As many of you know, my family is being transferred to Illinois. We have been up to our eyeballs in house work. Working to purge, declutter, straighten, clean, and make our house look show worthy. We have moved on average every two and a half years, and we strive to sell our house quickly and for top dollar…Every Time.
However, at this point, I am So Over It. Seriously. We prepped the house last week for the first Realtor to come look at our house on Monday. Then, we had to keep it picked up, and refresh it all for another Realtor to come over last Friday.
By the time this Monday came around, the whole house needed another cleaning after having kids home and playing all the weekend. Plus, we had pictures scheduled for Tuesday. So, not only did we need to clean and make everything sparkle and shine, we needed to put everything away.
You see, when prepping your house for photos, you need to look at the room and pretend you have a camera lens in front of you. What looks out of place? What might stick out like a sore thumb?
For example, I know I always have a basket on my desk for mail, but for pictures, it needs to go away because the basket just looks messy. The fruit bowl with spotted bananas…behind cabinet doors. The dog food bowls…in the garage. The dog crate…in the garage with the dogs! Paper towels by the kitchen sink…they need to move under the sink. Remote controls for the TV, sound and game systems…put them in a drawer. You really need to scrutinize every room to make it look perfect. The pictures of your house can make or break the decision for people to look at it or not.
This is when I like to bust out the cleaner and make all the bathroom fixture shine, make your granite sparkle, use stainless steel cleaner and polish those stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Vacuum every room and walk in closet. Vacuum the sofas…believe it or not, they will look better in the photos. Fluff all the pillows on sofas and beds. Turn on EVERY light in the house. And, don’t forget some fresh flowers! Fresh flowers are the finishing touch.
Our picture session was successful. I even had the photographer tell me she is in homes all day every day all over Southern California, and my house was one of the best she had ever seen. She thought my house was one of the model homes for the neighborhood. Nope…it was white and builders grade when we bought it. But, our paint colors and decorating are up-to-date and the house is as clean as possible. That translates to show home worthy. It really was an awesome compliment to receive. It made all the hard work worth it. She also asked me if I could consult with all the sellers she photographs for so they can prep their home like mine! I was blushing.
Now, I had to keep our house spotless and perfect for One.More.Day. Video was being shot on Wednesday. Ugg…I needed wine.
The video shoot went well…that is what they tell me anyway. I was sitting in the car with my dogs parked down the street during the video session so no one would have to listen to barking in the background. That could have been an ambiance killer. Oh the things we do when trying to sell our homes!
Now, today is my last day of sanity. The house gets listed tomorrow. I have to make sure my valuables are locked up – out of sight out of mind. That goes for jewelry, computers, ipods, tablets, kids piggy banks, and prescription medicines. Don’t forget to actually shred the items in the shred box and lock up that file cabinet with paperwork and bills. You never know who is going to be in your house. Not that all people looking are criminals – I like to think most people are honest. But, people are funny. You never know what they will do when presented with an opportunity.
Also, think about your furry kids. We are expecting a ton of activity from the moment the house is listed through the weekend. I already made an appointment to board our puppies for the weekend. It will be less stressful for everyone that way. We won’t have to keep taking the dogs in and out of the house, the dogs won’t have to be hanging out in the car for hours on end.
So, I’m off to go shred paperwork. Wish me luck for the weekend. I’ll be at the winery trying to hold on to some sanity. Happy house selling!