How I Sold My House on the First Day and Received Multiple Offers

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It’s spring and as you probably already know the most popular time for selling and buying a home. As I drive around town the realtor and open house signs are popping up left and right! Being the nosey person that I am I hit Zillow anytime one peaks my interest.

When I listed my house for sale two years ago I was ready to move on and had a plan in place. The listing went live and my realtor received many requests for showings. In just the first few hours we received multiple offers! Want to know how?

I hired an amazing realtor. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Everyone knows someone who is fabulous or at the very least can tell you who to avoid. You will be working closely with this person so it is important to have someone that you like and trust. I was lucky enough to have a great realtor as a friend. If you are local to me I will gladly pass along her contact info.

I priced it right. It is very tempting to want to price your home higher. In fact this is what my husband wanted to do. I knew from my own research what comparable homes in my neighborhood had been selling for. When my realtor presented us with our suggested listing price my husband was taken back. We had invested a lot of time and money making improvements over the years. You need to leave the emotions out of it and list your home at a fair asking price. If you list too high your home will either sit on the market or you will receive low offers. Whenever I saw a home that was for sale for a while I questioned what was wrong with it.

I paid attention to the curb appeal. First impressions are everything, especially when looking for a new home. Weed and mulch those flower beds, keep the grass cut, plant colorful flowers and add a few decorative touches. Also be sure to have shutters, railings, gutters and other outside elements in perfect condition. While the buyers are waiting for the realtor to unlock the door they will be looking around. If they see maintenance that needs to be done they will wonder what else you have not been keeping up with.exterior2

I made the house smell good. There is nothing worse than walking into a prospective home with bad odors. It is an immediate turn off. There was a home that I did not even want to step foot in that stunk like moth balls from the front door. Use a light scent or bake something tasty before showings. Please do not put in strong smelling plug ins. That is just as bad as odors and makes people wonder what you are trying to cover up. Take your pets with you if possible. I promise you people (and especially those with allergies like myself) will notice them

I staged my home. Declutter Declutter Declutter. Have you ever visited a model home? They are free from clutter and have a cohesive design throughout the house. Hiring a stager is a great idea. If that is not in your budget and you have a friend who is a good decorator ask them for their opinions.  I staged my home myself but texted pictures to a few friends for opinions. They helped me out very much! As you can see from these photos I kept the accessories to a minimum but still let the home have some personality. Tons of toys were packed up as well as extra decor and kitchen items. We rented a storage unit and emptied most of the contents of our garage. This is a great way to start packing and purging your things!

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I depersonalized the house. People get distracted looking at family photos. I am sure your kids are adorable but they want to envision their own family living in the home. Normally I have a ton of family photos up in our house. To save money I took a few frames and added new neutral artwork to them instead. At Hobby Lobby I found a few decorative posters on clearance. Using the mats that came with the frames I trimmed them to fit and turned them into artwork. I also went through photographs I had taken and printed some scenery and landscape shots in 8×10 prints.

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I made as many repairs ahead of time as possible. We had a window company come out and repair a few windows that had broken seals. Trim was repainted, a few broken blinds were taken down and replaced with curtains instead and grout was redone. When I enter a home as a buyer I take notice of anything that needs to be repaired and start deducting those charges from the price I will be offering. Try to make as many repairs as possible before listing your home. The home inspector will most likely still find some issues but fixing them on your own first will be a big help.

I made the house as neutral as possible and moved rooms back to their intended purposes. I chose paint colors that would be acceptable for many decorating styles. Children’s spaces are fine to remain colorful but main rooms need to be pleasing colors. If you do not agree with me just watch an episode of House Hunters! I personally have no issue since I am the DIY type but to others it is a huge deal apparently. While we lived in this home we used the formal living room as our dining room and the dining room was our office/playroom combo. Seeing the kids while I was cooking was more important to me. I had used the chandelier over my bed in the master and a ceiling fan was in the office. We swapped those back before listing.

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I took good listing photos. In the virtual world we live in today everyone is looking at online listings. This is the very first impression most people are getting of your home. Make it count! Hiring a professional is a great way to guarantee good pictures but I have seen some “interesting” photos. Prime example is my current home. When I first saw the listing I was turned off by the over edit of the pictures. They had a type of dreamy filter on them which blurred the edges and made the lighting very odd. I was not sure if I wanted to add this home to my showings. Well, until I saw the pool and backyard. When I did my photos I took pictures of space from all different angles. I narrowed it down to the best photos to represent our home.

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I made updates that appealed to buyers. Not long before we sold our house the stove had been giving us some trouble. Instead of just repairing it we spent a little bit more money and replaced it. A brand new stove was appealing and looked great on the listing. New floors went in the master bathroom and laundry room. They are now fresh and clean with minimal cost to us.  While we owned the home we had made many updates like trim, hardwood flooring, Travertine tile, new carpeting, granite counter tops, painted cabinets and updated light fixtures. These are all things that buyers are looking for and set us apart from some other homes for sale in the neighborhood that still had the builder grade original finishes.

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I wish you luck on the sale of your home and hope you enjoy house hunting!

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Farmhouse Style Dining Room Makeover

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I really love the way the dining room makeover turned out! Mixing old pieces with new ones is one of my favorite ways to decorate. The chippier the better too! The dining room set was originally the same honey color as the tabletop. A few years ago I painted it white with chalk paint and it has been holding up well with the daily abuse from the boys. Farmhouse style is perfect for people with kids. If it gets beat up it looks like it’s supposed to be that way.

This room functions as our homework table, crafting space and and where we eat all of our family meals. I am still on the hunt for more decor for the buffet. Instead of rushing just to fill up the space I am taking my time purchasing accessories. Previously I would things just to finish a room only to be bored of them later. Now I am only purchasing items that I truly love and plan to keep long term.

This picture was taken on the day we toured the house for the first time. I went by myself with the realtor and wanted to show my husband our prospects. Sorry it’s not a very good photo! The creamy vanilla paint is the perfect background for the farmhouse look I am going for. Our entire home was painted in one color.

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The dining room in our last home was very large. This one? Not so much. We were not able to fit our table in with the leaf or all 8 of our chairs. For a while we just used 6 upholstered chairs and kept the extra two in the corner but it was so crowded. Instead I stole four of our metal kitchen chairs and ordered two more. They are low profile so the room feels more spacious than it is and most importantly they are easy to clean for my messy boys.

I also used to have a large matching china cabinet that we gave to a friend during my downsizing spree. All of my antique china and crystal to be handed down to a future generation. While it is beautiful and sentimental we are not formal people and I am just as happy using my every day plain white dinnerware.

 

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As far as major changes the only thing we replaced in this room was the chandelier. The chandelier is discontinued but I was lucky enough to score it on Amazon. It’s a little touch of modern but I think it works. Our ceilings are a standard 8 feet high and many of my other choices were too large for the room or way over my budget.

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On my makeover wish list was a large antique tobacco basket. This beauty for $40 on a Facebook yard sale group. I couldn’t believe my luck as I often see them listed for $160-$200 in local boutiques. Also on my list was a barnwood sign which I found at one of my favorite shops, The Lazy Daisy in Midlothian, VA.

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The window with the antique quilt belonged to my parents and they kindly handed it down to me. They purchased it years ago but it no longer fit in with their new decor.

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This faux lavender from Hobby Lobby looks like the real deal. I have had this pitcher and Southern Living at Home tray for years.

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And of course no farmhouse style dining room is complete without a cotton wreath. You can often find them on Antique Farmhouse or at Hobby Lobby.

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Look for an update to the tabletop and seat cushions in the future! Visit my Farmhouse Style dining room Pinterest page for more inspiration! https://www.pinterest.com/jerseygirlinthe/farmhouse-style-dining-room/

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Home Sweet Home

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After dreaming about it for a few years we decided to make our move to the country. Several changes came about in our life and we decided not to wait any longer. Now was the time.  We wanted more space for our kids to roam and to simplify our life. Our last home was beautiful and we were sad to leave but it was no longer the right fit for us. Chickens were part of the plan too! Everything fell into place when our house sold on the day the listing went live and we found our current home on our first day out house hunting with our realtor. It is a big change from our previous home as far as looks, location and size. Downsizing to a smaller home was surprisingly easy for us. It was freeing to get rid of so much stuff!

We now have 2.27 acres, no neighborhood rules (loving this!), a flock of chickens, 4 rabbits and a pool (which is the best part!).  Our neighborhood is heavily wooded which provides a ton of privacy and our lot backs up to a farm. It’s so quiet and peaceful here. We are the loud ones! I love standing outside hearing the cows moo and nothing but nature sounds. You can see all of the stars at night since it’s pitch black out without streetlights. It feels so different from our last home which is only a 30 minute drive.  This is exactly where we were meant to be.

I am slowly working on projects to transform the new house into our own. It was a neutral palette to start which was a big help. So far we have changed out all of the lighting fixtures and faucets with the exception of the master bath, painted a few rooms and replaced all of the flooring on the second floor. Watch the blog for updates on my future projects and room makeovers!

 

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