Our Wandering Journey: Putting in the work, setbacks and our path to preparing the house to sell

In the last post we figured out what we actually needed to do to prepare the house for sale.

Now the really hard work began. At the beginning of August 2019 we were about 6 weeks out from our listing day with a much shorter, seemingly manageable list of projects to accomplish. We were still trying to go through all of our things and minimize it all in order to fit our new nomadic and minimalistic lifestyle we were embarking on.

Six weeks sounds like a decent amount of time, but in reality it ended up being only about 4 weeks. You see the house had to be picture ready 5 days or so prior to the listing going live. That meant everything had to be completed both in and outside the house, the house staged, and all of our remaining things hidden from view by then.

All of this while also still working… from home. Yeah the same home we were selling! Needless to say it was like living and working in a disaster zone.

Setbacks and Revelations

We had been focusing on the list our realtors Elizabeth and Melissa had given us. This was invaluable to me as I can get distracted easily and occasionally create more work for myself. Keeping my eye on the prize was as big a challenge as the work to prepare the house was.

Listening to our realtors and Michelle’s sage advice, I conceded and we made the smart move to hire a handyman and a painter in order to make progress quicker. Despite the time it took to set up consults and get estimates, delegating saved us time in the long run, time we really did not have. It worked for a while, until it didn’t.

Painting the entire house

Painting was one of our biggest focus points as we painted every room of the house including the doors! Unfortunately for us, and despite their best efforts, our painters fell behind, really far behind! They were supposed to have had a helper but the helper never showed up! This put us so far behind that Michelle and I ended up painting at night after the painter had left to try and catch us up.

Decluttering and Minimizing

In our effort to declutter for our new minimalist lifestyle, we had made some progress with selling, donating, and giving away stuff. This was making my task of packing easier and easier. I was still having a lot of trouble getting people to actually show up and not flake out for items I was selling on Facebook marketplace. That began to wear on me as it was a huge waste of my increasingly limited time.

Windows needed some cleaning

The windows were another area where if we (I) had done more maintenance it would have been a far easier job. I had neglected to remove the storm windows and clean them the last few years and it came back to bite me, or rather take a large chunk of my shin.

While removing and cleaning each storm window I had a bit of a mishap with the ladder and lost a 6 inch strip of my shin as a result. I will refrain from pictures, your welcome! Needless to say it was not pleasant. But I cleaned it, bandaged it, and got back to it. I suppose that is the price I had to pay for rushing things that I should have done (or hired out) long ago!

Notice the bandage on my left leg

When it all goes as planned

Refinishing the Bathroom

Our other big project was the bathroom. Luckily this was one area that actually went well! The advice our realtors gave us saved us a lot of time and money. We had always thought it would be necessary to completely demo and rebuild the bathroom. That would have been quite costly and taken a while to accomplish. Instead we had a short, but still labor intensive list to accomplish.

Thanks to our handyman, the tub refinishers, and the contractor for the subfloor, everything went smooth and on time! I only wish we had done those things years ago! It sucks to fix everything up for the next owner and not get to enjoy it yourself!

Pressure Washing and Landscaping

With the suffocating heat that summers in Tennessee bring I tried to limit the outside work to the cool times of day, which is literally early morning and late evening, that let me focus on working inside during the hottest parts of the day.

I was working on sprucing up the landscaping all around the house which ended up being very labor intensive. I also managed to pressure washing the entire house, carport and walkway. Let’s just say it was a lot of pressure washing, any thoughts of starting a pressure washing business were quickly scrapped. This took me the entire time until we were ready for pictures to complete!

Lessons Learned

I learned the hard way that if I can’t work on a project myself or I don’t have the time to fix it, spend the money and call someone to do it for you. We’ve realized that some things are just not the best use of our time. If we can hire someone that has expertise in an area then we need to delegate that task. This also pertains to running a business……something we’re still working on!

The same goes for maintenance. Make the time, or hire it out, to maintain the house, It will save you money and time in the long run, especially later on when you are wanting to sell. On reflection we should have called someone to help us get those projects completed as soon as we decided to sell. It would have saved us an enormous amount of time and taken a lot of stress off of our shoulders during the preparation to sell the house. Instead of trying to do it all ourselves we would have had an easier time minimizing and decluttering. Maybe I could have even sold a few more things as well.

Would you sell it all to travel?

Let us know in the comments