Saturday 30 January 2016

When Your Selling Your House...

picture from my favourite house blog Hooked on Houses
ALERT: This is a long post so I have decided to cut it into 3.

There arent many things that I feel I can talk about. Ideas I have loads, but there are two things I know - I like white bread only and the other one is how to stage a house to sell it.  Everything else, I am probably shooting from the hip. These are our experiences and observations, everyone will do things differently and every move is different. This will just give you some ideas...

I have thought about this a lot lately due to peoples blog posts, comments from friends and family about they changes we are making and in general, people tend to market their home around Easter.

Many people come back from holidays in say a hotel or a Gite in France or a holiday home else where.  People tend to say how nice and airy it was, and easy to keep and think how uncomplicated it all is.  How it was so practical and tidy and easy to clean  Then they come home, air port rage, you've have lost a suit case, the transfer bus takes for ever to arrive, the kids are whining.  Then you cant remember where you parked the car in the airport parking.  (been here seen it with my family, TIP - take a picture on your phone of the parking number and area).

You arrive home, suitcases are emptied out in front of washers, theres a tonne of post.  You look around your home and you have a visuals headache.  This is not the home from the magazine or the holiday home with all of the sun you have just left behind.  Normal life resumes and it all feels claustrophobic.  Seems familiar to some?  I see you, nodding your head to at least one of these things. (OK so I dont really, that would be creepy).  Could it be that you have more things than you need?

So, firstly why do you want to move...? If you answer that you need more room and you have more spare beds than people who sleep in them, think about how each room is used.  As you may not need to move.  Especially if you really like the area.

Forget Marie Kondo, that isnt going to be fast enough, she says 6 months.  The summer is coming - you need a skip, a dumpster if you are American.  Go through everything.  Anything that isnt an heirloom, or you might die if you dont have it, get rid.  All the rubbish throw it out.  Car boots near your house?  You are going to frequent them to sell.  YOU ARE NOT GOING THERE TO BUY MORE.  If you are a hoarder, have a friend who is "firm", there to help you throw it all away.  You will only pay the removal men to move it to the next house.  It will sit in a box for 6 months and then it will move to the loft and never be opened.  You are paying mortgage payments to house toilet roll rockets, all 20 of them, from when your child was 2, they are now 30 and have children of their own?  Keep 1, take a picture of the rest and recycle them.

Moving home costs lots of money.  Removal men, stamp duty, solicitors fees, time taken off work to view if needs be.  You have to be sure that you really do have to move.  Or you could just be like me and you dont mind moving, your an old hand. you can skip to the end and leave all of your helpful tips for moving and ditching the junk.

Now you have pared right back, do you still want to move?  If you do read on

My advise when selling a house

  •  clean it to within an inch of its life.  And then bring in a professional cleaner.  Get the ovens and everything clean.  Bathrooms and kitchens really do sell the house.

Even if you house isnt perfect, it will make the people think the house has been well cared for.

  • Get rid of everything but the basics.  most people buy a house to go larger.  They dont want to see that the people who live there, dont fit, especially if their family is bigger than yours.

  • Start to think and get into the habit of thinking - you are trying to make money here, so every morning when you leave the house, your home is your show room.  Leave it exactly at its best.  Keep on top of the laundry and dishes.  Leave nothing in the sink.  Sounds easy right?  start now.  It will become easier.

  • Each room you have said is a bedroom, should look like a bedroom.  
Your house is up against new builds, perfectly styled, they have had marketing people look at it and have all the tricks to sell you a house.  The sofas maybe slightly smaller, they wont have cupboards in the room, as the rooms are quite small.  People realise this, but because there isnt work to do fixing it up and it is all fresh and clean they buy them.  You have to go the extra mile.  In your box room, that you have used as an office or a dump ground, borrow a bed, or buy a cheap Z bed, or even go to a charity shop and buy a bed (we have done this 3 times).  Make it look usable.  The bed can then be donated back to the charity shop.  Are you going to really jeopardise a sale of your biggest asset for the want of a £40 bed and giving those people with no vision a reason to not buy you house?

  • Get a friend to look at your house and critique it.  You have seen it on Phil Spencer, Secret Agent, where he gives them the truth in a pamphlet.  Someone telling you what they see as they enter the house and anything that they would be worried about, new buyers will also.  You become immune to things as the years go on.  You no longer see it.  A really good friend or family member will tell you what they think.  They want to help you and they want you to be happy and that means selling and moving.

Did I say clean?
  • Clean clean clean.  And dont forget the garden.  Clean all hard standing areas, jet wash them if they look dingy.

Now you are nearly there, do you think you are ready for Estate Agents to view your house and value it?  

Post 2, will cover about what we have learnt from dealing with Estate Agents

Please leave any helpful comments you can think of.  I will add them to post 3 all in the one place so people can see them without searching.  I will cut and paste with your blog links.  Please put them in the body of the comment text.


galant said...

I think you have handed out some very good advice. I'd add: remove all clothe draped over radiators, such as tea towels drying off (they should be washed when they are damp, not dried off, but many people do this); remove all newspapers, plump up cushions, remove all rubbish (garbage to Americans) so that the place doesn't smell of onion peelings, etc. Make sure there isn't a row of shoes by the front/back door. Make sure that if you have flowers in a room they are (a) fresh and not half-dead and (b) that the water is pristine (remove all leaves, etc, below the water line to prevent build up of bacteria in the water.) If you have lots of framed family photos, the ideal place for these is in a private area of the house, say the bedroom and not plastered all over the walls of the hall. Keep them to a minimum. If you have lots of books (as indeed I have) make sure that they are arranged tidily on the shelves, not all topsy turvey. Break up large areas of books with other items, such as boxes, pictures, ornaments. Buy a few of the monthly style magazines if you're not in the habit of doing so already and see how rooms can be attractively styled.
Margaret P

Sol said...

Thanks Margaret, do you have a blog that I can linK to?

lovelygrey said...

Brilliant post darling!! x

Sol said...

Hey Lovelygrey, glad you liked it. It would seem that people find it really hard to move. I think I am immune to it. Lifes an adventure right, why not adventure along with a new home? Hope you are well

Harry Flashman said...

I should send a link to my kids so they can read your series on home selling. I'm going out of here feet first if I have my way, though my wife does not concur with that plan for the future.

I imagine the kids will have to sell the place after I croak.

Sol said...

Hi ya Harry, I dont know if this is how to do it in the US. Over there you have an estate agent who helps you buy? Over here it is the reverse, they help you sell and market the house for you.

My parents are about to downsize this year. That is going to be really tense and emotional for them. They are getting frail now and it is a lot of up keep and work for them. They love where it is also, so getting them to move a 4 bed house into a very small 2 bed bungalow/ranch will be a real shock to them... Me, Posh Boy comes home, says "my new job posting is in Blah Blah", and off we go and move. Some people get really upset and stressed out. I think I miss the gene of being emotionally attached to a building. I havent found a house yet that I dug my heels in and said no. Some day maybe, or maybe it is because I dont have any kids and memories of little Johnny taking his first steps in the lounge...

What if you wife found the perfect place in Florida, warmer no snow... Never say never and all that.

Unknown said...

I can't agree more on the remembering to remove washing from the radiators. One year I decided to hold a surprise Birthday party for my Hubby and I'd gone to great lengths cleaning and sorting while hiding all the food prep in the car. I'd arranged to meet all our friends round the corner and we decended upon him in a "Surprise" but I got the surprise when I realised he'd emptied the washer of all my underwear and hung it on all the radiators around the house...........oh the shame!!!!

Chickpea said...

Thank you all very helpful, we sold our house within a couple of weeks so luckily haven't had the stress of living in a 'show home' for too long. Back to our comfortable style now. One thing I would say about the whole process is to consider selling your house through an online estate agent. We sold ours through Sarah Beeny and can't praise it enough. They are there to answer any questions in the evening and the weekend which is essential if you are out at work. They have advised us all the way through the process and will be helping with the chain when we find our next home. All for a hell of a lot cheaper than traditional estate agents.

Sol said...

Hey Chickpea, so glad you are getting to start to look at your dream home and more to how you would like to live in the future. will for sure put this in a screen shot for the next post.

Hope you are well

Sol said...

Hey Julee, pants on the radiator! I would have died

kymber said...

Sol - my big piece of advice would be to remove EVERY SINGLE PERSONAL ITEM from the home - all personal family pics, all personal fave books, all personal anything. make things general (photos, books, paintings, etc.) and do not clutter the place. if you have a big giant bookshelf - remove at least half of the books and only leave those kinds of books that won't offend (so no religious material, no full-set collection of Sheakspeare or Wilde, absolutely no new-agey stuff at all!). present each room as an opportunity - this room could be an office - then put a desk and a computer and a small filing cabinet in it. and one picture on the wall of the outdoors.

i have a bazillion suggestions but don't want to hog your comments section. we sold our house in the city to the 2 first people who walked in the door - and we did not use a realtor! we did an open house and the next day we had an offer - woohoo! but i staged the place like mad...and made every room look open and inviting.

great post girl! and looking forward to the next posts...WITH PICTURES! if you send me your email i will send you pics of how our house looked like while we lived in it...and how we staged it. BIIIIIG difference!

sending love, as always! your friend,

Sol said...

Fill her up Kymber, so many people ask me the same questions again and again. I can direct them here. With lots of other peoples ideas as well. In the 3rd post I will link to everyone

galant said...

Sorry, Sol, but no, I don't have a blog (it has been suggested to me that I should have one but if I did, nothing else would be done ... I write features for some magazines and the local paper) and am especially keen on anything to do with houses, gardens, social history, d├ęcor, etc.
Margaret P

Elaine said...

Excellent post! We have no plans to leave here, other than in the style which Harry mentioned, but then again - who knows? I shall keep these posts bookmarked, just incase. I'd also add make sure that the dog beds, dogs, etc are either farmed out for the viewing, or kept sweet-smelling and under control. Cat litter trays need to be pristine, no hint of cat wee.

Having said all that, the cottage which we viewed on behalf of our son and his wife (away working in China) stank terribly of urine, old man, and damp. It was festooned with cobwebs, filthy and dirty, the cupboards were full of ancient junk - and yet, we fell in love with it and could see the potential for a lovely first home. It has been jolly hard work doing it up, but we are getting there.

Sol said...

Hey Margaret, maybe just have a blog to link to your works in the paper and magazine? That would be interesting. From your comments you are in my home town area.

Hey Fliss, good one about the pet beds and litter trays. Poppy and Miles are going to love their home, I can see little veg and herb beds in their garden. I can see it being a very happy home for them. And they will be surrounded with the love of family. And that is what matters, right?