Yup! It’s official – our house is on the market! Brian and I have been frantically cleaning, finishing up projects and staging every room over the past couple of months in order to get our house ready to sell.
It’s been exhausting to say the least. But we’re extremely happy with how the house is showing to potential buyers.
We decided several months ago that this summer would be the perfect time to sell. It’s very much still a seller’s market here in Boston, so making as much profit as possible was the end game. The current seller’s market also means that the majority of home owners are NOT accepting contingencies where the buyer has to sell their home first. So, we’ve decided to sell our house, then rent an apartment and save for our dream home. We don’t want to rush into anything, we want to take our time and find a home that we can love for a really long time.
Today I thought it would be fun to share our MLS listing pictures with you, along with my best home staging tips. We had our first offer within 24 hours of the listing going live, so I think we did something right!
First impressions are everything. Your home needs to have great curb appeal or it will immediately turn away prospective buyers. Our exterior was looking a bit sad before we gave it some TLC. We painted the exterior (Steely Gray by Sherwin Williams), added shiny new hardware to the front door and made sure the shrubs and grass were cut. We added mulch to the beds and edged. We also tore up the old walkway and replaced it with new pavers and painted the railing on the stairs.
This entire walkway cost less than $150 and while it was difficult work – those babies are heavy- my husband was able to knock it out in a couple of hours.
The living room was repainted last summer so it just needed to be tidied up and decluttered. Don’t our floors look lovely? We had them refinished in June – another absolute necessity if they are looking old and worn. Ours had never been refinished, and were original our 1950’s house, but now they look brand new.
For home staging, it is said you should de-personalize your home as much as possible. This means that generally you don’t want to have too many pictures of yourself on the walls. I replaced the photographs over the couch with some scrap book paper that tied in with the colors in the room.
Less is more when it comes to the mantle!
Again, the kitchen didn’t need much work. We replaced the dishwasher recently so that it matched all the other appliances and we had the ceilings painted – as we did with the rest of the ceilings, too.
You want as little as possible on your counter tops – just keep what you can’t live without! Now, I could live without the Kitchen Aid mixer but it’s too heavy/big to move anywhere else, plus, I think it looks good in that corner.
Don’t forget to clean both the outside and inside of all your cabinets and shine those stainless steel appliances!
Our wall colors are all neutrals: grays, whites, beiges and light blues. If you have any crazy paint colors I highly recommend painting over them. Staged homes are neutral. Everyone can appreciate neutral, not everyone loves brightly colored or in-your-face walls.
We organized the pantry in the dining room, spray painted the handles on the backdoor ORB so that they matched the new hardware in the hallway. We touched up the paint anywhere that was necessary – that meant on the stairs, doors, trim or baseboards. Put your best foot forward!
The bathroom needs to be absolutely spotless. You saw how I deep-cleaned in my last post. The final step was to remove all the products from the shower and sink and add an orchid to brighten up the space. Again, don’t forget to shine the faucets and shower heads and of course make sure the mirror is spotless!
For the master bedroom I tried to create a retreat-like space. Light, bright and relaxing was the look I was going for. I switched out our dark gray drapes and added a pair of white sheers that I picked up at Home Goods for the clearance price of $10. I also purchased some new throw pillows from Target for the bed to add a pop of color.
You can always return the pillows after you sell the house 😉
Every staged bathroom should have fresh white towels!
My best tip for you is to make sure that every room has a clear purpose. Not all buyers have great imaginations. Sometimes they need help seeing how a space can be used.For example, we have a bonus room upstairs that you have to walk through to get to our master bedroom. It’s not a bedroom because you have to walk through it and we’ve only ever used it as a “getting dressed” space for my husband as he uses the closets in there. In order for this room to have a clear purpose, we staged it as a sitting room with an office nook. This way our upstairs could then be marketed as a “Master Suite”.
We already had the couch and ottoman, and had moved the desk up here when we converted our office to the guest-room. I just added an old laptop to the desk, a TV to the chest of drawers and a lamp next to the couch. Voila – a sitting room!
The nursery looks the same as what you’ve seen before. The rug basically just got a good vacuum!
The guest room got a fresh coat of paint on the walls, ceiling and the window trim was replaced so that it matched the other rooms. I always have this room staged with the tray on the bed. It really makes it look like a very welcoming guest space. Oh, and you cannot go wrong with white bedding. It looks clean and fresh. The pop of color can come in through the nightstands or pillows. You can take a look at our Guest Room Reveal to see more pictures.
For showings, I like to turn on all the lamps in the bedrooms in particular. It creates a cozy atmosphere that entices buyers.
The deck is old and bit splintery, so an outdoor rug was used to stage a more inviting space. Planters in the corner add a pop of color.
We wanted to wait until June or July before listing our house so that all the trees were grown in. I will miss all these lush trees!
Finally, when it comes to decluttering, do it RIGHT. Get a dumpster and clean out the house. Anything that you must keep should be packed away in storage bins or organized in a closet, out of the way. You know what they say, “a place for everything and everything in its place”. Moreover, DO NOT overfill your closets. This shows buyers that you do not have enough closet space! I had my husband move some of his clothes down to our guest room for this exact reason!
If you have any other tips to share I’d love to hear them! Drop me a line in the comments
Wish us luck and we go through this exhausting and exciting selling process! I can’t wait to see where my little family ends up! Exciting times are ahead of us