General chatter - We just put our house up for sale... any advice??

04-20-2011, 08:49 PM
After several months of painting and fixing up our old house we have put it on the market. We're very excitied and really hopeful it will sell soon.
We are living in it while it is up- so I am having to keep it super clean at all times. Does anyone have any advice on cleaning and organization that will help me not work myself to death? On one hand the cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning has really helped me break my weight loss stall. But on the other hand it is adding stress- a metabolism killer!
Has anyone been through this process before? Any words of wisdom to share?? :D

04-20-2011, 10:08 PM
If you can afford to pay the fees for one of those storage places then get one and move some of your stuff there. Keep what you need of course, but the less full the house is the bigger and nicer it will look to buyers. Also, if you are using and agent, have them come do a walk through and give you suggestions. They won't mind, they want it to sell just as much as you do.

04-20-2011, 10:11 PM
I would say try to keep it as clean as possible. We were living with family and they had their house for sale and it was hard to live there and have walk-thrus. Hey, kids are messy. :o

get the word out about your house other than what the realtor has on their site- post on Craigslist and in the paper. Also if you have extra "stuff"- have a yard sale! people will come to get stuff and see the house is for sale!

04-20-2011, 10:50 PM
Yep. Clean clean clean and ask the realtor. Watch some of the shows about selling homes. Designed to sell, Unsellables, etc. They have a wealth of ideas on there.

Good luck! Hope you get a good price in this market.

04-20-2011, 11:17 PM
Selling a house is stressful. Very stressful. Yes, just keep it clean. I was lucky and my house sold quickly. The house was in good shape. The yard not so much. I just couldn't keep up with it.

I don't have kids but did sell the house with a cat and a little box. I de-cluttered at much as possible by putting everything extra in the spare bedroom closet, keep the master walk-in looking sparse.

I also took the offer I got without a counter. I was just so thrilled to have an offer. The house closed late but it closed and I was so glad. I have no regrets about accepting the offer.

LTs girl
04-21-2011, 12:14 AM
I agree with fitgirlygirl...if you can declutter and get a storage, I would. I want to be able to imagine my furniture in the room and see where outlets are and things like that. I would also keep it as clean as possible. We went into one house and it was disgusting...let's just say food on the floor with an ant problem. I couldn't believe they showed the house in that condition. We also went into a house where the ladies left her bras on the bed. She must have washed delicates that day cause all five were laying out like they were air drying. :o I would also make sure everyone takes their shoes off before walking in the house if you don't already.

It's also nice to have a few months (if not a years worth) of utility bills. I need some input to figure out a budget.

Hope some of this helps.

04-21-2011, 02:49 AM
Thank you sweet ladies! Those are some really good ideas. I am in uncharted territory. I hope this process will not be too too stressful.
I told my husband I may try and grill most of our meals on the deck grill- that way the kitchen will stay clean. Anything to make it easier on me right now :D

04-21-2011, 10:15 AM
Good luck! We were fortunate in that our house sold quickly when we had it on the market, but I remember that as a stressful time. It sounds like you've done the prep work you need to do, and now it's just a case of maintaining it, which you already know is hard. Cooking on the deck is a good idea. Stay out of the house as much as you can.

04-21-2011, 11:01 AM
Well, we are looking for a place right now and I can tell you what I don't want to see :-)
Dirty places are the worst. I mean the kitchen should be clean (no dirty dishes) and please don't have dirt laundry on the floor (even in the kids rooms).
Also, if you have quirky wall colours or kitchen cabinets in four colours, it is not something we can overlook. We just went to an open house on the weekend and oh man, everybody commented on that kitchen.
Make sure trimmings and baseboard are actually nailed down and not hanging off the walls or missing. Fences should be nice and well kept too.
All those little things add up and when I walk through and can already see a lot of work coming on minor repairs I don't want to hear what the inspector is saying...
What I am saying is make sure your house looks well kept. That is important.

PS: I can look past furniture and I think people have different taste, so I wouldn't worry about it unless it is broken or dirty.

04-21-2011, 11:44 AM
In addition to looking clean, make sure the house smells as fresh as possible. Opening windows and giving it a good airing is preferable to using chemical air fresheners.

If you have pets and have a flea problem, take care of it before you show the house. When I was house hunting, it was a real turnoff to realize after looking at a house that I had fleas on me. Also, in general, pets should be as unobtrusive as possible when you are showing the house, no matter how cute you may think they are.

04-21-2011, 01:48 PM
Burn candles or heat spices on the stove right before a showing....a bad smell is a big turn off. You might not be able to smell the fish you cooked last night, but they will. :)

I agree with everyone, being clean is number 1. It is hard, but the one thing that still sticks in my mind from when we sold is that buyers told the realtor the house was immaculate. I don't remember the legal mumbo jumbo, but I remember feeling proud of that comment.

Light fixtures often get overlooked if you don't use them a lot, but buyers might turn them on. Try to think of other things you would look at if you were buying.

04-21-2011, 04:59 PM
Smell is a big thing. Oil warmers are awesome and provide a less chemical smell than your typical air freshener. I can't wait to be in your shoes. This one will be going on the market in June 2012.

04-21-2011, 06:26 PM
We have done this multiple times and I do not envy you right now! It's so much work, especially with kids but YOU CAN DO IT!

* Stage your home, try and make it look like a model homes. My realtor hired a stager to come in and offer advice and also brought in some plants and other decor items.

* Air out the entire house daily

* Get a storage unit

* Declutter, declutter, and declutter some more. The less toys around, the less the kids can drag out. Also you will want to make all of the rooms and closets look spacious. Same thing goes with the kitchen cabinets and drawers. People do look.

* Everything except for a few appliances off the kitchen counters always. No dirty dishes in the sink.

* No dirty laundry on the floors ever.

* Clorox wipes are your new best friend.
Clean, clean, clean. I had multiple bathrooms and I just closed the ones not used often up and then I only had 1 to clean when the call came in.

* I kept a basket to throw all my mail and personal stuff in and I brought that with me when I had to leave the house.

* Also you should put away all of your valuables, jewelry, kids small electronics, any kind of personal information (bills, etc)

04-21-2011, 06:27 PM
Agree with FitGirly - in the long run, a storage unit might run a few hundred $ but when you're looking at getting so much more for your house, it seems inconsequential to spend it to potentially speed a sale. Declutter anything and everything that you can!

An old trick, but a good one, bake something early in the morning that has cinnamon in it - or fresh bread - that smells like HOME to folks ... and then donate it to a VFW or a nursing home or to your humane society workers or something - muffins, etc., are welcomed most places like that.

Fresh flowering plants near the entry are nice if you can. Also what I have is a TOP 10 reasons I love my home listing that I keep updating ... for when we want to sell. A friend and I did this to sell her home a few years ago after it wasn't getting any bites - whammo :) not that it did it but it helps people see things they might not see in a few run throughs. Like I am on the end of the street and have unencumbered views of the sunset all year long...the more-than-ample closet space (take things out and store so they don't look packed to the rafters!) ... basically highlight anything you think someone might miss that kind of "makes" your home to you.


04-26-2011, 03:02 AM
Thank you all for the great advice!!
I am down to a daily routine now and the whole house is really clean every day by 12:00. I go through each room and clean, vacuum, etc. Then I walk the yard and make sure the driveway is blowed off, limbs are picked up and the flowers are watered.
I have made a strict rule with myself that I want it all done by noon. That way at a moments notice I am always ready. I would rather live like this than be overwhelmed cleaning in a hurry. Actually once the cleaning is done I am free the rest of the day to exercise or anything else. I am a homemaker and empty nester so I am doing better with this than I thought I would have.
We are hoping and praying our dreams of living in the country closer to our grown kids will come true real soon! We have planned and worked towards this a long time. We lived in this area as long as we did because we had aging parents that we loved and wanted to make sure they were cared for. They all have passed now and we are looking forward to our future. I turn 50 this year and I am excited about putting our house up for sale and moving...I feel like a kid :)