I can mark that one off my bucket list. We flipped and sold our first house. There were days I hated it and days I loved it but overall, IT.WAS.FUN. Here are the before and after pictures of our 100 day project. We did a lot of it ourselves, with some really talented help (dad) and a few good contractors along the way. I got strangely attached to this cute little house, and in terms of being a rewarding experience, it wins. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer buyer. I would love to do another one, but for now…we rest.
# 1 – Disconnect
Our homes are personal. They offer a glimpse into who we are and what we value, and they should. However, when you make up the decision to sell your home, contrary to all of that, it’s important to disconnect from your home. For years we have told home staging clients that they have to reframe their minds to think of their home in a different way, even before it belongs to someone else. Cherish the memories you have there, document it with photos, but try and think of it as something that needs to be marketed. Maybe it’s where you first brought your baby home from the hospital, the first home that you and your spouse ever owned together, the place where you’ve laughed, cried, and eaten thousands of family meals. But, the truth is that now it’s time for someone else to envision themselves doing the same things.
#2 – Purge
Did you know that most moving companies charge you based on the weight of your belongings? That means that every little thing counts and it can really add up. So, it’s definitely advantageous to get rid of stuff before you deal with the hassle of boxing it up. Do you need to take those old college books with you? Or boxes of toys that your kids have grown out of? When you plan ahead and start purging, you have some control over where your stuff goes rather than a frantic last-minute trip to goodwill. You can bless someone you know with your stuff or maybe even make a little money by selling it. In addition, your home will show much better with less clutter and more spacious storage areas.
#3 – Refresh
Even though we’ve stayed put for 6 years now, I actually love to move! Moving is an opportunity to start over. So before you even sell your current home, think about what you want to be different in your new place. Whether you know where you’re going or not, it’s never too early to envision your ideal space. Contrary to what I said about purging, it can actually be beneficial to go ahead and purchase some small things for your new home, but only if you can use them to your advantage in the house you’re selling. We see many nice homes when we stage but sometimes that fact is overshadowed by tired or worn furnishings inside. And surprisingly, it can make the entire house feel that way as well. We never advocate clients going out and purchasing all new furniture but things like throw blankets, accent pillows, new bedding, and lamps can go a long way in refreshing a space.
#4 – Reflect
Think about what drew you to your current home in the first place. When you were looking, what were the features that prompted you to make an offer? Was it the big lot? The hardwood floors? The plantation shutters and built-ins? Make sure and emphasize those things. On the other hand, what things made you hesitate? Maybe they’ve already been fixed or addressed and if not, it’s not too late to do so.
#5 – Don’t take it personal
Chances are that when your house gets shown, feedback will follow. It’s important not to take it personal but rather to use it to your advantage. Is it a recurring theme that potential buyers hate the Kelly green accent wall in the dining room? Or that they feel a small room off the bedroom is a wasted space? Rather than getting offended, paint the wall or stage the nook as an office or sitting room to attract more buyers and get an offer. Just change what you can and don’t worry about what you can’t…..after all, it only takes one person who thinks your home is the perfect one!
1. Lifestyle & Function
What do you enjoy doing? Do you love to entertain? A large kitchen would probably serve you well. Do you like to mountain bike or take walks with your family? Maybe quick access to trails or parks would be convenient for you. As far as function, do you have small kids that you need to see from the kitchen while you cook? If so, you probably want an open concept. Do you need or want a formal dining room? If not, could you utilize it as an office, a playroom, or a sitting area? It’s important to consider how you can use each space in your new home before making an offer.
2. Changing Family Situations
Do you plan to grow your family? Or do you have a child going off to college? Maybe you need a couple of extra bedrooms for the future, or maybe not so many. Do you plan to age in place? Maybe stairs or a large lot to maintain aren’t for you.
For families with school-aged children, I recommend picking the school out even before choosing the house. Schools are very important and you need to research which ones will provide the academic learning you value and the sports or extra-curricular activities that your child may like.
You can’t put a price on financial peace. You don’t want to be house poor and sacrifice your lifestyle just to pay you mortgage. If the bank approves you for a $300,000 loan, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should go right up to that limit. Consider what your payments will be, including taxes and insurance and if there’s anything you’d like to upgrade or remodel once you move in.
5. Location, location, location
Location is very important for many reasons, one of the most important being for resale. In addition, it’s essential to consider for other practical reasons as well. Do you make frequent trips to a certain part of town on most days? Do you need to get to the highway during peak traffic times every week? Are you a homebody and enjoy the spaciousness and privacy of rural living? Consider what part of town you want to be in and zero in on it.
When we stage a home, our goal is to enhance the positive features of the home and not to distract the potential buyer with clutter, less is so much more and good flow is key.
If you’re ready to put your house on the market, you only get one chance to make a good first impression and here are 10 ways you can stage your own home.
1. Do not block doorways or windows, natural light, minimal window treatments
2. Convey spaciousness – leave wide walkways between and around furniture, don’t have an enormous coffee table taking up half your living room
3. Clean, clean, clean
4. Fix the small things – squeaky doors, recaulk bathrooms, spackle and repaint holes…because if that buyer sees small fixes that were neglected, they’re going to wonder about the big fixes that they don’t see.
5. Focus on the entry – homegain.com says a buyer has already made a decision within 90 seconds of entering the home, plus they have time to linger on the porch and look around while the agent obtains the key.pot of flowers, nice welcome mat
6. Be ok with bare – every wall doesn’t need a picture, and every corner doesn’t need a piece of furniture – they’re not there to see the furniture and décor that don’t come with the house, they’re there to see your crown molding, your hardwood floors, and your granite countertops!
7. Take half the stuff out of your closets & cabinets – we never advocate people getting a storage unit, but, this may be an appropriate time to do so…or better yet, just do a big clean-out of things you don’t need and donate them. Potential buyers will open cabinets and doors and to most of them, storage is of great importance! If they are jam-packed, it appears that there is not enough storage in the house.
8. Don’t let pets be a problem
9. Master Bedroom Oasis – when you stage your home, think in terms of not just selling a house, but selling a lifestyle as well. Most people are buying a home to enhance their life and a relaxing master bedroom is a huge selling feature. Make sure it’s appeals to both sexes by not making it too gender specific. Clear those 15 books of your nightstand, take down the family pictures, and invest in some new bedding,
10. Define spaces – a lot of potential buyers have a hard time visualizing what certain rooms or nooks can be used for. Do you have a huge living room with a whole corner of wasted space? An unused extra room filled with boxes? Stage it as a home office. Define spaces and give people ideas of what they can use each and every room for.
After years of spending way too much time on the Zillow app and watching countless episodes of Love it or List it and Property Brothers, I finally did it! I got my real estate license. I think my love for houses has always been there. We moved around a lot when I was younger and my parents always had a remodeling project going on.
Simple Spaces has provided me with the opportunity to be in hundreds of homes in Northwest Arkansas. I love helping people stage and organize their homes. Your home is the single most important physical space in your life. It’s where you reconnect, recharge, and relax. It should be a comfortable, efficient space that meets your needs and lifestyle perfectly. I’m excited to be able to help people find that.
On another note, after I got my license, I was really surprised at how many people emailed, texted or called me and asked about the process. They said they also had interest in it but never did anything about it. That really got me thinking about how many things people probably always intend or desire to do, but don’t. Here are three things that I did, that can help you follow through and turn your vision into a reality.
1. Tell people about it.
I never want to be that person who is all talk no action. I am true to my word. So for me, telling just a few people that I was planning on getting my real estate license was great motivation for following through.
2. Set a deadline
Signing up to take the class and attending were relatively easy. The challenging part for me was actually deciding when to take the test. I kept putting off scheduling it telling myself I needed more time to study. Finally, I had to just set a deadline for myself. I called and made an appointment and put it on my calendar and stuck to it.
3. Make an investment
We all hate wasting money. Once I had paid for the test, and some of the other fees, I had an investment. This is a great way to make yourself move forward with something.
So what is it that you’ve always been interested in but haven’t done yet? Maybe it’s a career change, maybe it’s just a hobby… but if you wait around for the perfect time, it will probably never happen! Just jump in.
And, if you live in Northwest Arkansas and need to buy or sell a house, I hope you’ll call me, I’d love to help!
Last week we did a presentation on organizing and time management at the Chamber of Commerce for entrepreneurs and business people. Sometimes, having an organized, effective schedule is just as important as having an organized living space. The things on our calendar need a “home” just like the lightbulbs in our utility closet or the extra blankets in our family room. Getting things done requires a clear understanding of how long things take, giving yourself a realistic workload, having clear goals and priorities, and controlling the distractions.
When it comes to time management and overcoming procrastination, I have personally realized how much power there is in a deadline. Whether it’s one that is established for you, or one that you create yourself, deadlines can be a great way to keep yourself on track.
We have a baby due at the end of this month and I’m not sure my husband and I have ever accomplished so much in so little time. Suddenly, that list of things we “should do someday” became the things that “needed to get done”. There were some big tasks – like refinancing our home, putting down new floors, and transforming our office and guest rooms to accommodate our new addition. But, there was also a long list of small tasks – like taking our dog to the vet, touching up our baseboards, organizing our digital photos, and cleaning out our attic that all got accomplished as well.
So, what have you been putting off? What kind of deadline can you set for yourself to just get it done? Creating a deadline and sticking to it is setting yourself up for time management success!