How to Sell a Home

They say the most stressful events in life are: losing a spouse, a parent, or child; contracting a life-threatening disease; and moving. We haven't moved yet, but just preparing to sell our home has been ridiculously stressful. I'd say, if you can manage it, live in your current home for the rest of your life. After you die, your children can deal with selling it. This will serve them right for all the pain and anguish they have caused you during your lifetime.

If you refuse to take my advice, keep reading. Because selling a home requires many steps, all of which you will not want to take.

First, you will have to address the issue of clutter. Clutter is all the belongings you have collected throughout your life. This includes all the stuff you bought, everything your friends and relatives gave you, and all the worldly goods you inherited when your parents and grandparents died. You must get rid of all this clutter. Good luck with that, because no one else wants any of your precious possessions.

Once you have purged your home of that awful clutter, you will need to make many repairs. Over the course of decades, a home tends to fall into disrepair. You may not have noticed all the the places where your home is dilapidated. Don't worry, a real estate professional will point out all the defects. This is their job. Although you have lived happily in denial, you must now face the music. This means paying out big bucks to dozens of contractors or working 12 hour days until your body gives out. As I mentioned before, you will not want to choose either option, but no one cares what you want.

Just when you think you might be ready to put your home on the market, a new professional arrives to give you another list of things to do. This person is called a "stager" but she doesn't actually "stage" anything herself. She walks around your home pointing out everything you have done wrong. All your furniture must be moved. For example, my bedroom furniture did not belong there. In fact, it had to be moved to the room furthest away from the bedroom. Go figure. There should be nothing on any surfaces, especially countertops. Be sure to remove all items that indicate humans have lived in this home. If you have more than one item on a shelf, that is what's known as "clutter." See paragraph above referring to "clutter."

Once your home has been "staged," the real fun begins. You must do something known as "deep" cleaning. Obviously this sort of cleaning goes way beyond the shallow and insignificant cleaning you have been doing up to this point in your life. Get ready to take scrubbing to a whole new level. Sounds exciting, but in reality this just means more of those 12 hour days you thought had ended.

Only when you have completed all of the steps listed above will you be ready. Ready for the photographer to come and shoot hundreds of frames of every corner of your now pristine and properly staged home. This may seem intrusive, but just wait. It gets better! Soon total strangers will be parading through your home, peering into your closets and refrigerator, examining and judging all the choices you've made. Who doesn't want that?!?

In case you're thinking, "It can't be that bad," let me remind you that we haven't even discussed the actual MOVE. There is still the hiring of a moving company--just try to find one that doesn't have bad reviews and horror stories all over the Internet--plus the packing, driving two long days with two old dogs crammed into one small car, and praying your furniture arrives by the time you need a bed to sleep on.

If you're not terrified at this point, I'm guessing you must have decided to take my advice. Stay right where you are. Never sell your house. Grow old and die there. It'll be way less painful.


  1. Hi Liz,

    Me again. I am just getting a new floor put in my kitchen and getting the floors refinished and am finding it is stressful. Not as much as moving, but more than I anticipated. Maybe it's better to let the house fall apart around us.


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