Category Archives: Life & Family

How We Sold Our Home In One Day

It has been a little over three months since we closed on The City House and I want to share with you the secrets of how we sold it to the first buyer who walked through (on the first day). Obviously, the title of this post “How We Sold Our Home In One Day” may be a little deceptive. There is a lot more involved in selling a home than just finding a buyer. You must do all of the prep work before listing (we used a realtor), plus getting to closing can take a couple of months or more, depending on negotiations, inspections, loan approvals, etc. However, getting started on the right path can ensure that you get the perfect buyer into your home as soon as possible.

As a former realtor, I think one of the most important parts of finding a buyer quickly is making your home look as appealing as possible before listing. (Picking a reasonable listing price and deciding how willing you are to negotiate will also be very important.) Here are some tricks and tips on how to do it!

How We Sold Our Home

Fix

This should be apparent, but fixing the big and small problems in the house (i.e. small holes in the wall, doors that don’t latch correctly, lighting problems, landscaping issues) should be one of the first things on your to-do list, once you decide to sell your home. Take care of all of the problems you know of and you won’t have to worry about them showing up on later inspections.

Our kitchen counters were looking pretty bad after a failed DIY attempt. So, we replaced them with an inexpensive, yet, nice looking option.

Kitchen Final

Curb Appeal

Buyers will definitely have an opinion about your home before they even walk in. Curb appeal is important since it is the first thing that people see. Make sure to tidy up outside by cleaning walkways, cutting the grass, weeding flower beds. You can even add some potted plants and a seasonal door wreath to pretty things up.

My favorite boxwood wreath hanging on the front door.

Boxwood Wreath

Declutter

Many people don’t realize that cleaning and decluttering are two different things. With decluttering, the point is to remove all of the things that make the rooms look, well, cluttered and busy. Removing mail, tchotchkes, and excess furniture from each room will help the space feel more inviting and open. Decide whether each item you are decluttering should be thrown out, donated, or stored until you move.

We didn’t have a lot of items to purge, but we did move a lot of extra stuff to our Country House and donated quite a few things. If you don’t have space to store items in your home and your budget allows, consider renting a storage unit until you move. You could also ask friends/family if they would mind allowing you to store a few things in their homes until your home is sold.

Our dining table was pretty big for our breakfast nook, so we swapped it out for a smaller one to make the room look a little more spacious.

Dining Room Final

Clean

Again, this should go without saying, but your home should be pretty much spotless. We opted to hire a cleaning company to come in and really deep clean everything. Getting the major cleaning out of the way, saved us so much time and helped us focus on other tasks, like painting the walls.

We were also lucky enough to be able to move our pets to our new Country House before listing. We knew that then they wouldn’t get in the way with showings and it would be one less thing to worry about cleaning up. Pet odors can be a huge turn off for potential buyers! If you must have your pets around during showings, consider crating/kenneling them. Also, make sure their areas (food bowls/litter boxes/etc.) are pristine. Don’t forget to clean rugs and vacuum furniture well to get rid of smells, hair, and dander.

Our kitty Rowan, lounging like he does.

Remove pets during open houses and showings

Stage

For many people, hiring a home stager is not in the budget when they are trying to sell their house. The good news is that you could do a pretty good job at staging your own home. As I mentioned before, decluttering will really help open rooms up to feel more spacious. A few other ideas to consider would be:

  • Room Rearrangements – Move furniture around to be more inviting for conversation, especially in the living/family room. Also, make sure that each room has furniture in it to compliment the exact type of room a buyer may want. If you have 3 bedrooms, but use one as an office or playroom, consider changing it to make it look more like to a bedroom while your home is listed. Also, make sure that large furniture pieces are not in front of windows which may stop natural light from coming in.
  • Neutralize – There are a couple of ways to neutralize your home. First, consider painting rooms with bold color choices a more neutral tone (i.e. changing bright yellow to soft greige.) Second, think about storing some personal items, such as family photos, toys, and collections. You don’t have to necessarily rid your home of every last one of these items, but a buyer will be less distracted if a home is neutralized and it will be easier for them to picture themselves living in the space.

Neutral colors and welcoming furniture placement from our living room.

Spring Fling Home Tour

Good luck!

So, those were the major things we did that we believed to helped us sell our home so quickly. Even though I can’t guarantee your home will be sold in one day, I hope that you can use these tips and tricks to get your home sold as quickly as possible! Selling your home can be so nerve-racking. It is even ranked up there as one of the most stressful life events a person can experience. To say that I’m happy to be done with the selling process, would be an understatement. However, I’m glad that we spent a little extra time preparing our home before listing because it certainly paid off! Best of luck to you too!

Click here to see how we prepared for showings!

3 Things I’m Lovin’ – No. 4

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared what’s been on my favorites list (besides my family and our new home), so it’s time for an another edition of 3 Things I’m Lovin’. If you are anything like me, you enjoy seeing what other people like; the things that they’ve tried/tested out and are in love with. I hope you will share with me what you are diggin’ too! (Check out the last list by clicking here.)

No. 1 “I Need More Sleep” Pillowcase

I love this cute graphic pillowcase and it definitely describes how I’ve been feeling lately. I took this cozy pic yesterday to share on Instagram and immediately after, I wanted to snuggle up in my comfy bed.

I Need More Sleep Pillow

No. 2 – Boxwood Wreath

There is something so nice about having fresh greenery in the house and even though this preserved boxwood wreath is not fresh (tricked you!), it looks like it is! I love to use wreaths around our home and the simple, yet elegant, boxwood one is at the top of my list. Perfect for decorating year round!
Boxwood Wreath

No. 3 – Audible

I absolutely love to read, but don’t get to do it as much as I would like to. Luckily, there is the Audible app to the rescue! I can just download the book I want onto my phone and someone else reads it to me. This is a great option for me, since I can listen to the books while driving in the car, cooking dinner, or working out. So convenient!

Audible Truly Madly Guilty

So, those are the things I can’t get enough of right now. What are you lovin’?

The Country House: Home Tour Before Photos

Hey there, friends! Are you enjoying your summer? We’ve been super busy these past few weeks and are gearing up for the kids to go back to school soon. Pinky, our 11-year-old daughter, will be in 6th grade and Sweet Pea, our 5-year-old son, is starting kindergarten. Gah! Kids grow too fast! Anyway, we are excited to announce that last Friday we closed on The Country House, so now we are free to start working on all of those projects we’ve wanted to tackle. (You can find out more about our decision to move from the city to the country [here] and the positives and negatives of moving into this particular house [here].) I know that I promised you guys a tour too, so here it is… The Country House Home Tour Before Photos . Let’s get started!

The Country House: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Front Entry & Living Room

Welcome to our home! This space is nice and roomy but it definitely could use some paint and flooring updates. Well, the whole house needs those kinds of updates, but we are excited to tackle them in what we are considering a chapter 1 makeover. Meaning that we will be doing simple and fairly inexpensive makeovers to all of the rooms to make them more our style. This will allow us to live in the space a bit and really get a feel for what we want to do to each of the spaces before we take on chapter 2, i.e. major renovations, and sink a bunch of money into things. I like to refer to them as chapters since this process will be part of the entire story.

Country House Home Tour Before

The other end of The Living Room with our piano – As you can see, this house is heated with baseboard units and we currently have window eyesores air conditioners in some rooms, so it will be interesting to try and decorate around those until we install a heat pump.

Country House Home Tour Before Living Room

The Dining Area

This room is also pretty spacious, at least when compared to our previous breakfast nook. We would like to get a bigger dining table to accommodate guests and maybe a cool buffet.

Country House Home Tour Before Dining Room

The Kitchen

This kitchen may not look amazing right now, but it does have a ton of storage, with two pantries and a lot of cabinets. We don’t have a dishwasher right now, so we would like to add one and update the other appliances too.

Country House Home Tour Before Kitchen

The Laundry Room

In addition to just doing laundry in here, we also pass through this room to get to our attached two car garage (we also have a detached garage.) And even though you can’t see it, there is a decent sized closet on the opposite end of this room which we hope to make into a little office of sorts.

Country House Home Tour Before Laundry

The Hallway

Nothing special here. Just a semi-dark space that needs lightened and brightened.

Country House Home Tour Before Hall
 

The Bathroom

Our one and only bathroom is very builder basic. We plan to brighten everything with some new lighting and paint.

Country House Home Tour Before Bathroom Vanity Country House Home Tour Before Bathroom

Bedroom One

Here is Sweet Pea’s room. Each of our bedrooms has a good amount of closet space, but the rooms themselves are on the small side. We had to reassign furniture based on what would fit well in each room.

Country House Home Tour Before Bedroom 1

Bedroom Two

This is Pinky’s room. Another item we want to change out in each room is the window coverings. Even though I’m totally a drape-y curtain kind of girl, we are thinking wood blinds for most of the rooms because of the baseboard heating issue. If you have any awesome ideas for our windows, I would love to hear them!

Country House Home Tour Before Bedroom 2

The Master Bedroom

Even though it may look small, this is the biggest bedroom in the house and has a roomy walk in closet. We’ve considered the possibility of adding a small bathroom in the closet, but aren’t sure we want to lose that storage space or what kinds of options we would go with if we did. Also, look at that carpet. Eek! It is pretty worn and discolored, so it will be coming out pretty soon.

Country House Home Tour Before Bedroom 3

So there you have it! A photographic country house home tour before we actually get down to business here. This home has great bones and we do feel like it will be pretty easy to work with. What do you think? We would love for you to follow along with us as we take this place from Once Upon a Time to Happily Ever After!

The Country House: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

As you probably know by now, we’ve moved to the country! We love our new place, but as I mentioned in a previous post, our new house is not necessarily our dream home. There are aspects of it which are super great and others that are just so-so. No worries, though. We’ve got this handled. In true DIY fashion, we will make this place our own! So, let me share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Country House: The Good The Bad The Ugly

The Good

Space – We have land, people! Like… acreage. That’s a big deal for us since we barely had any outdoor space when we lived in the city. We are so excited that our kids can play outside in our huge yard and the neighbors are fields away. (Not that they are bad. Our neighbors are great!) One of these days, we would eventually like to add a barn with some animals to our farm and maybe even a pond.

A tiny view of one side of our yard. The dirt in the back will eventually be grass.

View of the Side Yard

Family – The biggest bonus to moving here, is that we are so close to family. I grew up just a few miles from this house, so my parents are close. Plus, this house once belonged to my great aunt and the land has actually been in the family for years! My great-grandparents moved here in the 1920’s when my grandpa and great aunt were kids. My dad and uncle celebrated holidays and played here when they were young. So did my sister and I! It is really cool that our kids will get to grow up here since there are so many amazing family memories.

My great grandparents, grandpa, and great aunt.

Great Grandparents, Grandpa, and Great Aunt

The Bad

Replacements – Unfortunately, this house is not perfect. It looks like, over the next few years, we will probably need to fix/replace a few big ticket items, like the roof.

Square Footage – One hurdle we will be facing is space indoors. Although we have a great area outside, a couple of storage buildings and a two car garage, the interior of the house isn’t everything we’ve ever wanted. We have 3 bedrooms (technically, enough for all of us) a living room, dining area, kitchen, and laundry room. However, the biggest issue is that there is only one bathroom. Of course, it’s not the end of the world to only have one bathroom, but with 4 people in the fam and one of them being a pre-teen girl, I can only imagine that we will probably desire another one soon. We have yet to determine if we will be able to build on. If for some reason we can’t/don’t go that route, we would also consider building new. That is a story for the future, though. For now, we plan to stick it out.

Thank goodness for garages!

Two Car Garage

The Ugly

Cosmetics – The country house is a cute little yellow ranch home and, on the outside, it doesn’t really need a lot of updating. Maybe a little power washing and landscaping, but other than that, nothing crazy. The inside is pretty decent too, and as far as updating, we will probably do some pretty simple and inexpensive stuff to make it our own. Lots of painting, some new flooring (the carpets are pretty old and ugly), appliances, lighting, etc. We don’t want to sink a lot of money into this house, especially since we don’t know what the future holds.

Ugly Old Carpet

This week, we are on vacation, but I plan on sharing a “before” type home tour with you sometime after I get back!