Tuesday, February 7, 2012

OMG! Moving Part Three

Today is Tuesday. This time last week, we were on a two hours into a ten hour drive to our new state of Maryland.

In those seven days, we have received 6 offers on our house in Michigan and have just received word that our offer was accepted on a home here in Maryland. I'm in shock. There's a weird calm about me right now. I'm betting this won't last and I'll spontaneously break out in a spazzy dance.

We have to pass inspections on both ends, but it looks like we're well on the way to being buyers and sellers all in the same week! Woo Hoo!!!

How did the house generate that much interest and over-list offers? These are some basic principles that everyone can use to help sell a house (pictures are from my awesome Realtor - Stacy Miletti of Real Estate One in Troy):

1) Declutter
2) De-personalize
3) Clean
4) Here's one especially for this market; listen to your real estate agent about realistic pricing

Living Room Before:

We angled two chairs into a large tv as that is how we live...

..but it does nothing for the flow of the room and cuts it off. 
Living Room After:

In the after pictures, you can see I took out the large tv and added a loveseat (part of the sectional from the basement). This created a more open space and a conversation area, without blocking the bay window. I also moved one shelving unit to another wall.

Kitchen Before:
This is unfortunately what our counters looked like most days...can't use the excuse of 'we were moving'!

Kitchen After:

The main difference is take away ALL clutter. Pack up any non-essential cooking items. No one cares if you have the latest Keurig coffee maker, or you make floral arrangements, or your little one's artwork. Pack it away for your next home; not everyone has your taste :) Take everything off the refrigerator and leave your counters clear and open.

Bar Before: 
Lots of personal photos, and misc. bar items

Bar After:
All personal items gone and same clear counters as in kitchen

Basement Family Room Before: 
Can you tell we like to watch tv? Half this sofa went upstairs...
Basement Family Room After:
Taking away the return opens up the whole space.

This is actually the Master Bedroom After, but all I did was take the bed and angle it, and put the storage bench over on the wall. It didn't fit at the end of the bed anymore, but I liked the way the angle looks, and it opened up a built in bookcase blocked by the bed before. Not much else changed up here.

I'll have pictures of the other two bedrooms when I get back to Michigan; they were cleared of everything but a desk in each, and yes, my Gator office was neutralized with beige paint :)

And in this market, the realtor knows what the price should be. Not what you paid for it. Not what you think you should get. What someone will be willing to pay for it. That's the hard truth. We took a hit, but it's SOLD...in 6 days. That's realistic.

In a nutshell, the home you love and have decorated to your personal taste is now a house that you'd like to sell. In order for that to happen, you have to take 'you' out of the house.

Not everyone likes faux painted walls, huge ficus trees, or aquariums. Those are your tastes...and just might turn off a potential buyer. Think hotel room. Think model home. Both of these are spaces people can walk into and start to envision themselves putting their things into the rooms.

You have to pack anyway, start with your 'stuff'. You saw my pod...it was filled with random junk from my business, personal items, and extra furniture.

And after you've made your home model-home-worthy, clean that sucker! If the home is dirty, or if little things aren't fixed (like a broken light or switchplate), it makes a buyer wonder what bigger things might not be taken care of. It can be done in this market; it takes some hard work and detaching yourself from this house and looking forward...to your new home.

As for the home here...we were in serious sticker shock arriving here from the SE Michigan area. The home we chose has TONS of potential. Yep, that means it's kind of a wreck now :) Livable...if you're from the 1960's :)

Here's a little sneak peek of my (hopefully) new home:

Check out that floor! And the paneling!!

The realtor thought I was crazy, but that bar is so retro-cool! Can you see it? We actually wrote that bar and the three stools into the contract...no one was taking any of that from me :)
Obviously, there is going to be a lot of work to make this house uniquely ours (and bring it into this century), but it has good 'bones'.

Looks like this blog is going to take a little turn into 'Rehabbing a 60's Era House Into a Modern Home' :)


  1. Wow! Congrats! I'm so happy that you've sold your home and have found a new one. I hope it all goes through. Love that bar! Can't wait to see what you do with it.


  2. OMG, How much fun! Morgan thinks I'm crazy, but I would LOVE to redo a house! Congrats, girl! AND what great blog material...

  3. Congrats! I'm excited for you guys.

  4. SO so so happy for you guys! Jill, thanks for the shout-out but you made my job alot easier w/ your staging expertise. We make a good team! And..LOVE the Blog...especially the part about "listen to your Realtor". hehe. Good Luck w/ your MD inspection!!


  5. i love the bar, can't wait to see what you do with the place!

  6. this is your BEST post ever! i read it twice and i'm posting it on my FB page! such great advice for sellers in this market.

    as for your 60's MD house--YUM! give me a house that's untouched over a house that has been shoddily updated...or not updated by ME!

    yes, your blog is heading down renovation road and i'm coming along for the ride!!


  7. HOW FUN!!! I'm so excited for you, so happy that things are working out in both places at the same time. I can't wait to see all of your posts on this topic, as within the next year I hope to be hunting for a house of my own.

    LOVE IT!!

  8. Your realtor gave you great advise, the best part, you DID IT!!
    Hubby is a realtor and it's amazing how many folks don't listen and their house sits on the market. I was a realtor for years and in the "old" days we gave them an sheet of "what to do".
    It all paid off!

    1. I've been home staging officially and unofficially for years - have never had a problem selling one of my own houses. My realtor is the best in the area and she just let me do my thing :)

      It's hard to to detach one's self from one's home, but it's so necessary in this market!

  9. Yay! I'm so happy that things are going as planned. Congrats and wishing you luck again on the big move!

    1. Hey Kahli! So far, so good, thanks! Just have to get through those pesky, but oh-so-necessary inspections.

  10. Hey Jill! Ooh loving that black and white floor! Congrats on your move.

    1. Thanks Milla - I'm so glad you like that floor!! Shhh...I'm secretly loving it too but I have to figure out how to whiten it up so I can keep it - hubby wants it gone!

  11. I agree - that bar is SO cool! Imagine how much it would cost if you found that in a vintage shop, you were smart to write that in the contract!!! love it!



  12. put a strip of rope light under the counter of that retro half circle bar, another strip on the bottom, maybe a wrap-around metal foot rail.

    Leave the wood or wrap it up with some shiny textured sheet metal.

  13. Love that bar!
    And all the other ideas... If only we could live that de-cluttered and consequently, impersonally, always. It looks so clean and nice. But like you, I have a life that consists of making things, learning other things and beings things that fill up my space. In the words of that famous song : "I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for."
    Possibly, I am as a big as my house :)

  14. PS - Congrats on the sale and good luck with the move!


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