fits on one page! Note–this isn’t necessarily a home staging checklist because it revolves more around cleaning, repairing and organizing and less around specific bedding and paint colors. That’s why I’m calling it a Home Listing Checklist. Even if your home is beautiful–these are things that could use a second look.

Print the house listing prep list pdf here.

We also put together a handy list of the 15 things we used over and over to help you check everything off your list. We got everything from spackle and paint to mirrors and lamps from Lowe’s!1. Purdy 2in angle paint brush
2. Purdy paint roller covers
3. Purdy paint roller frame
4. Mr. Clean magic eraser (I love to use these for cleaning stubborn marks on trim, switch plates and walls!)
5. Greenworks power washer (A seller’s best friend)
6. Windex window cleaner
7. 3M spackling (This is an all in one tool–no need for even a spackle knife!)
8. Valspar door and trim ultra white paint (this is our favorite brand of paint for the money. It gets the job done in less coats. I use this off the shelf white for most of the trim in our house)
9. DAP caulk (make sure it’s paintable and quick dry!)
10. GE Reveal light bulbs (I recommend 2850-3000K for a clean, but not sterile, light. Make sure they are ALL the same color)
11. Filtrete air filter (changing out your air filters will help keep your home cleaner longer, and is something the inspector will check anyway)
12. Scotts mulch (go for a deep, deep brown/black for max contrast)
13. Allen + Roth gold circle mirror
14. Allen + Roth floor lamp
15. Hefty storage tote (I love to pack seasonal clothes and decorations in these. They make storage areas look much nicer and so durable!)

With school out and warmer months ahead, I know this is the high season for moving and I hope this list is helpful to so many of you! We were able to cross everything off on our list in one week before listing and our house has never felt better!

What do you think?

  1. Julie says:

    Would you be able to tell me exactly where you got this light over your table and the shades on it? Also, what are the pendants above the island?

  2. Krystal says:

    Congrats!

    I’m so curious about how it will be for a new owner, not knowing anything about the blog or your followers, now living in a house with all your furnishings/decor that have been oohed and aahed over by so many people for so many years! I know that wouldn’t bother some people, but I’m definitely a private person (with wishful thinking ideas of starting my own old house renovation blog someday, which makes no sense really lol) and I’m just so interested in how a stranger minds living in a space so intimately known to so many people.

  3. Katie says:

    Any chance you made a similar checklist for moving?

  4. steph says:

    Congrats! I kinda don’t know how you can part with your home, but I also kinda can. I’ll miss looking at this home, I think it is just beautiful. But loving your taste most of the time at least I know there are plenty of good posts coming for years to come! I find it soooo interesting that the buyers purchased furniture AND decor!!! Anyway you can do a walk through of once you are packed up?

  5. Lauren says:

    I whole-heartedly second the “clean out storage space” ideas in your list. When we listed our first home (tiny little house), it was not selling for the first few showings. Feedback was the size, in particular. We finally went through and half-emptied closets and took the cookbooks and wine rack off the top of the fridge; feedback immediately changed, and the house sold the next week! I think storing items in “unusual” areas (floor, top of fridge, clothing in non-bedroom closets, etc) subconsciously signals buyers that your lack storage space.

    Also- I’m not listing my house to sell, but may work through this list just as a spring cleaning!!

  6. Jenni Schneider says:

    So glad there is other people in the world like this!! We had our last two home perfect in prep for selling!! But the one we just bought???? So gross! Not only was it a mess, they even took every shred of toilet paper and light bulbs!! Who does that!? And bird poop on the master bedroom walls? That was a first, had to actually laugh at that one!

  7. Gigi says:

    Congratulations, I’m so excited for you! Your first photo in this post of the master bathroom reminded me how you painstakingly picked the location of each tile to ensure the even distribution of color/veining. The amount of love, dedication and attention to every detail in your home is astounding. I can’t wait to see what you do with your new place.

  8. Jennifer Chase says:

    You mentioned that the new owner doesn’t know who you are, do you have plans to tell them about all the changes you have made? I don’t have a blog but organized photos of each location and include before and afters. I envision giving this to them to help illustrate all of the work I have done. It also helps me feel grateful when I can’t afford to make changes to my home at that time.

  9. Amanda says:

    This is wonderful to hear! So happy you were able to sell so quickly. I cannot wait to hear (and see!) your new home and follow along with your journey. We just bought our first house and your home has given me so much inspiration on how I want to decorate our place. ♥️

  10. Lori says:

    So excited to see where this journey takes you! Can you answer, Did you get above listing, are the buyers wanting any of the furnishings? Just want to say, you both did such a great job on this house! It is SO BEAUTIFUL and they are so lucky to call it their new home. Also can you say new or existing house?

  11. Jamie Lawler says:

    What a dream for the new owners (and you!). I can only imagine moving in to such a beautiful space and how special that they can read about how it all came to be on this blog. I am also very selfishly glad to know that you get to start fresh at the space and bring us all along for the new designs. I can’t wait! Here’s to hoping the move goes smoothly.

  12. Okay, I think the next blog post may need to be about how you get all of this done in a week?! And you said you just helped both your parents move and are doing that kitchen renovation at the same time?! Please share your magic!

  13. Whitney says:

    When can we see behind the scenes footage of selling your house and finding your new house?! I am so excited for you guys!

  14. Denise says:

    I love it when you bloggers move, an entire new house of content for me to enjoy!

  15. Anny says:

    Congrats!! We just closed escrow last week on our first house. It was bittersweet for me but we didn’t have the best buyers so it just made me want to end it as quick as possible. They lagged with every process. How long was your list of disclosure with all the updates you had to do? That was daunting for me and I didn’t do nearly as much as you guys :) I can’t wait to watch you work on your new home!

    • Julia says:

      I don’t know if it varies state to state, but here there is about a 6 page form asking questions about all the details/timing/updates or issues with the home. So we just filled that all out.

  16. Heather says:

    You guys!! I am so thrilled for you all. I don’t think you have shared where you are moving to, or did I miss that? Will you be living near family still? I love that the new owners bought all of your furnishings. I am so pumped to see you guys decorate this new home. I know this year had some hardships for you, so it’s so nice to see something really positive and exciting happening for you right now. Although it seems like God has sprinkled a lot of Joy in your life since the fire. I appreciate how much you always share with all of us on IG and on here. Thank you!

  17. Vicki Williams says:

    Can’t wait to see your new home. Hope this posts becuz I usually can’t get it to.

  18. Alana says:

    This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing!

  19. Raha says:

    Did you guys use a realtor to sell this time? Just curious if you will discuss the pros/cons of using one and not since you didn’t use one to sell your last home. So excited for your next home journey!! Congrats!

    • Julia says:

      We did! I think both can be great depending on your emotional well being. This time around, we are coming out of a very stressful time of life with everything that happened with our cabin and it was SO NICE not to have to worry about coordinating showings or negotiating or paperwork. And if you have someone you truly trust (our best friend Caleb Fullmer is a realtor) who can handle all that for you, it makes it a lot less stressful.

  20. Kaytlin says:

    The real question is will you be keeping all of your “Shop our house” up and just start a new house tab?

  21. Christina says:

    Congratulations!!! I love this printable list too. It’s great for spring cleaning! And the fact that you were able to do all this AND a kitchen renovation in a week makes it seem more doable for the rest of us over a couple weekends. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you guys!!!!!!! xoxo

  22. Austin says:

    Congratulations on the sale! And cash, that’s phenomenal! Can’t wait to see the new house.

    While we aren’t selling a home, we did just buy our first home, and this post is equally helpful in thinking through all the little things to do before/once we get into the house! :)

  23. Joanna says:

    I have been wondering if your house had sold yet. My real question is, have you done any packing?! We close on Monday (eek!!!) and I feel like I have been packing for weeks already with some much to do, and our house is significantly smaller than yours. This is not a dig, but genuinely interested if you having any packing/moving/unpacking insight because I need it all right now. So excited about this new journey!

    • Julia says:

      We actually decided to hire packers and movers. We just helped BOTH of our parents move in the last week and we were feeling a little burned out on the task, not to mention, our family definitely is too!

      • Gina says:

        BOTH?! Wow, that’s crazy! I don’t know how you guys do all that you do! Congratulations on the sale of your home, I am excited to see the progression of your next one. And thank you for posting this list as we begin (and dread) the staging process to SELL.

      • Whitney says:

        We just had packers for the first time to move cross country, and wow was it nice! We have a 2 year old and 4 year old, and having the packers/movers do everything in one day really made our last weeks in our home enjoyable and stress-free. We got to keep having friends over and relaxing as much as possible instead of having a house full of boxes and chaos for weeks… you’ll have that enough in your new house haha. Best choice if you can swing it!

    • Katie says:

      The best piece of moving/unpacking advice I ever received was to unpack/set-up and make your bed first! You will be so tired at the end of your move day that last thing you want to do is have to put together/make a bed. I’ve done this for my last 2 moves and was SO thankful to have a made bed to crawl into at the end of the day!! I also prioritize unpacking the coffee maker and mugs, because behind a good first nights sleep in your new place, caffeine is almost just as important! I’m moving next week as well and will 100% do both these things again. Good luck with both your moves!

  24. Mandee says:

    congrats! i knew it’d sell fast! curious if the new buyer was interested in any of your furnishings with the house? first thing comes to mind is the amazing tree print that fits in the spaces perfectly. I dont know how it could look any better, lol.

    Excited to see the new!

    • Julia says:

      They bought EVERYTHING you could see. At, furnishings, decor. Moving in from out of state and we’ll basically just pack or clothes up. Haha

      • Mandee says:

        SOO awesome. Couldn’t have worked out better- thrilled for you guys!

      • Molly says:

        That’s amazing! Makes moving so much easier, and since everything in your house is perfectly tailored, it certainly helps that the furniture is all staying put. The buyers get a perfectly decorated and curated home and you get to start fresh and buy furniture and decor that perfectly suits your new home! Win-win! Congrats!!

      • Maya @ourstarydum says:

        I selfishly find this super exciting because it means you will get all new stuff and I can get lots of new ideas. Amazing!!!

      • Julia says:

        I think over time it will be for the best because very rarely furniture crosses over perfectly to a new house. But! I think we’ll be rocking blow up couches for a little bit. Haha. I don’t want to rush into anything!

      • Maya @ourstarydum says:

        Yeah, I was just wondering what you would do for basic furniture after you move! We’re about to move intercontinentally in two weeks (to the Czech Republic from Israel!) and we are leaving most of our furniture behind, so we’ll be in a similar boat… though luckily the previous owner of our Czech house was kind of a hoarder so we have lots of old stuff to make do with in the meantime. Good luck, and rock those block-up couches!!

      • HANNAH RICHMAN says:

        Lol I started reading this without realizing it was you and I was shocked for a second that someone else was doing the same thing…. ;)

      • Mara SMITH says:

        Everything? Does that include your beds, pots/pans, artwork? The only thing you’re bring to the new house is clothing?

      • Julia says:

        Everything seen. (Minus rugs).

      • Ashley says:

        What about like the piano and kids toys and those likes? Are those considered furnishings and decor?

      • Julia says:

        We specified what we would sell and those things are coming with us.

      • Rachel says:

        The fact they the buyers bought everything is really amazing. Can you consider buying inexpensive furniture for the interim (maybe Walmart will hook you up!) and then donate it once you find your new furniture pieces? Would be a win-win in that you could use actual furniture for the interim and not have to rush it, but then be able to give someone in need some new home furnishings.

      • Julia says:

        That’s an idea too. We’ll see how the first couple days and weeks go. We definitely want to take our time but also want our girls to feel settled quickly.

      • Maggie S says:

        You might be able to rent some furniture. I have a home staging business and I rent all the large pieces (that you would need a mover for). Before i started my business I never knew that you could rent furniture.

  25. Peggy says:

    So glad to hear your house sold! I couldn’t imagine it languishing on the market for too long!
    I’m just curious about one thing: do the buyers know the house they’re buying is a very well known and popular houseblog house? I just wonder if that would bother some potential buyers.
    I’m looking forward to seeing your new house and the great things you’ll do with it.

  26. Maya @ourstarydum says:

    Congratulations!! I can’t wait to see pictures of the new house!!

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