The 10 Stages of Flipping a House

Flipping a house is an emotional roller coaster. If you’re thinking about following the lead of DIY’s First Time Flippers, here’s what you can expect to experience, from first purchase to final sale.

By: Kelly Connolly

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Optimism

You bought a house! You got a great deal on it, and you can see the structure's promise. Flipping it is going to be easy, because you’ve got plenty of relevant skills and lots of energy, so you’ll absolutely get this project done in no time. Buyers will be lining up to pay the asking price. You’re going to make a cool profit! Nothing can stop you.

Call in backup

You’ve got a deadline to meet, and nothing goes exactly as planned. At some point in the process, you might need to bring in a few extra hands. You’ll get by with a little help from your friends and family—or subcontractors.

The never-ending cabinet story

There’s no way around it: You have to install the cabinets. Unless you’ve called in an expert, there’s a good chance you’re going to be dreaming about cabinets for a couple of days—but when you’re through, you’ll be glad you didn’t just sand and refinish the old ones after all. If you squint, you can even see a livable house in there somewhere. You’ve got this.

Embrace the outdoors

You’ve spent so much time within the same four walls lately that you almost forgot to think about the exterior. Never underestimate the importance of curb appeal. Now’s the time to repaint the door, tear down any old fences, and pressure wash that front walkway. Mowing the lawn has never seemed easier.

Get it decorated

The house looks like a house; now you just have to make it look like a home. Hang some mirrors, light some candles, and live out all of your interior design fantasies. You’re getting this place ready for its close-up.

Relief

There were times when it seemed like you’d never get here, but it’s the day of the Open House, and the place looks great. Your hard work paid off: Potential buyers can’t stop talking about the new granite countertops in the kitchen. Give your team a high five, and go take a nap.

Let’s make a deal

You played the waiting game, and someone made an offer you couldn’t refuse. Now, you just have to say goodbye to the house you poured so much time into fixing—and put that profit to good use. How soon is too soon to flip another house? Go back to step 1, and do it all again.