6 Things To Do Before Your House Goes On The Market

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to sell our home. We had been talking about it for awhile and the time just seemed right. But before we could list it, there were several things we needed to do to get it ready. I am not a professional by any means, but a lot of these tips are just common sense.

Selling a house can be be such a stressful process, so anything I could do to make things easier on myself I wanted to do it. These are just a few things & tips that I found helpful when I jumped in and started getting our house ready to sell. After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
1. Declutter. This is a no brainer, and the first thing you should do. You want potential buyers to be able to walk into your home and see empty space and that there is room inside the cabinets. The first thing we did when we decided we were going to sell was rent a storage unit. Anything extra that we didn't use regularly and had lying around went into storage, got thrown away, or got put in a yard sale pile (more on that later). Honestly, we packed up about a third to half of our house.

I started in one room and made my way all the way through my house. Not one drawer to shelf was missed. I went through all of my clothes. Packed up any out of season items and put them in a box for the storage unit. I large pile of things I no longer like or wore went into the yard sale box. I cleared off dressers and nightstands, and end tables. Paper clutter got thrown in the trash. Extra linens and pillows got sent to storage and more ended up in the yard sale box. My collection of decorative glass was packed up and stored. We moved out extra furniture to create more open space. Extra pots, pans, utensils and Tupperware were stored, and I just simplified everything.

You want people to see your home, not your stuff. You want people to be able to open up a closet and not have things fall off the shelf onto them. If your house is packed with things and is bursting at the seams, it going to make your house seem like there isn't enough storage, and that's a big turn off for potential buyers.
2. Depersonalize. All those family photos with those sweet little faces should be taken down and replaced with neutral decor. Use free printable in frames instead. This is so hard for me, because I love to decorate using photographs. But I understand the reasoning behind depersonalizing your home. You want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves in your home, you don't want them to get distracted with a bunch of personal photographs of you and your family.

It's also a good idea to take down any nude art, religious signs or symbols, political views, or anything that could be offense. My realtor told me that my house was no longer mine when it went on the market, which was good advise. The goal was to sell, and I was willing to do whatever it took to do so, even if that meant taking down those fun vacation photos, my beloved collage frames, and collectibles. Take the home out of the house, while still keeping it warm and inviting.
3. Decorate. Think simple. Think hotel. Think model home. Now this doesn't mean going out and spending tons of money to stage your home, this might just mean rearranging or reusing some of the things you already have. You want your home to look clean and inviting. Stylish and understated. When there is a lot going on, it makes your house looks cluttered, and that's a distraction and a no-no when trying to sell. Also remember to have a nice bright light home. Turn on accent lighting and lamps, open all the the curtains and blinds. The brighter and more cheery a home is, the better. No one wants to walk into a dark and dull home.

If you really need help or are clueless when it comes to decorating, you can always hire a professional. They will come a stage your home and make it look beautiful. There are tons of blogs about home staging too if you need a little inspiration as well.

Decorating also means cleaning up the outside of your home and adding some curb appeal. Somethings as simple as weeding flower beds, putting down some fresh mulch and planting a few bright cheery flowers can go a long way! Trim shrubs, remove debris, sweep the sidewalks and patios, and freshen up any peeling paint. You can even paint your front door, add a pretty wreath, and get a new welcome mat. Make it inviting, the front entry area will be where the buyers stand and look around while their agent is busy opening up the front door. A little work goes a long ways. The outside is the first thing your your potential buyers will see, make sure it's a good first impression.
4. Donate or Sell. If you have items that are in good condition and you no longer need or want them anymore, sell or donate them. There are tons of free buy, sell, trade groups on Facebook, or even Craigslist, that you can utilize to make some extra money. For us it just so happened that there was a community yard sale scheduled to happen a few weeks before our closing. So while I was decluttering I just made a pile in my garage for the sale. We are lucky and yard sales do really well in our area, so it is definitely worth the time for us to do it. And I never say no to a little extra money in my pocket.

You can just as easily load up your unwanted items and drop them off at you local charity or donation center. Or you can schedule a pick up if you have a lot of stuff and don't want to haul it all off yourself. Plus it's a tax write off if you do so. If you know of someone in need of something, call them and see if they'd like it.
5. Repair. Anything that needs fixed, you should fix it. It will save you time and money in the long run. If it's something that might get flagged in an inspection, take care of it. We did some touch up painting, replaced light bulbs, an outlet, repaired a leaky faucet, cleaned the gutters, fixed a fence, etc. Little things like that, all add up and when the potential buyers see that there isn't a lot to do and your home is more move in ready, they might be inclined to offer a higher price for your home.

Do a mini inspection yourself. Go through your house inside and out and make a list of things that need attention. The less that shows up on the buyers inspection report the better. If they see too many red flags it might sway them to terminate the contract. Especially easily repairable ones, it makes it seem as it you didn't take care of the house.

When you list your house and everything is fixed, and everything is clean and nearly perfect, it almost makes you second guess as to why you are selling! The house seems perfect now, everything that has been bothering me or has needed repaired is done! Do I really want to sell? LOL! That's how I felt at least.
6. Clean. Clean and clean. Then clean some more. I can not stress this enough! You want your house to shine from floor to ceiling, inside and out. Shampoo your carpets, you can rent a machine or have them professional done. Wash your windows, spray off your siding, wash walls, baseboards and doors, dust, sweep, mop vacuum, polish fixtures, scrub toilets, make your house smell good and look great! Don't neglect the garage either. Sweep it out and declutter it as well.
First impressions are EVERYTHING!

It is a total turn off for potential buyers to walk into a dirty, smelly house. I've heard of some people walking through the front door and turning around and leaving immediately. Don't let that happen to you! Odors from certain foods can also be a turn off, so just be aware. I know that showings can sometimes be unexpected, but always be ready for one. It will save you a lot of stress in the long run.
This life saver checklist, was the first thing I printed off when we listed our house. And I used it! Thank goodness we accepted an offer just a couple days after listing. It's a lot of work to have your house "show ready" all the time! And to those of you doing to with children in your home, I salute you! I can't even imagine how hard that must be!

We had LOTS of compliments on how beautiful, clean and well kept our home was. We worked hard to get it to look good so I appreciated that people could see the effort we made. And maybe that's why we received a full price offer within 24 hours of listing...

I hope you enjoyed these tips, and that they can help you out when you're ready to list your home. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have a sweet and wonderful day :)

Photography Sneak Peek ~ Hazel Grace 2 Months

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My sister-in-law Angela, came over and brought my adorable niece for a quick little 2 month photoshoot. I promised not to go all out and crazy with it, I'll save that for the 3 month shoot haha. So sweet and simple it was, and I just love what we got.

She is growing and changing everyday. She smiles and is starting to talk and coo, it's just the sweetest thing. And while Alan is trying to teach her to fist bump, I'm working on teaching her to say Auntie, I'm sure she'll be saying it any day now ;)

I just love her chubby cheeks and fluffy red hair, here are a few of my favorites...
Ohh the perks of having my beautiful niece live only a couple blocks away :) I just love this little muffin so much!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have a sweet and wonderful day!

Faux Wood Beam Floating Shelf

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

As promised I am sharing with you another one of my favorite things in my home, this gorgeous floating shelf.
It matches my mantel perfectly and it was also made by Rustic Pearl. You can read more about it and see some pics here. The faux wood beam look is so in right now, and for good reason, it's gorgeous! I love the touch of warmth and rustic it brings to the room.

It took me a little while to get it decorated just right, but I think I finally did it. I am so happy with how it turned out, and the best part was that I already had the aqua glass jars! Yay!
The small succulents are from TJ Maxx. The topiary is from Ross. The orbs are from Gordmans.

I love how this shelf balances my living room. It's hung across the room, opposite of the mantel. I also love that it completes my wall above the TV. Before I had the shel,f it just seemed like there was something missing.

I am so happy with the beautiful work Holly & Rob did. I know if I ever need anymore custom work done, they will be the first one's I call. Thank you Rustic Pearl!!

Thank you for stopping by, have a sweet & wonderful day :)

Easy DIY Vanilla Latte Sugar Scrub

Friday, June 3, 2016

I have been so busy lately that I haven't hardly had a chance to do any crafting or DIY'ing. Well today that changed and I set aside a little time and finally made something, yay!

I have been wanting to try some homemade sugar scrub since I first made my Pinterest account and saw how easy it was. Well fast forward a few years, and I finally got it done! Vanilla Latte body scrub coming right up!
What I did isn't anything new, but I wanted to share how easy it was. It also makes a great quick gift idea!

This recipe is very basic and more than likely you already have everything you need to make it.

  • Mason Jar or some other air tight container, I prefer glass
  • Coconut Oil, refined (doesn't have a coconut scent) or unrefined (smells like coconut)
  • Granulated Sugar 
  • Brown Sugar
  • Coffee
  • Vanilla
  1. I started with 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp coffee, 1/4 tsp vanilla and 3 tbsp coconut oil. A good basic rule is 75% sugar and 25% oil.
  2. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer and mixed everything together until it was evenly distributed. 
  3. Then I spooned the sugar scrub into a little jar, made a little label and voila! An all natural scrub!
I love to use this scrub in the mornings. It is invigorating, really helps wake me up and it smells delicious!
What I love best about this scrub, is that you know exactly what is in it. No nasty chemicals of fillers here! I am allergic to tree nuts, especially almonds, and when you get to looking at the labels of body care items it's crazy how many things are made with almond oil. This was the perfect solution for me!

What are some of your favorite scents and flavor combinations? I have a few more I'm planning on making and I can't wait!
Thanks for stopping by and have a sweet & wonderful weekend!

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