1. Hoarding has its upside
I swear the last time we bought/sold a house we spat on our hands and shook; we moved in a couple of weeks later. Ok that was in 1996 but honestly, what the .... happened? This is the DIGITAL age people…. Why does moving require so much paperwork? Not just new paperwork but old ones from things we did ages ago. I had NO IDEA that when the Rayburn was installed sixteen years ago that I needed a OFTEC document to prove…. Prove what? It works – it does. It won’t kill us – it hasn’t. Thankfully when we ventured up into the attic there were boxes and boxes of stuff. From boxes containing empty lever arch files? To Wedding memorabilia (oh that stings, to see we cared enough to keep it but now it is covered in dust, cobwebs and squirrel poo) amongst it all some sixth sense must have made me keep every receipt and document from our two extensions. So, hoarding those away all those years ago helped enormously.
2. Listen to your agent
When your agent politely suggests a refresh take the hint. Gut every room, repaint and only put back the bare essentials to hint at the rooms possible use. Hide, store or give away everything else. Your aim is to make your home look like a holiday home picture. Honestly, this took us a solid week of hard graft but it had a number of benefits. One – our home stopped looking, smelling and most importantly feeling like our home (we are ready to emotionally leave) Two – it makes the final stage of moving so much easier as much of your stuff has already gone. Three – potential buyers can imagine themselves living there and not invading your space.
3. The pain of doing improvements/extensions is financially rewarded.
When we bought our two up two down Victorian farm workers cottage it was perfect for the two of us...as our family grew so did our home. We initially built a two-story side extension to give us a family bathroom, extra bedroom, dining room and downstairs loo. Five years later we pushed out the back wall on the ground floor to make a big open plan kitchen/family room. We designed the rooms to be proportional to the existing house and lined up windows to maximise the light into the cottage. In addition (as you might expect) we used reclaimed materials which meant the extensions blended in with the original so well we had to show surveyors exactly what was old and what was new. For the interiors we tried to not to overkill the reclaimed look, but we have a solid oak floor and a few structural beams in the family room. A reclaimed courtyard garden with summer room and a few pieces of Old pine furniture. Combined they helped create a wow from the Estate agent, which we took to be either a very well-trained polite agent or that we had got it right and improved the saleability of the house.
Our home had three offers within the first viewing week. Job done.
Latest update… from accepting one of the offers we are still waiting (11 weeks on) to actually move but that’s another story.
Very latest update... we have completed and exchanged.....Huzzah