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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Dining

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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How we get ready to head back to school and our daily routine!

Back to school routine and checklist

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The bus driving away on the middle one’s first day of Kindergarten a few years ago! So many tears!

 

It’s almost time for school to start!!! Two weeks from tomorrow is our first day, not that I’m counting down or anything. 😉 The big one is going into 6th grade, the middle one into 3rd grade and the little one will be in his first year of preschool. I would be lying if I said I was not ecstatic to finally have some alone time three mornings a week. Three boys can be exhausting!  Target here I come!!! All kidding aside I will miss them but I am excited they will meet new friends and enjoy a new year of school.

We start preparing for back to school in late July/early August. I made a to do list (type A people love their lists!) so I do not miss anything.

  • Try on clothing and shoes to see what still fits. Anything stained or in poor condition gets thrown away. Clothes that are too small get packed up for hand me downs. We generally start off the school year with brand new sneakers as my kids tend to trash theirs over the summer.   I also make a list (shocker I know) of what quantities and colors of new clothes we need to purchase. This is the perfect time for spring/summer clothing shopping as most stores have it on clearance. I normally wait until later to buy heavier clothing as it’s warm down here through October unless I see a great deal. Most stores have back to school sales. I also shop for winter clearance in the spring and buy a size or two up from their current size.
  • Print out the school calendar and mark down important dates. I am old school and still use a paper calendar in addition to my cellphone calendar. The boys like being able to see what we have coming up too so this works for us. I also inform my husband of what days I need him to be home from school early for things like teacher conferences, back to school night, etc.
  • Set up a drop zone for backpacks and school papers. If you are lucky enough to have a mudroom that’s the perfect spot or you can set up a space near your entryway. For organizing papers I have the Thirty One Hang Up Home organizer (that is no longer sold) hanging inside of our pantry door. You may be able to find one on Ebay or second hand. Each child has a pocket for their important papers and the fourth pocket is for family papers. Another idea is to create your own command center. I have several pinned on my Organize Your Space Pinterest board.
  • Go through the school supplies that got returned at the end of last year. See what can be salvaged and toss the rest. I realize some people do this at the end of the school year but I am so over school at that point and put it off. I also check backpacks and lunch boxes to make sure they are in good enough condition to use again the following year. If not, new ones go on the school shopping list.
  • Start checking the sales flyers for school supply deals. In VA we get an extensive list of supplies that need to be brought into meet the teacher day. Pencils, crayons, glue, notebooks, scissors, markers, etc. I tend to shop at Office Max for their spend $5 get xyz for 1 cent or 25 cent deals. We have one close by and I stop in there before my weekly Target trip in the summer to get my goodies. At the end of August whatever has not been found at a bargain price is purchased at Target. (5% Redcard discount!)
  • Schedule back to school hair cuts early! If you don’t you will be waiting in life forever at the salon with a walk in appointment. I made that mistake once. Never again!
  • If your kids are not on a sleep routine that resembles the school schedule start transitioning them back a few days/weeks early. I only increase bedtime by 30 minutes in the summer so this one is pretty easy for us. They only stay up late if we have friends over or we are out somewhere special. If my kids do not get enough sleep they are nasty and it’s not fun for anyone (especially me…)
  • If your child brings a bag lunch to school this is a great time to look for new recipes and lunch container ideas. My kids get bored eating the same thing every day. Pinterest is the perfect place for this! I have a kids and family board with plenty of ideas.  Unfortunately school bought lunch is not an option for us as we are a food allergy family. My kid’s allergies are not top 8 and can often be hidden in food. It’s safer and easier for everyone this way. Bento boxes are perfect for children who like a large variety at lunch time. My favorites are divided all in one containers as linked below and Rubbermaid Lunch Blox containers. Our schools also have the children bring a snack and a bottle of water. My kids tend to bring a main meal (sandwich, leftovers, salad, etc), a piece of fruit, a cheese stick or Babybel, yogurt tube, a cracker/carby type of snack and veggies with or without dip. We keep everything organized in bins in the “snack cabinet” or drawers in the fridge so we just need to grab something as we assemble lunches in the morning. To save time this can be done the night before. My kids swear their sandwiches don’t taste the same if I make them at night.

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  • Establish your morning and evening routine. Ours has changed many times over the years depending on grade and the schools they attended. We used to do homework immediately after school but changed that as the kids got older. They wanted some down time after school so we adjusted it. Currently this is a typical school day for us. Times change depending on weather and before/after school activities.

Before school:

6am or earlier-The big one wakes up, gets in the shower and gets dressed.

6:20am-I wake up and make sure the big one is awake and showering. Hit snooze. At 6:30 I force myself to get up and head downstairs to make lunches and breakfast. Big one has breakfast. Two younger ones wake up sometime between 6-7am, come in my bedroom, fall back to sleep or watch tv and stay out of big one’s way. He is like his mother and not a happy morning person.

6:45am-The older kids go out to feed the rabbits.

7:00am-The big one heads to the bus. The two younger ones and I sit down to eat breakfast.

7:20am-The two younger ones get dressed and brush teeth. The little one is not always compliant and likes to stay in pj’s if we are staying home.

7:30-8:30am-Electronics time for the middle one. The boys get 1 hour per day on school days and he chooses to use his in the morning. The little one uses the iPad so I can take a shower and get ready for the day.

8:30am-The middle one gets on the bus and I start the rest of my day.

After school:

3:30pm-The big one gets off of the bus and eats a snack.

3:45pm-The big one has his 1 hour of electronics time. He likes to do it at this time to decompress and have a break after a long day at school. I start cooking dinner/prepping food depending on what we are eating.

4:45pm-The middle one gets off of the bus. The older two go out to clean rabbit cages and take care of chickens. They play outside weather permitting.

5:30pm-Dinner time.

6pm-Homework time. Backpacks get emptied. Any papers to be signed and reviewed are given to me. Homework is to be completed. Lunch box gets emptied and put away for next day.

After homework is completed they can do whatever they want as long as it’s not electronics unless they have not used their time for the day.

7:15pm-Two younger boys shower and get ready for bed. Clothes are set out for the next day. (I do this myself to make sure they match and are weather appropriate. They come up with some “interesting” combos. No one believes me that navy and black do not go together). Then we watch a tv show.

8pm-Bedtime. The big one will read for an hour before he falls asleep. The two younger ones are usually exhausted and crash.

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What is your school routine? Do you have any helpful hints that I may have left out?









 

 

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