Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Getting a house ready to sell

Ace and I have decided that it is high time for us to get this house ready to sell. We have been threatening to move for many years now, but were never in a position to be able to because our house needs a LOT of cosmetic work. We start off with a bang, and end with a fizzle on a lot of projects and to be blatantly honest, the kids really suck the energy out of us on most days.

Now that the kids are becoming more self-sufficient (well, ok ... the Door Man is self-sufficient ... the girls, not so much), we have decided that we need to start working on this house. The list is long and tedious.

We were looking at a few houses and had my brother (our agent) call on them. Of course, both were offer pending (have I ever mentioned the kiss of death I have on houses?) and he said "to be honest, you need to get that house ready to sell." He informed me that the market is so bad right now that owners don't want to jack around with buyers who have a house to sell. They want to know that the deal will go through, and I can totally understand that.

So that brings me to the next point: we have a next door neighbor whose dad took great interest in the fact that there was a moving van in our driveway a month ago. So much so that he called us to ask how the move is going. Do you think that is a sign? Either he wants the house, or he wants us gone. Or both. So he is call # 1. If he wants to buy this house, I say let him. If we have to rent for a while, I say so be it.

So ... does anyone have a good book suggestion on how to make your house presentable? What buyers look for? I know I have a resource in my brother, but let's face it ... he is not a home decorator. He can look at cosmetic things and say "fix this and that" but finishing touches.... not his forte.

Or just suggestions from people who have sold their houses. We sold our house in Kentucky FSBO, but that was sold in 2 weeks. Literally. The people who bought it were renting on the street directly behind us, came to our moving sale, walked through, fell in love, and came back with an offer two days later. Easiest sale ever. So we need help here. We have a house that looks like five people were living in here before the present five moved in.



Blogger Ann said...

My mother swears by freshly painted white walls, clean floors and carpets, and no clutter. At my house she says, "You would have a lot of work to do if you ever wanted to sell!" I am not going anywhere.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Knitting Maniac said...

that sounds just like my mother, Ann. She always has some comment to make ... like "a professional organizer would be a good thing to look into sometime" and "if you ever want to sell this house, you need to box a lot of this stuff up"

But she never offers to help ...

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fresh paint in neutral colors. Don't necessarily go with white. Sorry to say, but if you've got cutesy stuff/paint on the kid's walls, it should go for the biggest buck.

If you feel it needs a bit of color, add splashes of color with fresh flowers.

Clean carpets, well, clean everything just like Ann said.

Get rid of the clutter and go minimal with the furniture.

Watch Designed to Sell on HGTV for good ideas. Their website has tips.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Knitting Maniac said...

Cool deal. Thanks, Sue!

10:35 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Spotless everything. When we sold our other house, I scrubbed everything. The closets were organized and clutter-free, too. We had 1 open house and showed the house privately twice and then it sold. The buyer's realtor told us it was *because* the house was so clean and clutter-free.

Fresh flowers on the dining room table, a good-smelling air freshener or candle. Good luck!

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

The smell, it's all about the smell and it has to look big, which means you have to live on half until it sells..we had to do that in our last house.
Are you moving because of me?
ha ha ha!
Just don't move far away, ok?

7:27 AM  
Blogger Knitting Maniac said...

LOL, Robin! Yep.. can't stand the thought of you standing in that office looking in my windows!!!

No .. you've seen my house and you've seen our junk. We need a bigger house to store that junk!

8:13 AM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

We had an 1100 square foot home, sold it in 3 days.

The biggest improvement was to declutter. We rented a storage unit and packed it full so the house would look bigger/clean/organized. It helped the closets especially by minimizing just to necessities and made the closets look big and practical even though they definitely weren't. You're hopefully moving anyway, so go ahead and pack all nicknacks, pictures, and other clutter.

We cleaned up the yards. We put in new carpet, had to, the old stuff was terrible. We also painted and cleaned until everything was spotless.

Fresh flowers add beauty and good fragrance. I remember some houses we looked at smelling of cookies. They even left the plate of cookies out for potential buyers to nibble on, and bottled water.

You should have a packing party with some trustworthy-not-to-break-things friends. And of course, painting parties are a huge help.

Best wishes on this major project, try to have some fun with it.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Louisville Properties said...

Just like a car, your selling an image, or a feeling. People try to see themselves in a situation in your home like, relaxing, or having a dinner party etc.They envision all the possibilities the home has to offer them. So maximize their ability to dream. Define spaces, reduce clutter. Try to appeal to the masses while highliting certain aspects of your home you feel are selling points. Fragrance is good and so is cleanliness. I hope this helps you. Much success!

5:55 PM  

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The Lovely She, that is me!

I'm a mom of three peeps ... Queen Bee, The Door Man, and the Chandelier Monkey, and wife to Ace, the Helpful Hardware Man. I created this space to get away from the people known as my inlaws, and because life with three kids and a hubby is all Unexplored Territory.

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