Dear Helen Hartman,
As you know, my house is on the market, it is a traditional home...furnished with an eclectic mix of "finds" and real antiques. The kitchen was done in a retro fashion the old formica table and chairs etc. It was fabulous. The broker made me change it out to boring white/pine table and windsor chairs and black and while toile curtains. Boring. So I had to give up my kitchen to appeal to the general folks..... what would Dear Helen have done?
Dear Loved One,
Of course it was fabulous (if anyone wants to know how Helen knows this drop in and visit Sherrie’s blog A Conversation at the Goodwill). I’ve wanted a Formica table for the longest time.
So even the best Realtor would have to have wrestled me to the ground to get me to move it out.
I have moved a time or two in my life (contrary to what that snipe Teresa might tell you, Helen is NOT wanted by the law. They never proved a thing!) But to be sure, I checked with the experts:
|"Mommy I know you love The Sound of Music but please, can't we just buy clothes from Sears instead of always making them from curtains?" Magazines from 1943 to 1954, $2 each! So much goodness inside!|
Sure you need to de-clutter and de-personalize but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your house a depressing space devoid of the things that make it a home. You still have to live there, ya know!
|Carol truly was a control queen. She called that her control kitchen, the dinning room her control dinning room and the master bedroom the dungeon of dominance.|
So let’s tackle some of those well-known tricks to sell a house:
Repaint. Repair. Refurnish. Keep it neutral, neutral, neutral!
|The caption to this actually describes it as a neutral kitchen. Neutrality is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. This kitchen certainly make me want to stick something in my eye.|
Curb appeal? Make a good impression from the moment the seller arrives.
|From the actual article: "I'd driven by that house a hundred times and never noticed it until..." Until the horrible accident when it was hit by a semi hauling 2 tons of Pepto Bismol.|
If you’re not inclined to do a lot of work…
…a new door mat will work wonders.
|Caution: Your new doormat should probably NOT say Eve Arden on it.|
But that doesn’t mean you have to BE a door mat (do you hear me Eve Arden? I mean, really, you were kind of a big deal, why would you be hawking $5 doormats in the back of magazines? The real money is in celebrity endorsements of chin straps and personal flame throwers!)
But really, are those things enough to close the deal? Helen has some thoughts about what really works. Yes, Helen is offering actual advice. Make a note, it may never happen again!
Cook meals in the crock pot so the house smells great every day.
Use orange oil on the sinks and their fixtures so they gleam.
|Behold the modern oven: the perfect place to store the food you bought for your party and plan to pass off as home cookin'.|
|I don't have a disposal, I'm all dolled up and stuffing things in the drain in hopes of meeting a cute plumber!|
|"Okay, I mowed the lawn, raked up all the cuttings, swept the walk, hosed down the drive, showered, did my hair and got dressed. What did you do?" "I put a flower in a pot."|
Put the TV on an ambient music channel during showings.
I always write a letter with pics of the house in different seasons telling the prospective buyer what it’s close to (or far from) and what I’ve loved most about living there. Yep, despite the trend to de-personalize the process, the thing that has actually helped us sell our homes was the personal touch!
|OH MY WORD, Not THAT personal. This is the room you send your kids to when you want to punish them. "Please, Mom, No, it gives me nightmares about dolls and clowns and animals. So many nightmares!"|
Good luck – and if you have to wrestle with your Realtor, remember, right hand gouge, left hand hair pull.
Joining Amaze Me Monday at Dittle Dattle
and Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Tuesday Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia