Monday, February 28, 2011

Grey Area

{via pinterest via Purple Area}

I'm just not myself today.

Do you ever have a day where you feel a little grey?

That's me today.  Part of it could be my exhausting weekend.  The other part could be that we put our house on the market last week.

Gosh, that was hard to write. Just like it was hard to put a sign in the yard.  It makes it so much more real.

I know people sell their homes all the time.  And it's really no big deal.  But I love our home, and all the memories we've had here.

We are moving to Minnesota in the next couple months.  We have a lot to do between now and then.

My husband is starting a new job there two weeks from today.  While I stay behind and try to sell our humble abode.

So a couple questions for you...

  1. Do you have any pointers for someone selling their home?

  2. Any pointers on moving to a new area and trying to buy a house when you know nothing about the area?

We are headed up to Minnesota this weekend to get the lay of the land and hopefully look at a few houses.  I may not sound like it now, but I'm excited to move.  It's just a lot of work to move across states and I've never done it with a house in the picture.  I know we're onto greener pastures, but part of me wishes we could fast forward 3 months and have our "normal" little life back.


Courtney said...

We have sold two homes, here's what I've learned:
1)Declutter, declutter, declutter- (I had a laundry basket and when I knew people were coming to look at our house I threw eveything into the laundry basket and put it in the car)
2) Depersonalize- remove family pictures
3) People love fliers- we went through a lot of fliers on our sign, but so worth it we sold both of houses fairly quickly (make sure your flier has pictures, details and a price- people don't look twice if there isn't a price)

Your move sounds exciting! I know your house shows great, so here's to hoping it sells quickly.

Kristi W. said...

I am in Minnesota! I can answer any questions you might have about areas. :)
It really varies by neighborhood, so you can't even really narrow it down by suburb/city. But there are some AWESOME houses for sale right now. Good prices too. Sorry you have to move and leave your current home which you love so much. I have my fingers crossed that you will find a place you love even more in MN.

EJ said...

Moving across states isn't easy. My advice is to go slow. Take your time looking for the right area and the right house. Rent in the mean while if you have to. And do your research. Where are the schools, stores, gas stations; are there problematic intersections, problem industries, problem areas; etc. Again, take your time. Buying a house is an investment both financially and mentally - you're buying a home to make new memories in.
Good luck!

Samantha said...

I am in Minnesota (twin cities area specifically) and don't mind it here a bit. I'm originally from the Chicago area. We are in the process of having our first home custom built, so I don't have any advice with selling. Good luck!!

Diane Jaquay said...

Hi Deb. My family has moved around A LOT, and we've successfully sold 3 of our homes by ourselves (for sale by owner). "Staging" your house is crucial. Courtney's 3 suggestions are spot on! I would add to those:
4. Make sure and do any small, cosmetic repairs that need to be done, such as touching up paint, repairing anything that's obviously broken (door handles, cracked floor tiles, etc.) If your house needs more than just some touch up painting, it's well worth the time and effort to paint as many rooms as you can. Fresh paint is inexpensive and makes a HUGE difference!
5. Make sure the front entrance is inviting! That's the first thing folks see and you want them to be excited about entering their potential new house!
6. When you know potential buyers are coming, have some cookies baking in the oven (you've probably heard that one before).
7. To expand on Courtney's #2 suggestion, it's not just family pictures, but all kinds of personal items should be boxed and put away. If you have kids with posters all over their walls for ex., now would be a good time to take them all down and paint their rooms. Also things like the afghan your Grandma crocheted for you, the wicker basket your kid made for you at camp, the things that are probably hanging all over your fridge (we all have that!), your artificial flower arrangements (invest in a few real plants and place them around the house strategically, these will be great for filling in spaces where you took away the personal stuff!) These are just random examples but I'm sure you get the idea. You want your house to look like a room in Better Homes and Gardens, and that's what I mean by "staging". And this doesn't mean you have to spend tons of money. For one of the houses I sold we borrowed a couple of nice paintings from my Mom to hang on spots that looked "empty". Borrow what you can from friends and neighbors if necessary, they'll probably be happy to help you out. If you have specific questions please feel free to email me, and good luck!

Hilary said...

Debbie, just saw on your husband's site last week that you guys are moving to Minnesota! I feel like that is about as opposite weather-wise as us here in Dallas!
My advice for the move, enjoy it for what it is and don't fight or sweat the small stuff. I bet you already know how to stage a home perfectly with your background and design acumen. But it's hard to keep the emotional out when people are looking at your home, neighborhood, etc.. and giving feedback. It may sell instantly or it may take months. You know full well how it goes. Just remember that people are not buying you and your family. They are only looking for a roof to cover their heads. And when it comes time to negotiate price, I hope it goes smoothly for you. If it doesn't and you feel like choking the ever loving life out of them, call me! Just remember that it's only a house, it's no longer your home. Your new home is waiting for you wherever you want it to be. The most important thing is to get rid of it and move on to your soon to be new home where you will make all new memories with your family ~ truly the only thing that really matters. love you!

Karen said...

I have also moved quite a bit and ditto Diane and Courtney. One more thing I would add is to have cookie dough on hand in the fridge. Bake a dozen cookies when you know someone is coming. Nothing says I'm home more than the smell of cookies baking. I used to leave a plate with a dozen on the counter with a little sign to help yourself.

Deb said...

This is why I love you all!! Thank you for all your advice and for being there for me. I don't deal with change very well so thanks for comforting me!!