Staging Your Home to Sell Fast

Staging Your Home to Sell...Fast!

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!

pin for later!

Home Staging Tips| Wife in Progress

exterior of house

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.

new walkway

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.

new walkway

exterior-8

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. 

Living Room Staging

Living Room Staging

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.

Living Room Staging

Living Room Staging

Less is more when it comes to the mantle! 

White kitchen with glass tile backsplash Staging

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!

White kitchen with glass tile backsplash Staging

Breakfast bar Staging

Kitchen Staging

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.

dining room Staging

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!

dining room Staging

White bathroom Staging

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!

master bedroom Staging

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. 

new throw pillows Staging

You can always return the pillows after you sell the house ­čśë

master bedroom Staging

master bedroom staging

master-bedroom staging

master bathroom staging

Every staged bathroom should have fresh white towels! 

master bathroom staging

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! 

Master Suite Sitting Room Staging

desk staging

The nursery looks the same as what you’ve seen before. The rug basically just got a good vacuum!

nursery Staging

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.

Guest Room Staging

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.

Deck Staging

Deck Staging

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!

Back Yard Staging

Back Yard Staging

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 :-)

Deep Cleaning the Bathroom

  • This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #savewithbubbles #CollectiveBias

Deep Clean Bathroom Checklist

Our entire house is currently undergoing a MAJOR deep clean (for reasons I’ll share very very soon!). I try to keep on top of the cleaning as best I can but in all honesty I hate it. I’m so NOT a domestic cleaning goddess. So, more often than not, I let it slide which then results in waaay more work to get it clean again. Not fun.

This week I’m trying to be organized and clean a room a day. The first space I tackled was the bathroom. Now, on the surface it looks OK but it hasn’t had a real deeeeep clean in a couple of months.

When I need to tackle a major cleaning the first thing I always do is stock up on products . Right now, Dollar General is doing some great deals on Scrubbing Bubbles® products so I headed there to pick some up!

Secondly, my husband loves a good to-do list (It’s the accountant in him!) and  I’ve begun to get in the habit of creating checklists for everything I need to do to make sure I don’t forget anything. I know baby-brain is still affecting those brain cells of mine! Any and all lists, as well as calendars marked with appointments, are 100% necessary nowadays. :-/

For those of you who share my husband’s love of a good list, I’m sharing my Bathroom Deep Cleaning Checklist with you today in this post. I’m also including it as a downloadable pdf that you can print or file for future reference – if you’re into that sorta thing of course :-)

It’s important that you do the following tasks in the order listed:

Pre-cleaning:

  • Clear off all surfaces and place items outside the bathroom.
  • Remove towels, shower curtains and bath mats. Launder together on a cold wash with regular detergent.
  • Dust baseboards, light fixtures and fans.
  • Wipe down cabinets.

Deep-cleaning:

  • Gather your cleaning supplies: sponges, gloves, bathroom cleaner (I love the Scrubbing Bubbles┬«), toilet cleaner, plastic baggy, and microfiber cloth). Open up windows to ventilate the room.
  • Toilet: Pour toilet bowl cleaner in and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush. Make sure to get under the rim. Flush. Pour more cleaner into the bowl, close the lid and let it sit for 15 minutes. After that time you will flush again. I love to use the Scrubbing Bubbles┬« Toilet Cleaning Gel under the rim to keep my toilet clean 24/7 for up to 7 days.Scrubbing Bubbles toilet cleaning gelNext, wipe down the outside of the toilet with a product such as Disinfectant Scrubbing Bubbles┬« Bathroom Cleaner. You can turn the canister upside down and it will still work – handy for those various bends that tend to build up dust. Make sure you do the ENTIRE outside part. Rinse clean with a wet sponge.Scrubbing Bubbles Disinfectant
  • Bath: Here you’ll want to use a multi-surface bathroom cleaner that removes soap-scum.Scrubbing Bubbles Multi SurfaceThe Scrubbing Bubbles┬« Multi-Surface Bathroom Cleaner is perfect for this. Allow the product to penetrate the soil. Then, using a wet sponge, wipe the tub until you can run your hand along the side and not feel the buildup. 
  • Shower Stall: Again, the same multi-surface cleaner will work here. Rinse and buff with a microfiber cloth.
  • Sink: Using a cleaner such as the Disinfectant Scrubbing Bubbles┬« Bathroom Cleaner, wipe down the entire sink area including the faucet. Ensure that the area at the base of the faucet is clean as this tends to accumulate dirt. The foaming action of this product works wonders here and it really gets into all the nooks and crannies. The faucet can then be buffed to a shine with a microfiber cloth. Finally, clean countertops and mirror.
  • Grout: Dip an old toothbrush in bleach and scrub any discolored areas. Wipe down tile with the multi-surface cleaner.Whiten grout with bleach and an old toothrbush
  • Floor: Wash with a mop or steam cleaner. Let dry.
  • Return any removed items to the countertop and as well as freshly laundered towels and mat and shower curtains.

Head to your local Dollar General to load up on Scrubbing Bubbles® products while these great deals last.

You’ll find these products in the cleaning products aisle:

Dollar General Scrubbing Bubbles

From 7/12-8/2 Scrubbing Bubbles® will have the following coupons on the Dollar General Coupon Center:scrubbing bubbles products

$0.50 off any Scrubbing Bubbles® Bath Product

$1 off any Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel Product

 $0.50 off any Scrubbing Bubbles┬« All Purpose Cleaner

 

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download my printable Bathroom Deep Cleaning Checklist

Do you love to clean? Do you consider yourself quite the domestic goddess!?! I’d love to know what great tips you could share with me for other rooms in the home! 

10 Must-Have Tools for Every New DIYer

10 must-have tools for the DIYer

TGIF! Yikes, I just realized that it’s been over a month since my last post. It’s been a busy summer so far ’round these parts. My family came to visit from Ireland for a couple of weeks, we had Cian’s christening and Brian and I have been busy finally tackling lots of little bits around the house (painting ceilings, refinishing the floors, painting the exterior of the house!!). I’ll definitely get some before and after pictures to you soon!

While clearing out and organizing the garage the other day, I got to thinking. What have been the must-have tools in the first few years of my DIY journey? Brian and I have amassed quite the collection since we bought our home several years ago but what could we, as still relatively new DIYers, NOT live without? 

We own quite a lot of tools but these are the ones we couldn’t live without. If you’ve caught the DIY bug or just want some tools for around the house,  I think this selection will keep you pretty well equipped to handle most projects and issues that come up around the house. 

must-have tool - tape measure

      1. Tape measure – This is a no-brainer. Being a homeowner, nevermind a DIYer,  requires measuring. Whether you’re cutting a piece of wood or figuring out whether that new couch will fit a tape measure is essential.must-have tool - hammer
      2. Hammer – For banging in nails, pulling out nails or even distressing a piece of wood! If you already own a wooden hammer it will do the job nicely. However, if you’re in the market for a new hammer I suggest purchasing a fiber glass claw hammer. It will absorb the shock better than a traditional wooden one.
        must-have tool - standard level
      3. Standard (spirit) level – Never hang a shelf or picture frame crooked again! Almost every project will require you to check for level. A standard level has a little bubble that aligns to let you know when it’s straight – whether vertical or horizontal. I like the 2 foot box beam levels but a small 12 or 6 inch level can be handy too!must-have tool - cordless drill
      4. Cordless drill with various bits as well as screwdriver bits – Assembling IKEA furniture will be a breeze with one of these guys! You don’t need to spend a fortune, either. I got my Black & Decker one on sale for $50 and it’s probably the best money we’ve ever spent. A cordless drill is both a drill AND a power screwdriver. I even used mine when I was putting new drywall in the master bathroom.must-have tool - miter box
      5. Miter box – If you plan on installing new trim or baseboards in your home then this is an absolute essential. Instead of shelling out a couple hundred dollars on power tools, this $10 miter box will give you perfect 45 degree angles every time. This was one of the first purchases and all of the trim and baseboards that we replaced were perfectly cut with it!must-have tool - Brad Nailer
      6. Air compresser & brad nailer – When Brian and I decided to add Board & Batten to our dining room we knew it would take 10 times as long if we needed to hammer in a million nails. So instead, we purchased this pancake air compressor and brad nailer. Basically it’s a really frickin’ awesome nail gun and it’s perfect for installing any kind of trim, baseboard or wainscotting. Need to build a box? Use this and some wood glue and you’re all set! must-have tool - putty knife
      7. Putty knife – Spackling nail holes in a necessity. You will need a flexible putty knife to get it on smoothly.must-have tool - Palm Sander
      8. Palm sander – If you ever want to refinish furniture or heck, even your deck, then you will need a good palm (or orbital) sander. I purchased mine on Amazon for $35 and I’ve gotten a fair bit of use out of it. It was used extensively when I refinished the MCM dresser for the nursery. must-have tool - Utility Knife
      9. Utility knife – for general cutting and scoring of things. It’s just good to have!must-have tool - staple gun
      10. Staple gun – I’ve used my staple gun for several re-upholstery projects and even for attaching fabric to a canvas. Definitely a good item to own! Again, I picked mine up through Amazon and it was only $17.

Is there anything you would add to my list that you consider essential? Let me know in the comments! Have a great weekend!

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