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  1. #21
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    Thanks everybody. It is a good feeling that it sold so quickly!! Now the hard work begins . . . packing up, tossing some, selling some and sending some stuff to auction.
    Squeaky - I became really upset that everything personal had to be put away -- wouldn't it be horrible if someone could not imagine themselves in my house because they saw a family photo. The couple that bought my house fell in love with it from just seeing the outside -- before they even came into the house. Basically, the house was decluttered and fairly clean but not professionally cleaned. The one toilet seat upstairs has been missing paint for a couple of years. I bought a new seat but could not figure out how to get the old seat off so it stayed. My sewing/quilting had taken over the dining room and my (very small) sewing room. All the stuff sitting around went into boxes and stored in the basement (haven't gotten a storage unit yet). There was still some stuff on the shelves but it looked neat. My opinion is that if it is neat and clean, someone that really wants the house will be able to see past the other stuff. Too many people watch HGTV and have unrealistic expectations. Good luck selling your house.

    Nancy

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  3. #22
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    Nancy,
    So glad to hear the house is under contract. Praying everything closes smoothly.

  4. #23
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    Quote Originally Posted by BethB View Post
    My opinion is that if it is neat and clean, someone that really wants the house will be able to see past the other stuff. Too many people watch HGTV and have unrealistic expectations.
    Thank you for saying this. As I mentioned, we are prepping our house to sell. I had considered hiring a staging company, but that is terribly expensive. As we walked the house to think about how to make it show well, I realized that I've watched enough HGTV shows that I can do a decent job on my own at a much lower cost. The biggest problem is that I tend toward clutter—and that's got to go!

    I'm glad that you sold so quickly. I hope your move goes smoothly.
    Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

  5. #24
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    It would be a nightmare to "stage" our house! I can't imagine having to put away all my personal pictures & special items that mean so much to me.

  6. #25
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    Toni, you can absolutely stage your home yourself! I have seen houses that looked overly staged (the kitchen table had place settings with napkins fan-folded and placed just so in water goblets). Nobody lives like that. When we sold DH's house several years ago, we staged it ourselves. The two biggest things are to declutter and clean. You want potential buyers to feel that the house is larger than it really is. For example, DH had a bookshelf across from the foot of the bed in the master bedroom. Although there was room to walk between the bed and the bookshelf, we moved the bookshelf to a different location so that the room felt more spacious. As a bonus, in its new location it hid a crack in the wall. I also removed at least half the books so that the shelves didn't look too crowded, and made sure that the remaining books would not be offensive to anyone's cultural, political, or religious beliefs. I convinced him that the World Book encyclopedia set from the 1960s would not be a selling point. Ditto for his college textbooks. We ended up rearranging the furniture in nearly every room. I left a couple of family photos on the bookshelves. On the walls, I hung framed photographs of scenery or flowers and a couple of wall quilts. I sewed a few throw pillows and new curtains and placemats. IKEA was a good, inexpensive source for accents.

    Also, look at your house with a critical eye. Is there anything that makes it look really dated? Updating a light fixture or cabinet hardware can transform a room with minimal effort and expense. In our case, we interviewed realtors in the fall and chose who we wanted to work with. One was really abrasive, and we didn't like her at all. However, she did point out that the house had a lot of wallpaper that screamed 1980s. I had suggested this to DH, but he didn't see anything wrong with it until he heard it from the realtor and saw how much it reduced the house's potential value. We spent the winter months stripping wallpaper and repainting. We did the work ourselves, so the dollar cost was minimal. In the end, we did not remove all the wallpaper, but focused our efforts on the kitchen, hallway, and bathroom. Stripping wallpaper is a real pain, but it was worth it. We also replaced most of the carpet. It was 25 years old and needed to go (goodbye mauve, hello taupe). In the spring, we cleaned the house within an inch of its life, then put it on the market. It sold in 4 days.

    Only you can decide how much effort, money, and energy you want to put into this. Your realtor can help you prioritize the project list to maximize the payback. When looking at potential upgrades, you might not see a 100% return on your investment in terms of a higher sale price. But some improvements can help your home sell quickly, and that's worth something, too. It's stressful to keep your home in "show" condition for weeks on end.

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  8. #26
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    We had that stick on, vinyl baseboard in the powder room in the family room that my husband put in a couple of years ago. It kept falling off in spots. I had my son replace it with wood baseboard. Although there was still wallpaper on the wall and a really bad paint job in there, the new white baseboard really dressed it up. The night before pics were to be taken for the listing, I made a couple of eggs for my supper. I had put two pieces of bread in the toaster, but then decided to make scrambled instead of over medium. When I saw the pictures in the listing, the bread was still in the toaster. I had forgotten about it being there!! At least in my area, it seems to be a sellers market --- not enough houses available for the number of interested buyers. Toni, hope that is the case for you. My house was the only house in my development of around 175 houses for sale. The home inspection is Tuesday of next week. Haven't heard when the appraisal will be. Hoping they all go well.

    Good luck Toni.

    Nancy

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  10. #27
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    Thanks for all the great tips! My sewing room was/is a complete disaster and I could only get around by turning sideways between things - so to say it looks smaller than it is because of all the "stuff" is an understatement. The idea now is to keep a sewing machine on a table in there and a small set of drawers with it to hold things, but otherwise we will put a couch back in it and a TV, but also move my son's weights in there so it takes on the appearance of a "flex room" and gives buyers some ideas that they can customize it to be whatever they want it to be.

    Man, there are parts of this house that I don't think have been cleaned for the ten years we've beeen here! Above kitchen cabinets, top of the fridge, baseboard behind the toilets... EEEEK!

  11. #28
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    Thank you for your words of encouragement!

    Clutter: I have got to get rid of it!

    Making rooms look bigger: Our house looks huge when I move everything to the garage for carpet cleaning. Point well taken!

    Realtors: We sold our rental unit last year and that realtor did a good job and gave us good advice. We'll be using her again!

    As for IKEA: I've been trying to get there all week!

    Crossing fingers that our house doesn't sit on the market too long. The last radio realtor I heard said that this area has a two to four month inventory. We're on the high end of a low end town, which makes our asking price less than attractive.
    Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

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  13. #29
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    Remember to declutter your closets and kitchen cabinets, too. You want the appearance of abundant closet space, so pack up half your clothing and put it in storage. Clothes on hangers should have a couple of inches of space around them so that they don't look crammed into the closet. Leave just a couple pair of shoes, not the jumbled mess that usually resides on the closet floor. Pack up the extra dishes, old Cool-Whip containers that you use for leftovers, and kitchen gadgets and get 'em outta there. Organize your cabinets and pantry. Realtors usually recommend removing all refrigerator magnets and clearing off the kitchen counters. We removed the toaster and coffeemaker before any showings.

    Look at home listings on Redfin or Zillow. Look at the pictures of the interiors of homes for sale. You will quickly spot the ones that just look junky because there's too much stuff there. To open up a room, sometimes you have to remove some of the furniture. Be mindful to match the scale of the furniture to the size of the room.

    Another trend is to remove window treatments. When you are browsing those photos on Zillow, compare the feel of homes with formal draperies vs. those with naked windows. Generally, more light is desirable. Be sure to wash the windows so that they sparkle.

    Preparing your home to go on the market is almost a full time job. It's not for the faint of heart, but your efforts will almost certainly pay off in a faster sale .

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  15. #30
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Update on my house

    Thank you, MSN! These are all good things to do. And believe me, your suggestions are spot on what I need to hear!
    Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

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