- Declutter. Finally unpack the boxes from the last move, and realize that most of the stuff in those boxes needs to go to the dump. (But be sure to look through every box carefully, just in case the long lost original studio photo of your parents' wedding is in there, or the misplaced lid to the teapot.) Take loads of stuff to the dump -- five pickup truckloads in our case.
- Hide stuff. Box up most of the stuff that usually lies around on every flat surface and stack the boxes in the storage space that has been freed up by all the trips to the dump. Especially hide the clunky chainsaw sculpture given to you by a doting aunt and the really hideous handmade pottery that somebody gave you (you can't quite remember who, but don't want to throw it away in case they come to visit you and their feelings are hurt). If you have boxes that haven't yet been sorted through or if there is no room left in your storage areas, temporarily hide the boxes in the back of your car. I, personally, have been driving around with a car full of boxes for several weeks.
- Give away stuff. Every time anyone drops by for a visit, make sure that they leave with their arms full. Here are some examples: frozen meat from the freezer and homemade jams and jellies that we won't be able to eat up in time before we move; plants; old computer monitors; Easter baskets (ten years' worth); outgrown toys; bicycles; tatty old furniture (it was actually on its way to the dump but someone rescued it).
- Repaint all the interior walls, if possible. This was easier for us because we live in a log house, so don't have many walls that need painting.
- Dust, dust, dust. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Tidy, tidy, tidy. Banish the pets to the outdoors so that they don't track in muddy footprints and shed their hair everywhere after you have vacuumed. Hire a really good house cleaning service.
- Pretend to be a home decorator. Put vases of flowers out. Keep a fruit bowl filled with colourful fruits on the table. Invest in lovely new towels that match, and hang them on the racks just so. Buy a new cheery doormat. Above all, do not throw clothes on the floor, leave the beds unmade, leave the sink full of dirty dishes, or allow smelly things in the house (like seafood cat food).
- Just before viewers arrive, turn on all the lights (grit your teeth about the waste of energy; you can turn them off again after the viewing), open all the doors to the rooms, and leave a nice fire crackling in the fireplace.
- Vacate the place fifteen minutes before the prospective purchasers are due to arrive. They do not want to meet you. However nice you might be, there is something about sellers' desperate need to sell combined with the craven desire to have their home properly appreciated, mixed in with a little ambivalence about whether they even want to sell ("the home where we raised our children!") that instantly turns off most prospective buyers. Realtors can be much more dispassionate.
- Be patient. If it is priced right, it will sell sooner or later.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Selling Your House? How to Make it Show Well
We are selling our house and have discovered many handy tips on how to show it well that I would like to pass on to you, the reader.