Our House Goals 2011 :: Stage to Sell

Home Staging Room by Room

This year is going to be special somehow. 
I know this already.

We have a few goals and ideas and have been in prayer about 
how to and when to start implementing them.

The main objective we have this year is to prepare our home to sell 
in Autumn 2012 or Summer 2013.
As some of you know, we have already started this process 

Our motivation for moving is to be in a smaller home, a bungalow or cottage, 
with a quiet backyard, closer to downtown, hardwood floors and at least 3 fireplaces!

As a Home Stager, I have a little insight about the process, 
but it's one thing to prepare a prioritized report for someone else 
and then make one for our own home.
It has caused me to have more compassion with my clients while they are letting go.

We have done some house hunting and this encourages us 
to keep working toward getting our house ready to list.

We have lived here almost 10 years, and along with that 
comes a lot of decor to sift through,
many wall colors and flooring to update, tiling and fixtures being updated.
There will be a lot of changes, wouldn't you say?

Our 2011 Home Staging To-Do List:

We just found a great deal on our mortgage at ING (endorsed by Dave Ramsey). It's a 30-year at 2.99%. Our house payment when we moved in 10 years ago? $1200. Today? $600. With the money back on our side of the wallet, we are putting it back into the house.  This step is completed.

Based on the inspection report, we can take care of repairs before we put it on the market. It lessens surprises at the time of the buyer's inspection. This step is completed.

I think we all know what that means. This step is underway. The first purge.

1. New Tile in our Master Bath 
(I am so embarrassed to show this picture-yes, that is carpeting in our bathroom. To keep our marriage intact, I allowed Mark to have the carpet, but in exchange I got hardwood floors in the foyer and dining room. However, he now agrees that carpeting in the bathroom is not such a bright idea).

 2. New Appliances in the Kitchen 
I love a white kitchen, personally, and am not a fan of stainless steel.
Because our stove/dishwasher/microwave are almost 10 years old, they need to be new(er)for the buyers anyway. But, we will be getting them off Craigslist.

3. New A/C HVAC Units
Ours are 10 years old and look like it. And in the summer, they act like it. So, new ones for this place.

4. New Carpeting on the First Floor
We had premium carpet installed when we built, and we've kept it clean and have taken care of it, but who wants our "old" carpet?

5. New Fixtures
The brass lighting and faucets NEED to go. They needed to go already, but we knew we were selling, and decided to wait and change everything in 2011.


This is the part of the journey that I actually like. Weird, I know.
To simplify and keep only what we'll use and/or need is freeing! 
We'll donate or sell what we don't use or need. Period. From furniture to clothing to tchotchkes.

The red and the toile have to go. I will miss it, but chances are, most people would not like it.
To them, it will = work in the form of ripping out wallpaper and several coats of paint.
The colors I will be using to unify the house are khaki, white and blues with touches of red.
Wait till you see what color I paint the front door! Here's a clue: it will no longer be red.
Have you heard of the paint color: Contract Khaki? Here it is again, in one of the bedrooms.

We will use accent colors for the Master Bedroom and Master Bath Room walls.

Add a few more bushes and lots of purty flowers. Refresh the pine needles.

This house sits on a cul-de-sac, with a wooded backyard, has a cafe', a theater room, and an upstairs landing.
These spaces need to have extra ECPs, as I call them. Emotional Connection Points. The senses trigger messages that words cannot convey. A house should suggest to a buyer as to how the home can be used for their family. It should have spaces for relaxation, rest, sharing, dreaming, enjoying.

Wooden hangers, real baskets, fresh flowers in vases, scented soaps in the baths, elegant towels, wreaths.
The longer a potential buyer lingers, the more likely a sale will result. Finishing touches need to generate the "warm fuzzies". I am convinced that a home purchase is mostly emotional.
Buyers, if in love with a home, will even change their original criteria, to own that home. Quite interesting!

I think we all know what that means.

We have already found our Realtor/Real Estate Agent. We interviewed and met three different people, but we chose the one that understood the area in which we'd like to buy, had years of experience listing and selling, and who was recommended, again, by Dave Ramsey, as one of his Endorsed Local Providers.

We have our work cut out for us.
Of course, I'll let you follow along as we work.

I gotta run...time to call the inspector!

P.S. Please hop over to this page. I am having a New Year's Giveaway that I know you'll love!


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  1. I am looking forward to your progress, since I too am thinking early 1012 might be our time to sell also.

    My motivations, are the high cost of where were are living, and I would like a little more property (for bigger gardens and maybe more animals..I raise chickens and would like to try sheep) but not too far from civilization!

    I have a lot of work to do here on a very tight budget...

  2. You have listed quite a lot to do in preparing to sell your home.

    I, too, like white kitchens with white appliances. My current old stove/range is white with black...I hate black. It shows every fingerprint known to man regardless how much ones polishes it. I have a SS refrigerator (4 yrs old) so my appliances don't match. We are thinking of replacing the stove/range (15 years old) and I think I will go SS to match our refrigerator. I wasn't happy when I looked up GE ranges and discovered the SS ones have black in it. Why, oh, why couldn't it be all SS and no black? If a man ever had to clean the ones with black they would never design one again.

    Good Luck with your home - it is so lovely and I'm sure it will sell quickly for you. Don't put too much money into it. We painted our first house exterior before we moved and the new owners painted it after they moved in. I broke down crying in the car when I saw it. I couldn't believe they would re-paint a freshly painted house. And it was painted a neutral color.

  3. I have been there, Leslie! We did all the prep and getting ready over a year ago and were on the market for a short period of time. We are planning on the end of the month to list again. I do want to look around, though, ahead of time to see what is out there in the form of condo's or townhomes. We've been in our house for 20 years and the draw of not cutting the lawn or shoveling snow is a great one to my hubby {me too, as I'm out there, too, but he does more!}.

  4. Your home is really cute! Maybe you'll do just enough on your wish list you'll decide to stay? Like Sandy above mentioned, our Quail Creek Home was amazing (well at least i thought so) & the new owners painted over all the murals in the house, tore out portions of the garden i spent a lot of money and time designing. They did their own thing to make it their own - i too was devistated when i found out. So i agree, not to put to much effort & money into the house. xoox

  5. When we sold our home in 2009, we had no idea that all the things we changed prior to deciding to sell, were actually what helped our house to sell we think. We updated the bathroom, painted the cabinets, added a porch, repainted all exposed exterior wood to freshen things up, & new hot water heater.

    A few different families looked at our home, and showed no interest. Then someone gave me a tip and said to have our dining room table set, as if we were having a simple yet elegant dinner party. They said that helped to sell their home. So I placed fresh cut sunflowers in vases in the kitchen, and placed a summer decor table setting on the dining room table, complete w/ fresh flowers from our own flower gardens, all in preparation for the very next couple who viewed our home. They loved it and were the ones who bought it.

    Here's hoping that your home sells in a timely manner, sounds like you have incredible and great plans for the next home-owners, to make the transition much easier for them. So very thoughtful!

  6. Whew! I'm tired just reading about it. But I am sure you will do a great job. I pray it sells quickly to just the right buyer. Blessings my friend!

  7. Good luck with it all! I look forward to seeing the progress. A hint on less expensive appliances is to see if your local appliance store has any with dings - you can save money and frequently the blemishes won't be visible after installation.

  8. I love an organized woman! (Helps that I am one! ;)

    Ok, most people wouldn't like the red and toile accept ME, but I'm not moving into your house.





  9. Sounds like you have it all figured out. My closet looks a lot worse than yours. We had carpet in our bathroom too until we remodeled the bathroom. We were so tired from building this house we just told the flooring people to run the carpet into the bathroom, too. It did make the room warmer, but I finally got my tile. Good luck!

  10. Dave Ramsey?
    I think I love you!
    (Shh, don't tell my darling husband!)

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if we spent as much time being sure that our families got those warm fuzzies?

    I adore your red room! I completely understand that it's not buyer friendly. (I'm painting my first red...drum roll...tonight! What a coincidence.)

    Lastly, my new mantra is what you commented on my blog. Chaos=Can't have anyone over. I'm gonna add a smile and the word "silly" to provide the comma and and "S." ;)

    Good luck in your process :)
    Be sure to take us along for the ride.

  11. Leslie, You have a great plan for getting your home ready to sell. I'll be doing some of the same things in 2011.

  12. Your home is lovely and you have a ton of things on your to do list. We downsized 6 yrs ago and I still can't get used to it. I gave away tons of furniture and accessories and only kept my favorites. I still feel like I am living in a closet though. I hope your move is easier. Hugs, Marty

  13. I enjoyed reading your post (I saw the link on nester). We're getting our home ready to list this spring.

  14. Heck, Leslie, I wouldn't be surprised if you sold your house via your blog. You make it and show it to be wonderful. What a deal on the mortgage interest! I hope you make enough off the sale that you never have another one because the chances of finding that rate again cannot be too good.

    OK, hopping over to see what you and Nester are up to.

  15. Wow, Leslie, that is a BIG "to do" list for your house. Good luck. Do the brass faucets HAVE to go? Wowsers. I love brass and have it in every bathroom, kitchen, and front door handle and knocker. Am I totally outdated or what? Anyway, I don't care because I LOVE brass.

    Take care and GOOD LUCK. Susan

  16. WOW...that's a lot of work to do. I will be praying for stamina for you and your husband both! I will miss the wall paper terribly though. :( But I look forward to seeing all the progress you make, and how exciting to get to decorate an "new" home and make it all yours! Blessings! Paula <3

  17. I think you have a great plan! We did almost everything on your list for our house in GA. It sold in a week. I think you are right, she fell in love with it and actually wanted some of my own stuff! I just wish I had done some of the improvement earlier so I could have enjoyed them.

  18. Hello! Thanks for stopping in the other day. No wonder you and my sister are friends. This is right up her alley. And not to sell a house, just to love the feel of it. I can't wait to see how the process evolves.

  19. Yet again, I find something that we have in common because we have carpet in our master vanity area as well. It is actually separated from the actual bathroom which is tiled, but we have carpet by the sinks nonetheless.

    I always leave here with so many good ideas and a great focus.

    Even though we (I) gave up my dream of selling this home and moving to the next county, I could still use your inspiration to just make it better looking.

  20. I LOVE YOUR HOUSE! What a great post. Very inspiring...I almost got up from blogging to go clean...almost! hahahahaha...really I am totally inspired by your post.
    thank you

  21. I LOVE your red room! It's beautiful! You are right about changing it for selling purposes but it sure is pretty! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm glad it led me to yours! Susan

  22. Leslie, I can definitely relate to this. My husband and I feel called by the Lord to eventually, in His time, move to Guam and open a Bible camp. We spent 2009 with our home on the market, with very little extra money to spend and five little ones at home with me all day. Needless to say, a stressful way to live.

    It eventually led to the kids and I moving to Washington state so that my hubby could aggressively sell our home while we lived with family. The thing was, we were doing it all in our power and in our timing. It was an eye-opening experience.

    We eventually decided to come back home and just wait on the Lord's timing. The last year we've spent here has by far been the best. It's changed my life.

    Praying that all will go well with your home plans. I love home plans and I love the toile.

  23. Well, I looked on my oldest daughter's blog and saw that you had commented. Charity talks about you all the time, says we would all be such good friends. So I decided to FINALLY go to your blog and take a look around. Fun! I'm becoming a follower so that I don't forget to check things out. Thanks for looking at Rebekah's blog. She's funny, huh? And no, Charity really doesn't have time right now for blogging, although hers was so good. May God richly bless your new year 2011, and I pray your house sells quickly.

  24. Ok, I'm looking at this list thinking it will cost a small fortune to do all those updates. How did you decide on a budget for that? And, as a home stager, how do you help your clients decide on a budget for updates? I'm thinking this should be an upcoming post :)

  25. Leslie,
    Loved your post! We put our house on the market last January and sold it in 5 weeks. I did stage to sell but we also priced it right. A realtor had told me to put the house on the market in January because a lot of people transfer around that time and sure enough--that's who we sold it to. My in laws are also looking to put their house on the market some time next year and we just redid the kitchen. The bathrooms are next. You are smart for wanting to upgrade these things now. I would also suggest that whoever your target market is (young couples, young families, etc.) that you stage to appeal to those buyers. My in laws are empty nesters but we are staging one of the bedrooms as a kids room.



  26. I'm inspired just reading your list! :) My church offers Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University on Wed. nights and I'm really hoping my husband and I can go when the girls are just a little older (it goes past their bedtime right now). Thanks for sharing your list...I think I could add some of yours to my list! ;)

  27. NO MORE RED DOOR? NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! It literally hurt to read that. Take lots of pictures for me. Goodbye my dream door. :( And I had no idea that exterior was white with black shutters. Another favorite of mine. At least it looks those colors. Are they black or navy?

    Looking forward to seeing all the changes (well, minuts one). I know anything you touch turns out beautiful.

  28. You wont have any problem selling when the time comes. Great ideas, and you have the great touch that will exude a feeling of home to the house-hunters and your future buyer:)


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