Our new home: what did all the houses have in common and how we sold ours

If you want to sell a house and you use a realtor you’ll surely hear certain advice about how your house should look. That’s why later when you walk through properties most of it looks very similar to each other and an exceptions are the ones that were built a long time ago. A lot of houses have awesome decor, everything is cleaned up, smells good…

In the previous post of this short series I told you about what we paid attention to while looking for a new place and what we rejected like that. Today I’m going to talk to you about what all the houses we saw had in common if it comes to the way they looked and what we did to sell our house. Note that I’m talking about my personal experience.
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  1. Cleaning

Seems like an obvious thing but seeing some places I had an impression that people didn’t really care. In general, our realtor (who we thought we wanted to help us with selling our house but I’ll tell you more about it later) that it’s best to get rid of most of the things we have and leave the ones that we use only which means, knives, paper towels, cosmetics in our bathroom, etc. The rest like pictures on the walls, books, decorative items, clothes on the bed and so on should disappear. Just to leave the house as neutral as possible so that people looking at it can imagine what they’ll do instead of trying to go through everything that old owners have.

  1. Carpets

When they build houses they put carpets on the floors right then so wherever you go you’ll see wall to wall carpets. Most of them look the same because you don’t really change them for a long time. The ones put at the beginning are lower quality and they get used pretty quickly, also depending on what you do of course. They’re thin, light, not plush at all. IF they have stains it’s good to get someone to clean them but if they’re super used it’s better to replace them because clients won’t like them at all. It’s not that cheap because the higher quality carpets start from around $2.50 per sq ft, add to it some padding, taking off the old ones and the whole labor. That’s why people sometimes prefer to lower a price for a house a little bit instead of paying for replacing the carpets. It’s important considering that carpets are in most of the floor in the house.
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  1. Cleaning / replacing hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are very valuable for people, they love them. If someone doesn’t take a good care of their floors they’ll have a problem after a while because they can get very ruined, they can have holes and stuff and then there’s not much you can do. It’s good to at least do a good wash and polish but if it’s in a bad condition then just replace them. Here it’s the same thing that I mentioned with carpets – some people prefer to lower the price of the house instead of paying for replacing floors. Ours are in a pretty good condition so we didn’t need to do anything with them.

  1. Refreshing the house outside 

Another advice we got and that other people get too was to pressure wash our house. This way mold and other weird things will go away. Because if you go to see a house you see it from outside too and we didn’t want one who had terrible stains on the whole two walls, what if something was licking from the roof or something? We also painted our deck and put some more screws to make it stop squeaking ;).
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  1. The area

Trimmed grass is a must-have! Nobody likes having a grass up to your knees. But it’s pretty easy here because (like I said in my last video) the grass in front of your house has to be trimmed because people from the home association drive around and check everything from time to time. It’s good to clean the mess you have behind the house like, for example, spider webs all over the place that we saw outside one of the houses we looked at (the one that smelled bad).

  1. Candles, incenses, open space

Since I mentioned about the smell I need to add here that one of the advice we got was to buy some candles that matches the season. This seemed a little strange to me but while looking at other houses I noticed, or smelled, that most of them really had some candles and in some of them it was pretty pleasant but others did too much. Too bad that the stinky one didn’t have any… Man, I can’t get over it! Anyway, it’s also very important to put as much light into a house as possible, to leave curtains open. Also, walls are usually painted at the beginning on a very neutral color, kind of yellow, mustard or something. It matches everything, is bright and nice to look at. If someone has walls that are bright pink for example it’s good to repaint them. I didn’t really care much about the walls color because if you don’t like something you can always repaint.

  1. Staging

One more advice we got was to get people to stage our house. They’d simply use their magic to make a average house into a work of art. And let me tell you, it’s easy to see which houses used that and which didn’t but did it make any big difference? Not really. I personally prefer not to go overboard with an awesome decor because this is another situation when I can’t really imagine what I’d do in the house.
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  1. Photos

Taking pictures using a bad phone and putting them to your listing is a really bad idea. It doesn’t do any good for you and for the houses when you can’t see anything in the photos and really I don’t even want to go and see a house like that. The realtor we talked to said that if we’ll want to sell the house with her help we’ll have a professional photographer to take pictures and show what’s worth showing. But then while looking at listings I thought that some people do a little too much. Professional photography is awesome but tons of editing not that much.
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I already told you that we ended up not needing the realtor because even though we had one it turned out we sold the house without her help. Besides what I talked about in this post we fixed all the little holes in our walls and repainted a few walls that were pretty dirty. After we move out someone will come here to clean everything to the end. And that’s all. Like I said before, one of our neighbors is a realtor and turned out she had a client who wanted a house in this subdivision. He and his wife looked at it via Skype and they made a decision to buy it. Everything in one day! Perfect. We didn’t have to do any strange staging, candles or anything ;).
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In the next post of this series I’ll tell you some more about our new house! It’s all very exciting for me :)).
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Talk to you next time,

Aga
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Pictures in this post come from zillow.com and show houses in my area that are currently for sale. The main photo of the post comes from Google Images.
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glosowanie

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