All advice welcome re listing

new-beginningJuly 13, 2014

My daughter's house just listed - need advice on what/how to show this house better.


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I showed this to my friend, a gal who does some staging, A couple of her responses: Remove all the religious items on the fact MOST of the wall hangings are far too small for the wall they are on. NONE of the window treatments are helping. The tree in front needs shaping. Get some light in the rooms...natural, where possible.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:39PM
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Declutter declutter declutter.

Remove the family photos off the wall. Remove all the Christian crosses. The photos on the refrigerator. Gardening tools hanging in laundry room. The umbrella stands. All the knick knacks on the tables. Remove all the extra furniture - extra chairs and bookcases. Take everything off the vanities in the bathrooms. Especially that bizarre tp holder of a Woman holding her nose. The office is messy.

It's a 2,000 sf house, but it looks really cramped since there is so much stuff in it. And it looks very dark.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clickable link

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:45PM
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It's a very nice house and should show very well. But it can look better in photos to get people in the door too.

I agree with the above posters, but I will add that crosses are a very popular decorating thing right now in this part of Texas. So she could probably keep those, but in a large grouping, not just here and there. If she doesn't have enough to make a statement, take them all down. They're like the big Texas star that is so popular - some people love them and some people hate them. I don't mind the crosses, but hate those stars.

I also wouldn't cut out much of the tree, just enough to walk under without being hit by a branch. Shade in Houston in August is a lot more important than having an unobstructed view of the front of the house, and really, all the front can be seen just the way it is.

Also, I'd take down the corrugated fiberglass or tin over the front porch. I used to have a house with the same porch so I know why it was added, but it looks cheap. Exposed beams will look better without it. Bigger light fixtures on the brick columns would look better and draw the eye toward the entrance.

I'd also take off the storm door to show the front door. It can be stored in the garage and the new owners can put it back on if they want to.

Any reason there isn't a photo of the formal living room? Or is that the room used as office?

It would be nice if the family room furniture faced the fireplace but I don't see a place to put the tv if you moved the one loveseat to the tv wall. So I see why you have it that way, but that might be a deal breaker for me as a buyer.

For the furniture as it is though, the cabinet under the tv in the family room looks too short to me. She might try the cabinet that is currently on the wall by the front door - without the mirror. But it may not be wide enough.

What is the thing on the wall about a foot off the floor in the family room? A cable? Wiring?

A lot of windows are blocked by furniture, which says to me that there isn't a good place to put furniture. Any way to move the bed in the guest room to a plain wall?

I'd move the cabinet in the bathroom too, and possibly put a bench between the cabinets as long as it doesn't block that window. The cabinet there makes it look like the bathroom doesn't have enough storage.

I'd also remove the valances from the ceiling in the kitchen. They look a bit odd, or like they are hiding something.

Uncover the grill, get the big toys off the patio, and a couple of chairs around the patio table. Definitely get the trash can off the patio.

After all the decluttering and furniture moving is done, retake the pictures with the ceiling fans off and all the curtains open. I keep my shades down during the summer too, so I understand why, but the pictures need to be light and sunny. If there is a window in the dining room, it would be nice if the photo caught part of it.

Once photos are done, they can close the drapes and replace their furniture, or most of it, as far as I'm concerned. What looks cluttered or crowded in photos often looks perfectly normal in real life. The photo of the front door taken from the family room would be more dramatic without the cabinet in the way, but in person it is probably fine. Just move it in from the corner. When someone calls to see the house, open the drapes and turn down the a/c until they're gone.

Really and truly, the house looks better than most just the way it is. It looks neat and clean, and I can see past most clutter and dated fixtures when I'm looking at a house. A lot of people, especially new, young buyers can't see the forest for the trees, and it's for them that the house could use some decluttering and updating. But there are enough buyers who can see past it that I don't think there will be a problem even if they do nothing.

This post was edited by marti8a on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 2:32

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:24AM
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It looks like a well cared for attractive house.

In addition to what others have said:
* "super cute kitchen" in my book reads "tiny" especially when contrasted with the roomy bedrooms.
* Also, I know it's hot in Houston, but the place looks really, really dark. OPEN the curtains for the pics and while showing the place.
* The pic of the entry is strange. I'd get rid of it.
* Open the curtains in the LR and get rid of that little table and two chairs there. Looks cramped.
* Get rid of the two seater sofa and that bookcase between doors, especially since not much is in there.
* Get rid of that throne in the dining area.
* Remove that top valance in the kitchen. And WHY aren't the uppers painted, too? It looks like a project right at away and really points out that the uppers and lowers don't match (arches/straight). I'd also add hardware.
* Get rid of the maid in the bathroom

Get some more plants for the patio and an umbrella.

Make a little seating area on that first patio or get rid of the table.
Also, I hadn't noticed that window. Is it in the kitchen? If yes, put some plants and herbs in there.

Get rid of the trash can.

I'd retake the outside pictures when it's not overcast.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:57AM
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I agree with other - way to dark - get rid of widow treatments and open up and show some clean windows!

Declutter - especially family pics and religious items - adios. Get all the stuff off the desk and vanities. Stuff hanging from walls in laundry has to go too.

I'm surprised no one mentioned the kitchen cabinets do not match from lower to upper - the simple fix is to paint the uppers white to match the lowers.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:30AM
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Agree with the other posters. You need light in that house. It photographs way to dark. Fix the big crack in the driveway. Trim off the portion of tree branch that hangs over the driveway. The front of the house could use some color. Add a few large flower pots with pretty flowers. Kitchen is a mishmash of woods and colors. Make it more unified. Get rid of the dark curtains in the dining room, you don't need any on the kitchen window. Let the sun shine in. Office is cluttered, again curtains are making the rooms look dark. Get something lighter. Remove cabinet blocking window in the bathroom and get a normal TP holder. Something that matches the plumbing fixtures. Put away the kid's toy car and the trash can. I can't tell what those cement posts are near the back door. If they aren't doing anything get rid of them. She may want to purchase a shade umbrella for the seating area out back. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:15AM
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I agree with the others. The clutter to the left of the kitchen sink and in the den/office is particularly distracting.

The kitchen cabs really need to match. I also think it might look better if the valance over the kitchen sink is removed.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:14PM
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new beginning,
Your daughter is selling space.
I know, it's hard for everyone to understand, but her buyers are going to probably be like her when she bought the house. Young, starting family, and they want space.
All of the drapes are dark. I know she wants to keep her energy bill down, but not now. She wants as much as she can get for the home now.
All drapes have to go. She's moving, tell her to pack them up.
Go to a cheap store and replace all the drapes with white sheer drapes.
Let the light in those windows.
The GIANT hope chest at the end of her bed, OMG, tell her to put in garage, if no room, store somewhere else.
That thing is huge! Makes the whole bedroom look really small. Yes, it does make a difference, people have absolutely no vision.
The bookcase between the LR and DR, take that out.
Tell her to store anything that she doesn't physically use on a daily basis, and remind her she is moving.
Unless she uses the kitchen set in the kitchen every day to eat on, I would store that too. That kitchen needs SPACE, and she has a DR and table and chairs in there.
She wants to make the house seem BIG.
The bigger the better.
Walls look bigger without anything on them, take them down.
The outside of the house is beautiful, especailly the back yard, that is wonderful!
Remember, LIght, Space, Tell her to get packing, if she has to rent a storage unit, so be it.
She will sell fast if she does.
It's a nice house.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:30PM
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I agree that most of the pics are terrible �" evidently no one brought in any extra lighting.

Keep in mind that the most likely buyer will be someone who possibly was not born in the USA. I am not being racist here �" the neighborhood is very attractive for new-to-the USA folks �" from a number of different countries. That has nothing to do with why they are selling the house.

The house is in a very good school district, and the 'formal' living room currently is the playroom, but by simply adding a closet and some doors it would be a 4th bedroom, or an office, or a music room, or a computer room, or the kids' playroom.

The bed in the guest room could be moved, but it really is in the best location. The wall across from the bed has a door to the Jack and Jill bath, the wall to the left of the bed has a closet/door and then there is still the actual door to the room �" so only two walls where one can put a bed.

The dining room doesn't have a window �" the laundry room and garage are behind it �" the 'throne' is the actual chair that goes at the end of the table (why on earth she wanted that table I will never know!)

the kitchen actually is not that tiny �" it is a gallery kitchen, there are two pantries �" one for food, one I forget what she uses the other for; they had crappy cabinets for uppers so they replaced those, thus the non-matching cabinets �" it is a huge improvement over what was there when they bought it �" tons of storage in kitchen even with small eating area on West end.

I suspect they have umbrellas (the last ones I saw looked like a grass hut roof �" maybe that is why they aren't in the picture) I have 2 out here she could borrow for photos.

I think there is one plant in the kitchen window (daughter has a brown thumb) and I could take some of my pot plants for the photo shoot; it is really tough to have anything new survive in the ground and even more difficult in pots in our current temps �" now if you already have something in the ground and can keep it watered, maybe so, but right now at 6 PM my time it is 96 F on my front porch. If this was mid September then that would be feasible.

I did see a small, hairline crack in the driveway �" if you are meaning the large horizontal and/or vertical “cracks”, those aren't cracks but expansion joints �" we have clay under our topsoil here.

The cement posts are actually plant stands (made by her grandfather �" I guess she could re-home them temporarily)

I would rather see her store that humongous set in the DR and move the kitchen stuff into the DR.

The 'thing' about a foot off the floor (I am guessing here) probably contains the electronic wiring for cable/DirectTV or something along that line)

When they bought the house, everything was pink, with a little blue included �" pink tile backsplash in the kitchen, pink paint on walls, the previous owner loved pink (and had 2 daughters).

I will (gently) suggest they have the pictures re-taken and plan to remove most curtains/drapes for the pic, and if necessary, I will go there while the photographer is there. When I listed my previous home 3 yrs ago I made certain everything was light and bright �" of course, it was empty, which helped! My home was in the subdivision across the road from daughters �" buyers were from (I think) Cuba and neither adult spoke English. Will also remind about removing EVERYTHING from counters �" I wonder if they took pics while she was at work and unaware?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:03PM
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I have no idea why all the junk is in the post and I can't seem to edit it out - sorry

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:06PM
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New -beginning why not just show her this post. The majority of posters are seeing and saying the same thing. If she wants to sell her house, the things mentioned will help accomplish that. I see that you said "gently" suggest. Does she think that her house in its' present condition is alright for potential buyers to see? NancyLouise

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:55AM
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NancyLouise - I try to refrain from giving my kids advice (they are both in their 40s) unless I really temper my words (I am rather outspoken normally).

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:05PM
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The house is cute. The tree is fine; don't trim it. The extra furniture needs to go. Store the throne too. If you need it for seating the whole family, use one of the other little chairs sitting around, but place it somewhere else decoratively.Get rid of the book case and extra pieces of furniture. Remove the scatter rug. Take things off the wall, fill the holes, and paint or touch up holes if they need it. De clutter the kitchen, leaving only a towel or paper towels for drying hands. De clutter every room to the point of looking like it needs something more to make it look homey. This look will make the house look spacious and neat. Store the chest and extra chair from the bedroom. Open the curtains, which are too dark in every room, so replacing them as advised might be better. Remove the kitchen valance.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:27PM
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For the location and price range in Houston, it is fine the way it is except for the cover over the front porch--it does look cheap. There is nothing glaring on the inside that would be a big turn off to potential buyers in that range.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:11PM
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I would completely agree with asking why all of the curtains/drapes are closed. Very dark and depressing. Bring in the light, light, light!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:23PM
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LOL, I hear ya, new-beginning. We try to help, they take it as criticism. But do try to convey to your daughter the improvements mentioned by the posters here. It will make quite a difference with how the house looks to potential buyers once the new pictures are in. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:28PM
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