A few weeks before we listed our house, we spoke with a realtor who came by and walked through the house, and prepared an estimate of what he thought our house would sell for. When we were getting the house ready to list I asked him what we should do beyond cleaning, decluttering, and taking personal items down. He suggested that we get the basement as empty as possible, either by selling the items or by storing them in the garage. That answer surprised me, but I guess it must be easier for a potential buyer to look at a garage with stuff in it and envision cars in it, than to see a basement cluttered with stuff and think of how much storage there is.
I scoured Pinterest for staging ideas and came up with a list of things we should do. We wanted to spend as little money as possible but have the house look as nice as possible.
We sold and gave away so much stuff! There was a minor brawl on my hands over the piano giveaway (but I need to let that go...LOL). As I mentioned in my previous post, we sold the snow blower. We also sold extra pieces of furniture, and anything that was down in the basement or in the garage that we knew we didn't really need or want to move.
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law came to see us before we listed the house, and they were such a HUGE help in getting our house ready for listing! We couldn't have done it without them! I also had two friends come by and help me, and again - I couldn't have done it without them!
Besides cleaning and decluttering, we touched up paint. Some of that ended up being a huge job because of old paint not matching the new touch up paint (I painted two whole walls in the dining room). Because we took personal pictures down there wasn't much on the walls, but it ended up looking perfect in the pictures!
We did buy a new toilet seat and new towel rods for the bathroom. I also bought fluffy white towels for the bathroom, as I had read that on several posts about staging houses. Besides those things for the bathroom, and touch up paint, we didn't buy anything else for inside. In April I redid the flower beds up front before we knew any of this was up, so I added some bark mulch (3 bags @ $2.50 a bag), a $5 pillow for the bench and a $10 fern for the plant stand. Just some things to add a little curb appeal. In the back, we had a long bed that we had taken lilacs out of in the fall. It really needed something to make it look like it had a purpose, so I bought hostas from a person selling them on Craigslist. That was $10 and I got enough to fill in the length of the bed. Also outside, we sold our raised beds and soil and gave away our compost bin and all the wonderful compost and worms inside it!
We didn't do anything terribly fancy or expensive. Mostly it was just elbow grease and either packing or selling extra stuff around so each room had nothing but the basics. It does look a little sparsely decorated but I wanted to lean that way more than overly decorated. Once we listed the house, we had a lot of interest! The first two days it was on the market, we had 10 showings and 2 offers, one of which we accepted! Our realtor told us that the hard work we put into decluttering and staging really made a difference!
The finalization of the sale of our house was not a super easy thing though - we hit a few snags. But it all went through and we were so thankful to our realtor who took care of everything after we were already moved out and in another state!
Tomorrow: the Move, and Our New House