Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Selling My Home

Hello All,

I am so sorry that it has been so long since I have last written. I have a great story to share with you however that should make up for it.

Early this summer my husband and I decided that it was time to leave our beautiful neighborhood of Queen Village in Philadelphia and move closer to work. I prepped myself for the drama and adventure that I was certain to experience with selling our home in a "down" market.

So, we got to work.

For three days, we pre-packed and cleaned. Tabletops covered with picture frames became tabletops with one or two interesting glass pieces. The books on the bookshelves got packed away leaving a tidy bookshelf with a few books neatly arranged with a vase or two. I went through each closet and pre-packed leaving what I thought I might want for the next 3 to 5 months (that is how long I thought it would take to sell!). A neighbor came by when everything was finished and gave me the advice that homes sell better if you pack your personal photos away. When I showed her that even my closets were staged, she maybe thought that I went a little too far!

We also hired some folks to do some cosmetic work as well. When we had a window leak a year ago we obviously had the windo fixed right away, however, we had lived with the stain and bubbling on the drywall and couldn't expect new buyers to.

Next we discussed pricing with our realtor. In the end we followed the professional's advice and priced our home not at what we wanted the home to be worth, but at what he knew it to be worth based on real-time comps in our neighborhood.

The house went on the market and we had two offers in 7 days!

Now we just have to buy a new house. As I walk from room to room from house to house I cannot believe the range of effort I have seen sellers put into readying their homes.

A few ideas for staging your home that you might not have already thought of:

Packing up seasonal decor, uncommonly used items, collections and personal mementos will not only help buyers envision living in your home it will also make every room and appear larger AND save you packing time once your home is actually sold. It is also a great time to simply get rid of things.

Extra Rooms
Ask your adult children to come over and remove their childhood belongings from the home. Buyers do not need to see their 15 year old posters of Cindy Crawford and wrestling trophies on the wall. Keep unoccupied bedrooms imple so that the buyer might imagine that room as a home office or nursery.

Get a Second Opinion
Take a very hard look at your home. Possibly even ask a neighbor to do it for you if you think you might not be critical enough. If not, your home could sit on the market for months before anyone tells you that there is a stain on the ceiling that you just do not notice anymore or a pet smell that you have never considered.

Hire Professionals
Make sure that you hire professionals for the hardest of jobs. You might be very happy with our own handiwork, but unless you have experience, a buyer might not be.

Good luck!