Category Archives: Life & Family

How To Prepare For A Showing/Open House

Last week, I shared How We Sold Our Home In One Day and I promised to also share How To Prepare For A Showing/Open House.  As a former real estate professional, I have a few ideas on what buyers like and also the things that can have them running for the door before they even get through the foyer.  Even though there are tons of infographics and lists out there on the internet, these are definitely things you want to focus on if you are trying to get ready for a showing.

How To Prepare For A Showing/Open House

Brighten

Buyers love a home with good lighting! (O.K., there may be some who enjoy the dungeon look, but they are few and far between.) Open up those curtains and blinds, clean the windows, add lamps if necessary and turn on all lighting. Adding mirrors to a room will also help reflect light and make the room appear more open.

Home Tour Coffee Table Sofa Couch Spring Tour

Tidy up/Fluff

Pick up and put away anything that is out of place. Make the beds. Wipe down counter tops and appliances. Put out the good towels. Make sure that sinks/mirrors/toilets are sparkling clean. Close the toilet lids. Fluff pillows and add some pretty flowers in a vase. Vacuum/Sweep the floors. Take out the trash. Definitely, clean up any pet messes/areas.

Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, so make them shine, like the sink from our powder room.

Beadboard Bathroom Sink

Adjust Temperature

Make sure the temperature of your home is set to a comfortable level for the season. If you are selling in the heat of summer, a buyer will appreciate walking into a home cooled with air conditioning, plus it will show that the mechanicals are working properly. The same applies to the winter with a furnace.

Metal Headboard Bed White Bedding

House Scents/Smells

Every home has its own scent. Some homes smell stronger than others, but no one wants their home to be stinky. When preparing for a showing, be careful not to use strong scents from room sprays and candles. These scents can lead buyers to believe you are trying to cover something up. Plus, many people are allergic to them. If you must use something, my advice is to keep it simple. Use natural scents, such as those of citrus, vanilla, basil, or cinnamon. And remember the best smelling home is a clean home.

Green Apple Black Laminate Counters

I hope that these tips can help you if you are trying to sell your home. Keeping these things in mind will help you to better prepare for a showing/open house and hopefully get your home sold fast!

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!