#tbt - Tips for selling a house quickly

Happy Thursday!  Today I want to take you through the Ivy House for sale photos and pass along some of the tips I learned when we sold our first home.

When we put this home on the market, it was a really quick decision.  I LOVED our little bungalow, but Chris was constantly looking for what was next since we were already maxed out on space with a new baby.  We were driving around town one Sunday and decided to stop at an open house, just for fun.  Now at this time, Chris had been looking around and showing me different houses online and I couldn't believe that there would be a house that would win me over and that we could afford.   We met the realtor there and he offered to come over to our house to give us an estimate of what he thought he could sell our house for and also wanted to show us a house down the road.   Long story short, we found our next home that day with the realtor and put an offer in the next day (Monday).  We had to sell our house in order to get our new home and the owners were only willing to wait a week for us to guarantee we had the money to pay for it.  We staged our home in 5 days and sold it that following Sunday.

So here are my tips when staging your home:

  1. Declutter!! This is especially important for small homes like ours. You want the buyer to think that there will be plenty of space for all of their belongings. We removed furniture from rooms and other personal items to make each room feel as spacious as possible.

  2. De-personalize: Remove most family photos & any religious or politically affiliated objects you may have. You want the home to feel warm and inviting but not like a potential buyer is intruding on someones personal space. You don't want to distract a buyer with anything that they may not agree with when they are deciding if they want to purchase your home.

  3. Clean your house: This seems like a given but it is important for your home to be as clean as possible, especially if you have pets. We removed all signs of owning dogs when we staged this house because I did not want potential buyers to start to think about dogs on the carpeting downstairs or anything else that they would not like when pets are living in a home. Also, air out your home for an hour before the open house. Walking into someones home and smelling that family does not help with visualizing yourself that that home.

  4. Professional photos: Ask your realtor about having a professional take photos of your home. They know how to make your room look its best with lighting and angles and they will look so much better than photos you may take on your own.

Here are the photos that went online of the Ivy House:

We did some major decluttering in the main room.  Here is what we did prior to the open house:

  1. Removed the friends/family photo collage on the wall (as well as paint touch ups)

  2. Removed the rug to highlight the wood flooring

  3. Removed a leather chair that was great for functionality but did not help with the flow of the small house

  4. Removed any nick nacks and personal photos from the mantle and end tables

In the dining room we:

  • Sold our larger dining room table and borrowed a friends small table to make the space feel larger

  • Decluttered the shelves to the left (thats maybe a 1/4 of the alcohol we had on that top shelf)

  • Removed a bunch of glassware from the glass cabinets and made sure they matched (no one wants to see our plastic 4 Kegs beer mugs on display in the glass cabinet)

In the kitchen we removed all clutter from the countertops and deep cleaned the floors, cabinets & appliances.

The master bedroom was super small and we had a very large bed, so we didnt do much in here beside clean the closet.  

  • Clean & Declutter: In this room we just made sure that the room was clean and felt bright and airy

  • Closet: When we lived in this house, the closet was for all of my clothes (and it was packed) and Chris had all of his stuff in the nursery closet. When the buyers came through and inevitably looked into the closet, I did not want them to think that only one wardrobe could fit. I packed up half of my clothes and put them in storage and brought Chris' clothes into the closet as well while still leaving space for new clothes.

Here is what we did in the nursery to stage the room:

  • Removed the dresser that Chris kept in here to hold his clothes

  • Rearranged the room for a better flow and to feel more spacious when you walked in

  • Removed the rug to show the floors

  • Removed Chris' clothes from the closet

When staging a bathroom, it is important to remove all cleaning products from the shower and counters.  This is another distraction from a potential buyer visualizing themselves in your home.  In bigger bathrooms adding a robe on a rack, fresh towels and flowers helps buyers to feel welcome in the space.

In the basement we cleaned, removed personal photos and removed all clutter from the office area.

Lastly, when we left for the open house, we turned on music to help create the welcoming atmosphere we wanted the visitors to feel. This was a party house for us so if we could get potential buyers to visualize all of the great parties and get togethers on that back deck, we knew it would help to sell this house.

This home was located in a fantastic neighborhood & Denver is a hotspot right now anyway, but I truly believe that our additional efforts in staging the home got us that sale (at the right price) after the first open house and allowed us to purchase our second home. 

Next week I am going to take you through the home that we fell in love with that convinced me to sell our little bungalow, the Neighborhood House.