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Old 02-29-2016, 09:58 AM   #21
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How on earth does one "not allow" cooking smells? In our market, the house could easily be on the market for 6 months or more. We never eat out now, and certainly could not switch to eating out for 6 months...it would cost more than we'd make on the house.
You are so right, and from my point of view this is one of many reasons why selling a house while living in it is such a dreadful, miserable, rotten experience. Well, in my opinion at least. Life is full of rotten experiences and this is right at the top of my "most miserable" list.

Not only is there the problem of cooking, but you are essentially living in a showroom because it is no longer a place where you can get comfortable and make messes and such. Every time you shower you have to give the shower a "once over", and every time you use the kitchen or bathroom sink you have to shine the faucets, and so on. This is not a relaxed, normal life IMO. I lived like this for four months back in 2010-2011, with no success in selling so we took our homes off the market.

Last summer when I moved, I dreaded the above version of Hades and decided I could afford to move out before selling my last home. So, that is what I did (and I hired a professional cleaner to go over the house before showing it). But I haven't always been able to afford to do that. I truly empathize with those living in limbo, in a house that is for sale. Hopefully it will not last for long.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:08 AM   #22
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We are about to go through this as well. I am a bit concerned over some items like our pinball machines (I have this image of some 5 year old brat spilling coke all over the pristine Twilight Zone and The Addams Family). I should go ahead and sell those first I guess.

Our house has had a no kid, no pets allowed inside policy since we owned it and this will be the first time that is broken.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:21 AM   #23
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We plan to sell once the last of our pets goes to a better place. Our kitchen needs to be updated and the house re-carpeted. For either of them or both I would rather give them an allowance. I am thinking we could put $40k - 50k into a kitchen and have them not like it even though it is new. Just wondering if putting $50k into the house is the best/only way to sell? House is 35 years old in a nice neighborhood near schools/freeway/shopping. Everything else in house has been redone in the last 5 years. Current value ~ $275k.
Ask your realtor - - this is part of the value of having a good and very competent seller's agent. In my case, my real estate man said not to bother with any fix-up at all, much less renovations, and he was right. It sold in 4 days. What amazed me was that the buyers didn't want any of the major repairs I had in mind; their repair list included a million little piddly things but nothing big.

Also, my buyers completely tore out and re-designed the beautiful kitchen, which had been renovated a few years back with super gorgeous granite countertops and so on.... but left the sad looking 1970's bathrooms with the cheap looking fake marble plastic tub surround and so on. You never know what buyers will like or not like.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:12 AM   #24
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A checklist helps. We had one that ran two pages, but took only about 15 minutes to run through. Simple things like tidying up the kitchen counter, wiping down sinks, opening the shades, turning off computers etc.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:12 AM   #25
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...

Also, my buyers completely tore out and re-designed the beautiful kitchen, which had been renovated a few years back with super gorgeous granite countertops and so on.... but left the sad looking 1970's bathrooms with the cheap looking fake marble plastic tub surround and so on. You never know what buyers will like or not like.
So true.
The chance of throwing money away renovating kitchens is very high, and it's very sad to see the stuff leave in a dumpster. In the end, that room is very personal to most people.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:46 PM   #26
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Stash personal things like toothbrushes, hair brushes and shampoos under the sink. I always take out the bar of soap in the shower and hide that as well.

Also I had a bag where I would put stuff like paperwork and bills that were current, and take that bag with me when I would leave the house for the viewing. I also had all jewelry, prescription meds, handbags and firearms locked away as well.


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Old 02-29-2016, 03:04 PM   #27
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Thanks for the tips! I have been very worried about theft, not that we have much expensive stuff, but sounds like I may be stressing for nothing.

We are not having an open house for the public. We did give permission for a broker's open house. The stager (free bene from the agent) will come by tomorrow to tweak anything, but I asked the realtor twice if she felt like things are show-ready now and she said "definitely."

This is a huge checkoff on the master to do list.

The photographer will come the day after the stager. I asked for non-exclusive use of my real estate photos. In case we ever have to change agents, I don't want to have to re-photograph.

There are no pets. We have worked long a hard to get here with a big push on downsizing, storing, cleaning and then hiding the last pesky things to get to that "showroom" level. Whew!

We have one ace in the hole for making this time livable... When prospective buyers come, we can go next door and hang out in the RV...! Our youngest advised us to just move in to it so we wouldn't be getting the house dirty. Not sure about that - as I'm loving puttering around in this uncluttered house with new carpet! The place could use a few more windows washed,

But, this will be a good time to continue the downsizing, start stocking/packing the RV, have a couple of friends over here and there (bonus - the house is already clean!), pack some stuff to store, eat down the stuff in the freezer, etc.

Keep the tips coming!
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Old 02-29-2016, 04:11 PM   #28
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You never know what buyers will like or not like.

Totally agreed, although I think I did the right thing when I replaced 30- year old off-white carpeting in one bath and plastic flooring in the other with ceramic tile!
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:41 PM   #29
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Totally agreed, although I think I did the right thing when I replaced 30- year old off-white carpeting in one bath and plastic flooring in the other with ceramic tile!
I don't know! That plastic flooring probably would have looked just right with the sad 1970's fake marble plastic tub surround that my buyers decided was so great. The sink countertop was in matching fake marble. Pink, and very cheap and looked awful.

Luckily, once I deposited their certified check in the bank, I didn't really care if the buyers blew up my house with C-4. It's their house, now, and I have no more attachment to it other than pleasant memories.
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:16 PM   #30
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Am I the only one that could care less on how the interior is 'staged' when looking for a new house? I'm looking at the bones of the structure, condition, yard, neighborhood, etc. Could care less what they might have hanging on the walls or if it's cluttered.
I'm like you...I ignore paint colours and counters, and spend my time checking the foundation, attic, furnace, AC, wiring, plumbing, and insulation, etc.

After all, it only takes $400 and a weekend to paint the inside of a house.
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:26 PM   #31
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Am I the only one that could care less on how the interior is 'staged' when looking for a new house? I'm looking at the bones of the structure, condition, yard, neighborhood, etc. Could care less what they might have hanging on the walls or if it's cluttered.
Good for you, but these people are trying to sell their house to 'ordinary' people, not extraordinary/unique FIRE folks
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:21 PM   #32
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The house has not had a makeover, as to us it was stunning from the beginning. Not huge. No kitchen remodel. But it has been our dream house. It has been well taken care of and it has been been freshened up with paint and new carpet, refinished hardwood, roof, driveway... and the big exhausting downsizing/make-ready.

Maybe it's good for the time "on the market" to be a hassle. It will help in the letting go process. I did not expect to need help in the letting go process....

I'm chalking it up to some fear of the unknown and the dawning of the realization that a big chapter in our lives is ending.

But for something good to begin, something else must end.

Seems like there is a quotation that says, "Forward. Always forward."
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:18 PM   #33
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Regarding cooking odors, I've found that boiling a pot of water with a few tablespoons of vanilla will mask odors with a pleasant smell. You can use the cheap imitation vanilla from Sam's Club.


Baking cookies is also good, because you get to eat the cookies, but boiling vanilla is easier.
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:30 PM   #34
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... The place could use a few more windows washed...
We had our windows professionally washed when we put up our house for sale and were really amazed at what a difference that made. Now, we get our windows washed every other year - doesn't cost much and makes a big difference.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:15 PM   #35
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We had our windows professionally washed when we put up our house for sale and were really amazed at what a difference that made. Now, we get our windows washed every other year - doesn't cost much and makes a big difference.
About how much did it cost?
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:41 PM   #36
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Just under a $100 here in Denver. Closer to $200 in NJ - but that house had 30+ divided light windows that took a lot of work to clean.
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:38 AM   #37
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Do they wash the windows both inside and out?
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:27 AM   #38
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We are about to go through this as well. I am a bit concerned over some items like our pinball machines (I have this image of some 5 year old brat spilling coke all over the pristine Twilight Zone and The Addams Family).
I would just have them unplugged so they don't work
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:31 AM   #39
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The stager (free bene from the agent) will come by tomorrow to tweak anything, but I asked the realtor twice if she felt like things are show-ready now and she said "definitely."

This is a huge checkoff on the master to do list.

The photographer will come the day after the stager.
I hire a stager & photographer too but am a little concerned about your comment about the photographer coming the next day. My stager will typically come up with a list of items that is 5-8 pages long which is sent the next day after their visit. This goes through every room in detail with suggestions.

Most clients then take anywhere from 1-2 days to as long as 1-2 months to get their homes ready. I have never had someone ready for pictures in 1 day. Not sure what the point of having a stager is if you don't take the time to get the house ready. Having pictures after it's ready is key since in my market you only get 18 pictures to sell buyers on scheduling a showing.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:17 AM   #40
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Good comment.

I should have explained... that the stager was here before, for a first visit - to help choose the carpet color and to make other suggestions. (We had gotten everything ready to the extent we could, and were ready for suggestions.)

Some of her strategies were easy, some were not so easy, but we followed through.

She came back to see the things we'd done (and to see if there was anything else.) She was very happy with the suggestions we'd put into place. There were only tiny tweaks left: Substituting a different table for eat-in area. Setting that table. Accenting the breakfast bar. Rolling the towels into a basket. With a final "decorator plump" to the sofa pillows she gave us the stamp of approval!
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