When to start packing-up the house & what to do with livestock
My husband and I are going to be putting our house on the market this summer or early fall. We've gotten mixed advise from the real estate community, so I wanted to go you for advice. We will live in our home until it is sold, but I do anticipate going ahead and boxing-up items that would be considered clutter and items that we don't really use a lot. Would it be better to start boxing-up and storing items that we don't use on a routine basis and make the home have an emptier feel to it or just clear-out clutter only? What I mean by clutter is, clearing-out the attic and closets and knicknacks on shelves and counters. I don't want to detract from the home and make it feel cold, but I also want the buyers to be able to imagine living there and not be distracted by our personal belongings.
One individual came into our home and immediately told us that we had to remove all family photos because we are a white family with a white son and two Ethiopian daughters and not everyone approves of this family situation. Would someone really not buy our home because we had a family picture displayed? She also said that anything depicting African culture - including a clock of the continent - would be a distraction.
Last question is for those who have livestock. What about liability if the potential buyers go to the barn and get hurt or let-out an animal? We have goats, alpacas, and a great pyreneese that I can't load-up and take to another farm for showings. I primarily worry about the male alpaca because he will spit on someone who agitates him or causes him to be afraid - it would be just lovely to have a potential buyer get spit on! We will try to keep the animals confined to the pastures when we know a showing is scheduled but that may not always be possible depending upon weather because they need shelter sometimes. Also, those unscheduled showings may mean the animals are roaming freely between pastures. Anyone have experience with this?