So it turns out we are not moving after all.
I knew I shouldn’t have broadcast on the internet that we had a buyer – it’s the ultimate jinx!
This is the second buyer that has pulled out. The first pulled out because she was allergic to rapeseed which the farmer sometimes grows in the adjoining fields. The second buyers pulled out because they are divorcing. I can make our house look absolutely beautiful but I can’t do anything about those sorts of factors.
So now we have switched agents and are starting again. It is rather depressing though to look at our house with fresh eyes (for the new agent to take photographs) and realise that all the painting and deep cleaning we did last year looks like it never happened. We need to do it all again and then MOVE OUT if we are ever to have any hope of selling this place.
The agent took photographs of the house: living areas and outside only as that’s all we do, he said, so it was a little embarrassing to see another house come on the market with the same agent (admittedly in a different price bracket) which had a full complement of pictures including all the bedrooms which were beautifully presented with matching cushions and so on.
So now I know why our house hasn’t sold. It’s because we don’t have matching cushions adorning all the beds!
Of course, I’m not thinking that, not really, although I’ve watched enough of the programme Why Your Stinky Cluttered House Won’t Sell to know that all this ‘staging’ to make your house look as though nobody actually lives in it does work and, for the most part, we do do that each time we have a viewing. (Exhausting.) But the bedrooms could do with improvement so I have been and bought some crisp white bed linen, comforters (in an accent color) and some cushions in a different but matching color (see how good I am at this?).
Correspondingly, I fully expect the house to be sold by tomorrow.
Ha! Just as I was about to hit publish on this, the estate agent rang saying could someone come and look around in an hour from now. It’s a sign!
However, given I had to say no – there was no way I could get this place looking presentable in an hour – that may also be a (less than positive) sign.
Although we haven’t quite sold yet, I’m feeling confident. Here’s what we have learnt along the way:
Tips for selling your house
If you want your house to sell for a good price and relatively quickly there are a number of things you can do to make your house attractive to potential buyers:
Preparing your house for sale
1. Declutter and de-personalize – throw out anything you don’t need anymore and put any items you can into self-storage. Remove personal items such as family photographs, certificates or children’s artwork.
2. Fix all the little broken things inside and outside your house – make your house look like it has been well-cared for:
– fix any leaking gutters or broken fencing
– replace any broken floor tiles
– re-caulk around showers and baths
– replace broken window blinds
– clean or replace dirty or worn carpets
– make sure all light bulbs are working
3. Deep-clean your house including all the windows. And then clean your house regularly.
4. Buyers like to open cupboards so make sure your closets look clean and tidy and not too full (throw out or store clothes you don’t need), clean inside your refrigerator, make sure kitchen cupboards are clean and not crammed full of items.
5. Give your house kerb-appeal: mow the grass, invest in some plants to put by the door, give the door a fresh coat of paint or a good clean.
6. If the kitchen is looking worn, consider replacing it or replacing kitchen cupboard doors and old appliances.
7. Paint your walls in neutral colors so prospective purchasers can imagine themselves living there.
8. Arrange furniture to give as much space in a room as possible.
Staging your house
Once the preparation is done, it is a good idea to stage your house for viewing:
1. Use plain bedlinen in bedrooms and accessorize with cushions/pillows and comforters/throws.
2. Use plants, mirrors, lamps, cushions, flowers and other accessories in living areas to make your rooms look more attractive.
3. Accessorize bathrooms with nice lotions, soaps and towels. Close toilet lids and remove trash cans.
4. Tidy everything away, remove evidence of pets if you can and tidy away as many children’s toys as you can. Put away bulky kitchen appliances to leave kitchen worktops looking spacious.
5. Give your house a last-minute clean and open the windows for fresh air.
6. For the viewing make sure your house is warm, the lights are on and everything smells clean and fresh.
If you’re selling/have sold your house, let me know how you got on!