Selling your homestead and moving can be very stressful! These tips will help you and your homestead be prepared for the big move!
Movement is difficult. But moving a homestead is even more difficult!
In February, we moved our homestead over 500 miles from southwest Idaho to the South Sound area of Washington State! It was … an interesting experience! I’m thrilled with the result, but mistakes were made, people! We thought we were prepared. And frankly, we really were! But moving is stressful no matter how well prepared you are! To be honest, we did our best because we didn’t know what to expect!
Let’s face it, moving an entire farm is very different from your normal move!
I googled things like “how to move a homestead” and tried to seek advice and help. There is a lot of information about moving to a homestead. But what if you already to have an established homestead and move? To be honest, there isn’t a lot of information out there!
For this reason, once we have survived our move, I would share as much information as possible to help everyone else who may need them! So here it is: how to move a homestead! Since there is a lot of information, I have divided it into a mini series of posts. You can jump from post to post at any time, depending on what information you need.
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How to move a homestead!
In this 4-part series, we will cover the following:
- Selling your homestead property (The post you’re reading)
- The details of the sale of our homestead
- Prepare for the sale of your homestead
- Staging your homestead
- Tips for demonstrations
- Moving company options to move – Coming soon!
- Professional moving services: advantages and disadvantages
- Moving container services: advantages and disadvantages
- Moving car rental: advantages and disadvantages
- Why we decided to rent a moving van
- How to move with animals and cattle – Coming soon!
- Moving day: tips for packing, preparing and moving – Coming soon!
. . . . . . . . . . .
Obviously, the first step in the entire process was selling our home and looking for a new home. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? Definitely not!
Well, the sales section actually went quite well! Our house sold less than two days after we listed it! But it took us much longer to find a new property! After Several very stressful weeks and 3 rejected offers, we had finally accepted our fourth offer on our new property! Everything actually worked perfectly, which is really a miracle when you consider how many moving parts there were!
Let’s discuss some tips today to help you get started if you are considering selling your house and homestead to take a step!
The essentials in selling our homestead
Using a real estate agent:
Let me make it clear that I am not a real estate professional. Lindy is! Obviously we used a real estate agent (Lindy) to sell our house. It is also clear to me that there are many people who have a very strong opinion about real estate agents. Whether you love them or hate them, they absolutely serve a purpose. And there are some out there (like Lindy) who really care about helping people find their dream property.
Personally, I would never buy or sell without a real estate agent. Living with a real estate agent really showed me how complicated and stressful the process is! And it showed me how a good agent actually alleviates many of the stressful things! Lindy works around the clock and many of her customers never know what to do and even pay to make sure their transaction goes smoothly! It’s not just about getting buyers to see your house. Your agent will continuously work on your transaction (coordination of financing, evaluations, inspections and communication with buyers) until you sign the closing papers!
But I’m not trying to sell you using a real estate agent if you are against it. You do you, boo! 😉 But I wanted to explain why I appreciate their services, as many in the homestead community don’t think so.
Selling an “as is” property:
We decided to sell our house the way it is. That’s the only way I can sell a house. People often think that the only houses that are sold “as is” are dumps or that there is something wrong with them. Sometimes that’s the case. But that’s not what “as is” means!
All it really means is that you are not ready to negotiate repairs for the sale of the house. So what you see is what you get. For example, when buying a used car. We sold our house “as is”, which means that we were not prepared to negotiate further repairs for the sale of the house. After spending 3.5 years renovating the property and the house and putting money, time and resources into the house, we were simply not ready to do so at this point.
We did not sell some houses “as is” and later regretted it when buyers started asking for crazy things! I think that many people find it difficult to understand the reality of buying a used house and to realize that it will take work! Now how much work you want to invest is entirely up to you. If you want a brand new home, buy a brand new home. However, you cannot buy a used house and then expect the sellers to do it perfectly for you. This is your job!
Let me clarify once again that I have only written this post (not Lindy) and that I am not giving professional real estate advice here. 😉
Since we decided to sell our house the way it is, we paid to have one House inspection before sale done. The inspection report was available to all interested parties. In this way, they were able to check whether the house and property were in excellent condition and whether all important concerns had already been resolved.
While some people still shy away from the “as is” label, it certainly didn’t affect the sale of our house! We listed it just a few days after Christmas (which I think is a terrible time of year to sell it!) And we had an unconditional full price offer in less than 48 hours. Not bad for this little old farmhouse! She has certainly come a long way! (See the before and after pictures Here!)
Selling your homestead: 3 tips to prepare
Moving an entire homestead is a big undertaking! And believe me, it’s never too early to prepare for it! Every day I thank the almighty pack gods that we started early! I can’t stress how much weight it took from us when it hit the really stressful stuff!
1. Start packing and organizing as early as possible!
As soon as you know you are going to move, or even if you are seriously considering it, start packing! Our process of packing and preparing for the move actually started in July – a full 7 months before we actually moved! At that point, we didn’t even know if we were going to move, and we certainly didn’t know where we were going. But we knew it was a very real possibility!
During the summer we went through all the items we had in the shed and barn. We got rid of a lot of unnecessary things. Everything we wanted to keep was cleaned, organized, packed in large Tupperware containers and labeled. We did this with every room in our house and packed away everything that was not necessary.
2. Exit projects and use your saved supplies
Let’s face it: if you have a homestead, there are plenty of supplies around waiting for “one day”. Well, “one day” is here! If you are considering selling your homestead, it is time to use up these supplies and get rid of these dung heaps! When you finally put your homestead up for sale, it will sell much faster (and sometimes for more money!) If it is well maintained and clean!
We had tons of small and large unfinished projects that we completed in summer and fall before we moved. Again, we weren’t even sure if we were going to move! However, we thought it would be a good excuse to complete some projects!
We our bathroom was renovatedThis was the last room in the house that was renovated. During this time we also did some landscaping in the yard and painted the chicken coops to make sure everything was in top shape! We finished painting the barns and repairing the other outbuildings. Then we did several big clean-up days and brought several loads of weeds and brushes to the dump.
In these projects we used a lot of materials that we had lying around. When winter came, we used up the remaining pieces of raw wood by burning them in the wood stove. In the end, we used everything to clear the barn and the wood storage.
Of course, there were still supplies we left behind, but for the most part we were able to clean up the property while using our additional supplies! I loved knowing that we are leaving the property in the best shape it has ever been!
3. Reduce animals
Moving is made easier if you reduce the size of your cattle and farm animals. It takes a lot of energy and planning to move around with animals! For this reason, it’s probably in your best interest to keep only your favorite animals or those that are the healthiest or have the best genetics.
Animals are surprisingly resilient and most of them can handle the stress of movement. However, we have all these weaker or more sensitive animals on our farm that may not be able to handle the move as well as others. We had a goat (our cute Cassie) that was slightly stressed. We also had some chickens that were slightly more sensitive than the rest of the herd. This is why we decided that if we rehabilitated them before moving, these animals would definitely do the best.
We started downsizing our pets in the summer and fall before we moved. With our herd of goats, we sold our $ 2, $ 4 and the 4 doelings that were born in the spring. That left us with only our 2 favorites – which is much easier to move than an entire herd! We also sold our 3 rabbits and rehomed about 15 chickens, so our herd was reduced to about 10 birds.
Staging your house & property
The staging of a homestead is very different from the staging of a normal suburban house! After all, most people need to remember to remove the chicks from their bathrooms before the shows! 🤣
The reality is that many people want a homestead and are looking for this type of property. However, they often have an Instagram picture of a homestead in their head and not the gritty real version. So your goal is to make your house and property look like the Instagram version of a homestead! Here you will really benefit from packing and organizing everything at the beginning of the process!
Cut the clutter
Remove everything you don’t use every day. And even if you use something regularly, it’s still a good idea to wrap it up and skip it for a while. It’s also one less item to wrap up once your home is sold!
Let your property and your home appear as clear as possible. You should also remove any personal items (such as photos) before you put your house up for sale. A highly personalized home can make it difficult for buyers to think of it as their own.
Let it sparkle
Clean, clean, clean! This is so difficult (especially in winter and in the muddy season!), But so necessary. Get the house clean (every corner!) And keep it that way!
Bonus tip from Lindy, the broker: Clean under the sink and make sure it looks good with no signs of water damage. No kidding – Lindy spent a small fortune to make sure the area under our sink looked great, complete with these stick-on tiles in a farmhouse pattern! I thought she was crazy, but it turns out that real estate agents look under the sink 99% of the time and see how well the house is looked after! I was shocked!
Pay attention to smells
We may not notice certain smells – especially animals – but other people do! And smells can be a real deal breaker for some people! Keep animal stables clean. Hold the compost as well as possible and smell it as well as possible. Distribute essential oils around the house to give your home a fresh, clean scent. And don’t forget that when you cook, because you never know when you’ll have a show! (Seriously, I cooked shrimp and cauliflower and we had a pop-up showing 20 minutes later)
Prepare for demonstrations
Once your house is up for sale, it doesn’t take long for you to have potential buyers who want to see it. Without a doubt, this is one of the most uncomfortable times when selling a home! It’s hard to let people run around your house – especially if it’s on short notice! But this is a critical phase in selling your home and it will all be worth it in the long run! Here are some tips to help make your farm really show itself to potential buyers.
Leave the property during the demonstrations
There is nothing more unpleasant for potential buyers than when the seller is at home during the exhibition. And it actually reduces your chances of selling the property! If you are concerned about your cattle or have strangers on the property, make sure that you only allow people with your real estate agent to view the property and that they have arranged the time with you in advance. You can park right down the street in your car so you are around if you want to keep an eye on things.
Be clear about borders
When you work with a real estate agent, be sure to tell them where people are and where they are not during the demonstrations. We have made sure that the goat stable is forbidden for people as the goats can easily escape and / or run over people while trying to escape! You can also attach signs to gates that indicate which areas should not be accessed. Make it clear that your homestead is Not a petting zoo! For this reason, we also decided not to have any open houses.
Consider your animals and cattle
Keep the cattle safe during the shows. You’d be shocked at how many people can be put off by a little chicken! This will also help keep your animals safe and protected.
If you have animals in your house, such as dogs and cats, try removing them from the house before the show. During the demonstrations, we took our puppies for a walk or drive depending on the weather. A home really shows up much better without animals, and you’ll spend extra time with your pet!
Have you ever sold a homestead? What tips or tricks would you share? Tell us in the comments!
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