It's Show Time: Preparing the House For Sale
Getting a house ready for sale is something we have done quite a few times. We have moved a fair amount and so now we are getting quite skilled at it. This time we had much less to do than previously. We live in a condo, so no real outside maintenance, and we have only been here 4 years, so not accumulated much from the last move to this. But we did do a few things to make sure that we took everything up a notch and gave our house the best opportunity to sell.
One piece of advice I have heard and truly believe, when you are preparing a house for sale is that you need to create a space that the viewers will feel they can can be happy in. After all most people buying a house are making a big change and they want to imagine that this will be a place that they will have good experiences. So our goal was to make our house look like one of those photo shoots in Sunset magazine, where everything has a place, and there's a place for everything.
Downstairs, we made sure our closets were tidy and organized. Iain is much tidier than I am in this respect, he barely had to do anything, but I am not as meticulous as he is about folding clothes. So first thing I did was make sure everything in my closet was folded like I worked at Gap. I actually already color co-ordinate my closet (I know it may be a little tragic that I admit this but oh well), so much less to do here. In our guest room we use a little of the closet space to store rarely worn clothes like formal wear. We culled that down dramatically and donated to Goodwill, as carting around previously worn party wear, doesn't figure in my future.
In the bathroom, again Iain has minimal man-grooming stuff, whereas as I have every bottle of product known to man. I work in the skincare industry and frequently get the chance to get free product, so gazillions of samples of miracle creams, miraculously found there way to the trash. That coupled with every hair product I have ever bought to try and tame the beast that is my curly hair (mostly unsuccessfully - see blog post here) meant a sizable bag of bottles in the recycling this week.
In the laundry room, we tidied everything away except some eco-friendly Method products and a couple of crisp cotton shirts left hanging on our laundry hamper. We've learned a lot from our visits to The Container Store!! The hall closet holds winter coats sports gear etc. So after some removal of excess stuff we organized it and it became like the perfect place to store items for the beach, items for a picnic, items for a hike, items for a bike ride!!
Upstairs in the kitchen we donated all the old cook books, and left just the lifestyle books. So anyone who views the place can imagine that they will whip up fabulous meals in their gourmet kitchen just like Jamie Oliver. We cleaned out all the cupboards and made sure everything was tidy and organized. Finally in the office, no stray papers, no old magazines, just a notepad, a couple of things clipped stylishly to the pin bard, and a stylish screen saver on the computer.
Time for the first Real Estate open house, all the lights on, music playing in the background and it's show time. The verdict: Our agent asked who was our interior designer and everyone thought the house was professionally staged. Now we just need a prospective buyer who loves taking a hike along the beach in a crisp cotton shirt, before coming home with their friends to enjoy a beautifully cooked Jamie Oliver meal, to cross our threshold. Fingers crossed.