Getting Our Home Ready to SELL

We are selling our home!!!

(pictures to come ASAP)

So, I mentioned in an earlier post that we were planning on moving to Temecula soon. Well, before we move we need to sell our own home (and buy one up there). Basically, we are in the beginning stages of this whole process even though it seems like we have been prepping for this for a long time.

We have realized that we need what is best for our growing family and our boys. We need a bigger house in a better neighborhood with better schools. Unfortunately, we cannot afford that here in San Diego. A condo is just not an option for us. So, North it is.

We have been looking in the Temecula and Murrieta area for a while now and just recently decided to put our house on the market this month. We are actually working with the same people who sold us this home. We went through Realty World West with Shun and Shuzo Wakita. Since then (2008), the Wakita duo has opened up their own company (Wakita & Associates). We are so lucky to have met them because their team is awesome. Claudette is our agent now and has been a wealth of knowledge.

We bought this house as a foreclosure in 2008 and closed on the house on Thanksgiving Day. It took 6 months for us to find this home. The inside of the home was nice and move in ready. The outside, on the other hand, needed a lot of work. Even though the backyard was big, it was still unfinished.

Since then, we had a huge paver project (driveway, retaining walls, walkways, staircases), a new garage door, fans in every room, landscaping, new carpet, and other countless improvements that we made along the way. The inside is not “updated” like most people would like (new cabinets, stainless steel appliances), but it is still pretty nice on the inside.

Now that we are listing (TOMORROW) and having an open house on Saturday we have been working like crazy to get things as perfect as they can be to make a good impression to potential buyers. Thank God for my mom’s boyfriend because he has been helping out A.L.O.T!

The goal of our open house is to generate interest and get buyers to remember our home.

Here is a list of things we did to get ready for the open house:

1. Decided on a list price

The house down the street listed for almost $350,000 and has been on the market for a while now. We knew we couldn’t list for that price because a) we didn’t have an updated kitchen like them and b) we didn’t want to be on the market that long and lose buyer interest. We listed at a lower price in hopes of bringing in more people and hopefully evoking a bidding war. Our house will list tomorrow at $329,900. Statistically, listing at $329,900 and not $330,00 is more appealing to buyers. Hopefully we can get enough extra money from the sale to pay off our paver project loan and have at least $30,000 to put on the new house. More money would be a bonus.

2. Listed on a Friday

Again, we decided to list on Friday because, statistically, you draw more interest if you list on a Friday. Most people work during the week and check out homes on Friday to see which ones they want to look at on the weekend. Hopefully the open house will bring in a lot of people.


3. Declutter

No one wants to look at all of our junk so we boxed it up and took a minimalist approach.

4. Ditched the abundance of kid toys

People want to be able to picture themselves in your home and maybe some of the potential buys don’t have kids or don’t plan on having kids. It would be harder to envision it as their home if my son’s toy cars were thrown about the living room.

5. Took down personal photos

Personal photos are distracting. People want to see themselves in our home; they don’t want our faces staring at them.

6. Thoroughly cleaned our home

A clean home is a happy home.

7. Touch-ups and improvements inside

We made sure to give our cabinets a face lift with some Old English wood polish. It helped a lot. Justin also did some paint touch ups around the house. Especially in spots where our dog liked to scratch up (like the windowsill).

8. Staging

I have heard that staging a home could really help get top dollar so I decided to give it a try. I wasn’t going to go all crazy, but I decided to try a few things. I set the dinner table and put a little breakfast tray on the bed. I am also going to buy some flowers for the table. I also moved around our planter boxes in the back and added a watering can and some gardening tools to the area to give the illusion that they could someday envision their own garden growing in its place.

9. New Homeowners Binder

I put together a little (actually big) binder that included all of the owner’s manuals for the appliances that would be coming with the house. I also added all of the flyers, brochures, and handouts that we got from home shows and research we did while looking for different home improvement ideas in hopes that the new owners could use it if they wanted to get new windows, paint, or landscaping ideas.

10. So Fresh & So Clean

We made sure to pick up the house and make it squeaky clean before the open house. We will also be lighting candles in the bathrooms, and plugging in the kitchen Scentsy. It’s said that smells in a home will help home buyers remember our home and associate it with that good smell.

11. Refreshments

I plan on having a basket full of water for our “guests.” I also bought some M&Ms that I poured in a nice bowl that I am leaving on the table. We will see if those even make it to the open house on Saturday.

12. Light and Bright

We will be sure to open the windows to air out the house, pull the curtains back to bring in some natural light, and turn on the rest of the lights to brighten up dark places.

13. Hide the pets and kids

Hopefully we can find temporary homes for our furry friends because not all buyers will think of them as cute and cuddly. Some may be allergic or not like pets. We don’t want to drive away buyers with our pets so they will be staying with friends for the day. They same is true for our little ones. Austin will be hanging out with Grandma all day and Justin, Luke, and I will be out of the house as well.


14. Weed and trim over-gown bushes and plants

15. Replanted old/dead plants

16. Freshened up the backyard grass

17. New garden flags

18. New Annuals for landscape

19. Declutter and organize

20. Sweep walkways

We tried to stage our home as much as possible without spending any extra money. I’ll let you know how the open house goes on Saturday.

In the mean time, Luke turns one month tomorrow! I need to take our customary monthly picture and get some little hand and foot impressions.

I have a LONG list of things to do tomorrow! Wish me luck.


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