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Selling house, any easy tips and advice

(13 Posts)
MrsBoo Mon 14-Sep-09 16:21:00

Hi we need to sell our house unfortunately (need to put some money into our own business and can't get a re-mortgage at the moment, have tried).
We have lived here for 10 years now so I suppose I have got used to all the faults and annoying things.

Do I need to absolutely de-clutter everywhere so it looks like a showhouse - you know tidy kids bedrooms with a few books and a couple of matching toys - or is it OK having everywhere really clean and tidy, but still looking like a family actually live here.

Or do we need to sell the lifestyle etc like you see on TV. We are in a very poplular vilage which will hopefully help.

I really need advice and what worked for you - the last time we sold up we didn't have any kids, much furniture or clutter so it was really easy.

toja555 Mon 14-Sep-09 16:39:13

For me it did not matter – as a matter of fact, I actually liked chaotic houses with family life present – it is like the happy family image was being sold together. However the chaos distracted me from the house details which I should have checked, but could not be bothered, and eventually I felt like I overpaid for the house because I was not able to notice many things due to a lot of furniture, toys, people etc. So you might actually consider your clutter useful, although your buyer might get disappointed at the end.

PestoSurfMonster Mon 14-Sep-09 16:41:45


Remove any traces of pets/animals

Clean to within an inch of your life

Fresh flowers

Tidy garden, make sure lawn is mown and edged

Freshly painted, or at least clean, front door

Elibean Mon 14-Sep-09 16:49:42

We have just sold, after 12 years in our house (and two young kids) so can relate - we did de-clutter, but no matter how much I tried the house did retain its, how shall I put it, well-loved and lived-in look wink

Get the windows cleaned (light makes a big difference to first impressions), re-paint any dire or overly colourful bits you can bear to re-paint, and ask someone you trust to give you feedback.

We certainly didn't do the TV lifestyle thang, and the people who have bought our house fell in love with the light, and the location. And they don't even have kids yet.

Do clean and tidy, but try (impossible) not to worry too shows off the space to its maximum, but I find overly tidy houses stressful and unreal when house hunting, personally. I guess its all balance.

What I did find was that thinking of the decluttering process as a useful, and cathartic, prelude to moving house was far more motivating that thinking 'I have to keep this place tidy for the next viewing'...

Good luck, hope it goes smoothly!

MrsBoo Mon 14-Sep-09 16:54:45

Thanks, and should we get most of this done before the first valuation which is on Thursday?
It is good the dump is only about 5 miles away, I think we will be doing a few journeys!

I washed one set of curtains - we don't really use them, but thought best to freshen them up. Put them in machine at normal wash, line dried and yes they have shrunk by about 6inches. So now need long cutains to frame a set of 4-folding type doors in living room to garden.

LIZS Mon 14-Sep-09 16:55:46

Clean front door, tidy path/lawn and some flowers to welcome them in tubs or baskets. Create a clear route through the house and make sure lines of sight from doorway to outside door/window are clear , so tidy curtains/blinds and clean windows. Also make sure chrome and door handles are clean, shiny and smear free. Neatly folded clean towels in bathroom. Fresh smell (open all widnows for half an hour but close in time to warm up the house).

MrsBoo Mon 14-Sep-09 17:06:12

What about the grubby paintwork in our stairs/landing. It would be a real pain to re-do most of this as it is double height in places and we cant afford to pay anyone professinally to do it.
Garden at front and back is small-ish but manageable and landscaped to be fairly maintenance free.
Front door could probably do with a clean and polish - painted a year or so ago it is wood varnish.
Downstairs floors are all oak - they were really shiny when we moved in - now they are a bit dull, don't want to varnish them would a polish creat the same almost wet-look shiny?

Elibean Mon 14-Sep-09 18:24:31

Clever lighting for the landing/stairs?

I think oak flooring is nice dull shiny rather than shiny shiny...matter of taste, maybe, but would think polish fine.

Our EAs didn't give a stuff about it being tidy for first valuation, they can see through all that - its the customers you want to smarten it up most for!

ange8 Mon 14-Sep-09 18:58:52

If you need full length curtains to replace your shrunken ones, Ikea have very long curtains at good prices.

When we sold, we changed the expensive curtains that we wanted to take with us for cheap unlined white curtains from Ikea, and the buyer commented on how fresh and clean they all looked, and wanted to know if we would leave them (yes!).

audley Tue 15-Sep-09 12:48:01

Hi, good luck for selling. We have just had 4 good offers on our house, including 2 people in a bit of a bidding frenzy! The funny thing was we cleaned and decluttered the house to the extreme for each and every viewing, with good comments but no offers. The last time we have the estate agent do the viewings because DH was away and I needed to get DS and dogs out of the house. The agents called with a surprise extra viewing before 2 already booked, which meant I had to get out of the house there and then, so the final touches were not done. Windows were dirty and DS's toys were in the sitting room and garden. That was the day all 3 viewers put in offers. Next time I won't try so hard, I think perfection can be intimidating to buyers grin

DebiTheScot Wed 16-Sep-09 11:47:33

For the curtains- are they 1 colour? If so, get a strip of material in a contrasting colour and sew it onto the bottom to make it look like they are meant to be 2 colours.
bit like these but the other way up

Our house is on the market at the moment and it is impossible to keep it tidy and perfectly clean. I'm hoping viewers will be able to see past it all. The whole point of us moving is because our house is too small for us all now so there's nowhere to hide the stuff.

MrsMagnolia Wed 16-Sep-09 20:18:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TennisFan Thu 17-Sep-09 17:14:44

Thanks everyone - sorry I have name changed in the middle of this.
debithescot that is exaclty the type of cutains we have. They are cream tab-top and would look great with a contrast, if we were staying I would consider it, but for now I have taken them down and removed all trace of curtains. It is on folding doors to our garden which is lit up at night anyway so looks ok.

We had the first valuation this morning - he said the place was in good condition which it is and not to bother with any other painting or touching up. We are in a good location so that is in our favour.

I think the figure he has given is reasonable - as it wasn't really worth the silly money we might have got 18months ago. It's still more than we paid for it 10 years ago including the £40K which we spent extending.

thanks again for your advice

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