Tips for getting ready to put a house on the market? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
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We've been living in our first house for 9 years. We're building a house that's supposed to be ready around January. The realtor's coming over tomorrow to advise us on what our asking price should be. Do you have any good tips for decluttering/staging a small house? Too bad we don't have cable--HGTV would come in handy right now!

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#2 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 06:33 AM
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We rented a storage unit near our house, and we basically packed before we listed. We had to pack anyway, and getting the stuff in the house down to the minimum meant that the clutter was gone and also made it easier to keep clean for showings.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#3 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 07:58 PM
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Honestly, get a rental unit and take away as much furniture and stuff as you can. Clean with a toothbrush and hang white towels.
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#4 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 08:54 PM
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We also rented a storage unit and put plenty of furniture in there to leave plenty of open space in our house.

We nearly emptied out drawers, cabinets, closets, etc. to make those also look larger. We had lots of knick-knacks at the time, which I also mostly boxed up, as well as plenty of the plethora of family pics. The experts typically mention doing this to make it seem less "your" space and to allow a potential buyer to envision their own belongings.

Fix anything that needs fixing and clean walls, retouching paint, etc. Keeping a house clean is so impt for the showings...I love to vacuum to make the carpet look "fresh," lol!

Check out HGTV online - plenty of great articles, advice, forums, etc. and maybe you can see some shows online, too - not sure about that though.

Best of luck to you - I hope it sells VERY quickly
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#5 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 08:55 PM
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Oh, and make sure there are no odd smells or anything too strong in any direction, whether it be from pets or plug-ins!
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#6 of 9 Old 08-19-2010, 04:41 AM
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I haven't sold a house but we bought a house this year and I've looked a ton of listings.

Make sure the buyers can see the house, not your stuff. Especially in the online pictures. Let them see the floor, the windows, the fireplace, the trim. So many houses had pictures online where you couldn't see the house itself at all. Let the light in, you can pick up cheap white, sheer curtains to brighten and unify the house.

As a buyer I would say make sure your pictures are good, many people search online for houses and if there aren't good pictures of the inside they may not make the appointment to look at your house.

The house we ended up buying looked ok in the pictures but in person felt so much larger and the light is great. The house that looked great in the pictures ended up having really small bedrooms, a low ceiling in the basement and an odd layout. But I think the people selling that house did a great job with what they had, 4 kids in a tiny 3 bedroom house but it was really clean, no clutter with nice online pictures.

Also make sure your listing is accurate. One thing that really annoyed me is when the picture of the house showed a driveway but then later I found out the driveway isn't part of the property at all and there is no off street parking. That may not be an issue for you but make sure the listing reflects your property.

Get your real estate agent's opinion but also some honest friends or family over. It is hard to see stuff in your own house because you get used to it being that way. Also ask about smells, you can't really smell your own house.

Melissa- mom to a boy 9/06 and a new boy 11/10 and married to my best friend 7/02
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#7 of 9 Old 08-19-2010, 08:48 AM
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In the past five years we have sold two small homes within a week of listing and we live in an area where the housing market stinks. My best tips are: clean and when you think it's good enough, clean again! Like the PP suggestions-DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER! Also, check out the pictures your realtor takes and make sure you are happy with them. Our guy took pictures in the evening that made everything look shadowy. So we took new pictures in the morning and e-mailed them to him. Touch up paint, fix missing grout, etc. Your house will never look as beautiful as on the day you list it to sell. For pictures and showings, there were some toys that I couldn't put anywhere else. So I put them between the bed and the wall and put a neutral blanket folded neatly over them to reduce visual clutter. Both times we sold our homes to people without children and they said that they could envision themselves living there even though they didn't have kids. So try to make it neutral enough to appeal to a variety of people. One more thing that our realtor did both times was to put great pictures on-line, list the description, but not show it for a week after he listed it. That created a buzz and got people driving by numerous times. He staggered the showings all on the same day so that when one person was leaving, another was arriving. The people saw that others were interested. Good luck!
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#8 of 9 Old 08-19-2010, 09:06 AM
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My realtor said to bake cookies in the house so the house had a good smell to them. Reduce clutter as much as possible and definitely take things out of drawers and what not to make it seems like you have a lot more space.

Our realtor for this place told us when we were looking that if there was stuff crammed into every little corner, you know the space lacks storage. So, we looked at the houses to also see how the people there lived (and that meant looking into medicine cabinets, closets, etc.). The more like a model home you can have it, the better.

And take out all family photos is a must.

Honestly though, I am trying to declutter now that we moved in and keep the amount of new stuff coming into the house in check. I don't think we "need" as much stuff as we have right now and it would be easier to clean anyway. I am keeping "staging" in mind as a way to motivate myself (even though we are not selling the place).

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#9 of 9 Old 08-19-2010, 09:11 AM
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We sold our house in June in a week. My tips are kind of repetitive, but can't be emphasized too much. Declutter like crazy and clean the living daylights out of the house. I looked at a lot of homes where we moved and noticed that a lot of people (especially ones with kids) appeared to "tidy up" like you would for company. It just wasn't enough. We boxed up a bunch of toys the rooms and playroom looked sparse and pretty and the kids had less stuff to toss around (and therefore less stuff for me to clean up before a showing). Give each room a purpose and don't leave something in there that doesn't fit that purpose (like a living room should not have a plastic Little Tikes slide

It needs to really sparkle. Sure, we have three kids, but we didn't want everyone who looked at the house to be constantly aware of that fact. It's make it too much about us and not enough about them.

Good luck!

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