Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Going from a HOME to a HOUSE -- Part 1: Getting It Ready

Yes, you read that title correctly! Today let's talk about

Going From A HOME to a HOUSE.

This is going to be part 1 of a several part series. Then afterward, I'll share with you about Going From A HOUSE to a HOME.

It sounds like so many of you out there either currently have your house up for sale, or are thinking about it, that I thought I'd share some ideas with you on the subject of getting your house ready to sell and staging.

However, these aren't just ideas for those wanting to sell, they can be used by anyone wanting to just freshen up their current home, too! :)

Going From a HOME to a HOUSE is a very important thing to remember if you're selling. (Ignore this if you're not! :) Just think of it as bringing order to your home instead!) When you are getting your home ready to sell, you need to take a step back and look at your house objectively.

There is lots we can DO to get our house ready to sell, but did you know that it really should begin in your MIND??

We have so many lovely memories tucked into our hearts that revolve around our homes. We have family photos and personal collections and mementos throughout our house, which is part of what makes it feel like home to us. Our home is a nice place for friends and family to visit, and others may comment on our pretty decorating.

But the goal in having our house for sale is getting it SOLD!!!

You have to stop thinking of this as YOUR HOME, and start thinking of it hopefully belonging to another family soon. Take pictures around your home to remember it by, and then focus on your new goal.

A prospective buyer must be able to walk around your house, and picture themselves living there! When they start doing that, that's when houses get sold!

So, don't automatically assume that a buyer will think your collection of 50 ducks spread throughout your kitchen will be as cute as you do, or that they will "know that we still have to live here" and they'll ignore the pile of dirty laundry on the floor, or that they will want to see every photo of your sweet cutie-patooties!

You don't want buyers focusing on your STUFF, you want them focusing on the HOUSE!


Go through each room objectively. Sort items into Keep, Donate/Sell, and Trash.

Immediately get the trash and donation items out of there!! Plan your garage sale for an upcoming date, or better yet, just list larger ticket items on Craigslist and call it a day. Be sure to really think about what you want to take with you. It costs money to move your stuff, and the less stuff you have, the less it'll cost you. It's also the less stuff you'll have cluttering up the new house! :)


Remove most of your family photos (leaving a couple smaller special ones is okay). Wrap your collection of Disney items carefully for the new house. Got too much stuff jammed into your clothes closet, even after sorting for the donation pile? Box up your out of season items. Same goes for your kitchen cupboards...never use that omelet maker but once a year? Box it up.

Buyers want to see SPACE in a house!

De-personalize and clear out the "extras" so that they can picture themselves LOVING their new life in the house! :)

{Someone asked me where it was ok to keep these boxes. A corner of your basement, attic, or garage is fine, as long as your garage isn't horribly crammed full of stuff already. Ask a friend to loan you some space in their garage or storage shed if needed, too. If you have TONS of boxes, rent a storage space. The cost of that may be worth it if it helps your house sell quickly because a buyer thinks it seems so spacious and roomy!)


Now that your house is nice and clutter-free :) you can easily get to work!!

Notice I said "necessary" repairs. In these economic times, it isn't wise to spend lots of money on home improvements when selling. However, make sure to repair anything that could hinder the sale of your home (like a leaky spot in your roof).

This is also going to involve touching up paint around the house, making sure your carpets and floors look clean, giving your front door a fresh coat of glossy paint, and your landscaped beds a fresh topping of mulch.

It doesn't have to cost much, especially if you do the labor yourself for the easy stuff, but can make a HUGE impact on your house's appeal to buyers!!!


Make sure windows are sparkling, mirrors are shined, wood floors are gleaming, carpets stain-free, counters crumb free, ceiling fixtures dust free, and furniture pet-hair free.

Look over the house from ceiling to baseboards, front porch to back door, and roof to basement.

A clean house let's buyers know that you have taken excellent care of your home, and if they don't see any little problems, then they don't get worried about any big problems that might be hidden away.

I'm also going to touch on the issue of smell here. Have you ever noticed that every house has a unique "scent"? Some smell wonderful, like fresh baked cookies. Some smell like dirty dog, or mildew, or shoe. I am quite sure that none of you lovelies have a house that smells bad :), however... Get yourself a good friend to tell you if you need to freshen up the good scent factor.

Keep your pets (if you have any) bathed and groomed regularly to reduce any odors or pet hair.

And don't overdo the scented stuff either. This could backfire if a buyer is allergic to fragrances. Open your windows for fresh air if it's nice. Grind some citrus peels into the garbage disposal. Take out the trash daily. Clean often. If lighting a candle, make sure it's a "neutral scent" like a soft vanilla. If things are pretty bad in a certain area, use Febreeze spray to get rid of the odor smell. Just use a tiny squirt of a spray though, cause this stuff is powerful! It'll work, you just don't want to get knocked over by it :)!


{Tomorrow's post!}

You've got your list for getting your house ready now!

Do it in order, take lots of deep breaths, and know that you are making a BIG difference!

Whether it results in your house getting SOLD, or in feeling a sense of order and peace for spring cleaning your current home, I hope that you can smile with each accomplishment!

Believe me, if I can do it (and I just did!) then you can too!!! :)

Come back and visit me again tomorrow, Y'all!


Sandy Toes said...

Great ideas~ I feel sorry for anyone who has to sell a house in this market...but so many true points in your post!
sandy toe

Margo said...

Yes, but it's so hard to box the fun stuff up. But when you get to your new place, it's like Christmas. "I forgot I had that, now where to put it"

maynard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Darlene said...

I am so thankful we are not moving, but it is always good to look at your home with a fresh perspective. I always love coming home after vacation bc I can really "see" my house better for some reason!

Good to see you posting again, friend!!

Shanda said...

Such great advice! Looking forward to your continued photos and posts.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Great advice, good luck with your sale!

Carrie said...

Great Advice, when we sold our house it was springtime so we boxed up all our winter clothes, boots, coats and stored them in my mom's basement. Getting rid of all the out-of-season clothes made our closets look much more spacious.

Sarah said...

We did all of these things last year when we moved and it works! We sold our house within month!

Anonymous said...

We are on the verge of moving again. (third time in 3 1/2 years)

Your advice is right on the money. I see soooo many houses that refuse to change anything that will alter the way they 'live'. You can 'live' in a house or sell a house... usually you can't do both.

Thanks for the advice.