What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, April 2, 2007

If you have read my other blogs, you will already know there is a possibility of us unexpectedly moving. We are currently on waterfront property as is the house we want to buy. The problem is with waterfront property you have to act fast! So in less than a week we have viewed the house twice and the offer was put in on Saturday and is tentatively accepted. We will know for sure before 5 pm and if accepted our house will be listed this evening. That means everyone from their firm will be doing a walk through tomorrow. Thank goodness I have been doing spring cleaning! If all goes well, this will be our fourteenth move since we were married. I've learned a trick or two about moving in general and those little extras to do when you are selling your house that I thought I would share.

Moving is stressful as it is but if you aren't organized, it will be worse. Reduce whatever you can. There is no point of moving stuff you never use. Donate, give away or toss these items. Do not buy anything you don't absolutely have too unless it is something like appliances that will be delivered to your new address. Eat from your pantry and freezers. The less food you have to move the better. Put your normal food budget money into an envelop and save that for restocking after you are moved. Start packing early, just as soon as you know you are moving. Pack daily if at all possible, fifteen to thirty minutes at a time. Label the boxes according to what room they go into in the new house or apartment.

The biggest tip I have for selling a house is once it is on the market, consider it not yours. Look at it through the eyes of a buyer. You have to do what it takes to sell it. Presentation is everything! Here are some tricks I've learned over the years for selling your home:

  1. declutter - Buyers want to see space and potential. They are trying to visualize how they would used the space. If you can't get the clutter moved fast enough, hide whatever you can in dressers or storage containers but not in closets or built-in storage. Make your house a bright and spacious feeling as possible.
  2. pets - Sorry, your pet might be the centre of your universe and a very pleasant critter but potential buyers might not see it that way. Many people have allergies to cats and dogs as well as just aren't really into other pets like reptiles or rodents. These need to be out of the home when it is being showed and there should be no evidence of any pet odour. The only exception to this is a well maintained, sparkling fish aquarium that tends to be rather soothing.
  3. air fresheners - Gone! All you need is a potential buyer to have an asthma attack or chemical reaction because they are sensitive.
  4. personal items - Most people realize that you still have to carry on your life while your house is on the market. They don't want or need to see all your hair care products, dental stuff, your favourite nightie and house coat, or even your dirty laundry whether in a hamper or not.
  5. cleanliness - Buyers aren't expecting perfection but they are expecting clean. The kitchen and bathroom(s) should be spotless though. Potential buyers will be turned off by a sink full of dirty dishes or a dirty stove even it is not included in the sale. Clean the stove and if you don't have time to do the dishes put them in the dishwasher or covered tote. Shine those sinks using baking soda, rinse well and dry. Shine up the taps with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water.
  6. sparkle - Your house ideally should sparkle from top to bottom. Remember first impressions count especially when selling a house. Dust everything including light bulbs and keep it dusted while the house is listed. Wash all the light fixtures so they sparkle. Don't forget the mirrors and taps. Again, use a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. Just before your house is being shown go through and turn on every light even if it is daytime.
  7. appealing to senses - You really need to appeal to a buyer's senses with of course the most important being visual. However other senses come into play. Some real estate agents recommend baking something like a pie or bread. I can you we sold one house that way and because of the buyers lovely comments I left a plant and loaf of homemade bread for them on moving day. Quiet instrumental or classical background music can help too.
Garden Gnome
© 2007


TracyKM said...

When we sold our house last year, one of the first visitors said it smelled like cat pee from the moment they opened the front door. No one else, not even our agent, noticed anything. You never know! We played the Toronto jazz station and had a little pot pourri warming. Our agent also had us remove most of the plants in our bay window. We didn't want to, but it did really brighten the place us. THe house looked so great while it was for sale we almost didn't want to move!

Garden Gnome said...

That's the problem when selling a house. You just never know but the advice to remove the plants was a good one. Anything that makes the house appear bigger and brighter helps.