Since we are taking the versatile light fixture from the dining space, our Realtor suggested switching it out prior to listing & showing. We spotted this oval linen drum shade fixture on clearance at Lowes and it's still a great fit with the transitional look of the space.
To depersonalize, I removed all of our personal photos (about 36) and replaced a few (from walls) with abstracts. I scaled back on a few accessory items - including prints - which made the space look too cluttered in some preliminary photos. But just a touch of print made the spaces look on trend - ready for stylish living today.
I took a closer look at EVERY corner - SERIOUSLY - by turning on all the lights and opening up all window treatments to REALLY look at corners, edges, ledges (especially since we have a pet) and lights. I was a little surprised at what I started to notice when I started looking at what a potential buyer would be looking at. CLEANLINESS is KEY, which I learned, can even effect the property appraisal (especially in the bathrooms!!).
I checked all corners where cabinets and or windows met. A fresh caulking did wonders! Cleaning all windows - both inside & out also made a difference to make the space look fresh, crisp and bright. (All that room spray and Febreze doesn't always land on fabric lol) Using an old tooth-brush and some Clorox spray helped to remove build-up in windows and sliding door tracks.
Resolve carpet spray and a brush is a great way to refresh areas rugs and carpeted stairs. Also: running the brush along carpet to base-board helped loosen and really picked-up (Sephora's) pet hair. We use Ever-Clear cat liter and haven't ever had an oder problem, but I still clean out the liter box daily.
Tidying up closets helped show as much storage space as possible. Before listing, it's really good to clear out any excess clutter or and belongings to sell at a garage sale or donate to Goodwill. And even as I started to detach myself from our home, I keep spotting more and more "things" to let go of and donate, which helped clear the clutter. I wrote up an itemized list to attach to the receipt, to be used later this as a deduction on our taxes, loaded donations into my trunk, and dropped them off during a grocery trips.
Taking a closer look outside - even at our neighbors - outside was looking a little tired. One Saturday, I used CLR to remove rust stains on the exterior, plus I gave the trim & the garage door a fresh coat of paint. Jeff was here, so he cut back our front plants and treated weeds in our paver driveway PLUS the neighbors. I picked out leaves & weeds from the rock coverings in both back & front gardens, re-located plant placement, and only had to buy two mixed-plant containers I transplanted to our front garden to refresh the curb appeal.
For seasonal or holiday decor (this part is killing me this year!!) I kept it to a minimum with just touches of simple branches & leaves used consistently throughout our spaces. The only two pumpkins I used were outside at the entrance, with a vertical swag hung on the door (vs. a wreath) and a new "Welcome" mat to welcome buyers with. Not wanting to offend anyone, I didn't set up any Halloween decor (like last years Hitchcock Hallway).
Swiffers (both dry & wet), Magic Erase, Clorox Wipes, and Glass Plus have become my best friends. Since we have two levels, I keep a stash of these products handy on both levels for quick clean-ups when Realtor calls and said: "We have a showing", or prior to home appraisals and inspections.
Rather than have Glade Plug-Ins all over, I purchased one three-wick scented candle and room sprays from Bath & Body Works. Since our place was set (minimally) for Fall, I used Apple Cider as the candle scent downstairs, which wasn't too flowery-feminine or over powering. I lit this an hour prior to showing. Upstairs in bedrooms & the office I spritzed a room spray before I left for the showing. I used Fresh Balsam. For a touch of ambiance, I used tea lights that were safely contained in glass holders strategically placed around the house for a glow.
I think some of the things that helped along the way was already having a modern neutral pallet for walls and flooring, plus I recently had given doors and trim a fresh coat of white semi-gloss in August, along with also giving the outdoor accessories & furniture a fresh coat of paint when I was getting ready for Fall. I also had a copy of the floor plan, which I'd leave out on the counter for potential buyers to take with them.
The HARDEST thing to do by far was to emotional detach myself from our "home", and really start to turn my focus on the "space" we needed to SELL. Once I did that, editing became easier to do. But I don't believe the space needs to become sterile to show. I believe considering who would be looking, our diversified location of South Florida, showing how to use the space and showing a "lifestyle" is what helped increase the traffic and offers. A huge help was also getting feedback from pictures posted on Facebook (like input from friend and Stager Lisa Bond) along with my 20+ year background in visual merchandising presentation. For me, this was probably the biggest SELL of them all... Today we signed the contracts. Now it's up to the bank to keep the pace going with the paperwork.
Click on photos (one above or below) to take a cool virtual tour our Realtor Henrik Hesselman created. He's with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and has been both a punctual and a professional Realtor to be working with. He also said (considering this market) he was pleasantly surprised at the traffic and how quickly the place moved. The day of the photo shoot with a photographer, its good to be present to ensure removal of items for the photos representing your home to sell. Just put them back in if you're still living in the space. And don't leave out food on counters, dirty dishes in sink or cloths on floors, persnal products in bathrooms or toilet seats up as I've seen all of these happen in several online real estate photos. That's not only tacky, it's just being lazy.
PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA TOWNHOME
This week, I'll be meeting with the moving company so they can survey what needs to be packed and what supplies they'llneed (hee hee). Thankfully, as part of the relocation package, the movers will also be packing, but I'm doing a little prepacking of items from cupboards and the garage. Jeff is already out in a temporary apartment in Arizona, but that hasn't stopped us from looking at places together. Tomorrow I'll share what we've been up to "to find a new space to dwell" .... :) (and it won't be the heartbreak hotel!)
Thanks for staying tuned into Focal Point during this transition....
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