Ever notice how, before putting their house up for sale, people do a whole bunch of cleaning and fixing to “get the house ready to sell”?
If you’ve ever sold a house, you know that often, after doing all that work, you wonder why you waited so long. The house looks great – and now you’re going to pass it on to someone else.
You were willing to do that work for someone else but not yourself.
I said never again
Remember my nasty kitchen? Well, after living with it for several years, we did the remodel ourselves. We painted the new cabinet doors (with many, many coats – by hand), retiled the backsplash, painted the walls and built a mirrored display shelf. It was a lot of work and it dragged on. But we were delighted with the result.
And then eight months later we sold the place.
I was so annoyed with myself. I did all that work – and only got to enjoy it for a few short months.
I told my husband we were never doing that again.
So now we regularly ask what needs to be done to our home in order to sell it.
And then we do it.
You are worth it
I know house projects cost money. I know you don’t necessarily have the money to do what you want right now.
And I know there are probably a whole bunch of things you’d rather never have to do.
I get that. I have those projects too.
But I also know that it’s easy – so easy – to put off things that would make a difference. Things like routine maintenance, cleaning out the garage or trimming the trees. It’s just not very exciting to do those jobs.
And yet, you would do it for someone else if you were selling. So why not do it for yourself?
You are worth it.
What would you do if you were selling?
Most everyone finds it easier to do for others than for themselves. But the truth is when it comes to your house, you will feel best if you do it for yourself. And you never know when you might get an offer to buy your house popped in your mailbox by some admiring passerby.
So I invite you to look around your house and ask yourself, what would I be doing if I were going to sell this house?
Look inside and outside. Look in your storage areas. Look at your living areas and your private spaces.
What would you be doing to make it more attractive to a stranger?
And then do it.
Do it for yourself. Stop waiting to do it for someone else.
If it’s worth doing for someone else, it’s worth doing for you.
Look at you house with new eyes
It’s easy to stop seeing things in your own space. You get used to that pile by the door waiting to be returned or the stack of papers on the counter.
So if you want a fool-proof way to look at your house with fresh eyes … take a picture.
Even if you don’t read design magazines, you’re used to seeing other spaces in photographs … and totally unaccustomed to seeing your own space this way. Presto … instant change in perspective.
Give it a try. See if it helps you see things that have been hidden in plain sight.
And whatever you see, don’t despair. Remind yourself that you’re not actually selling your house … so there’s no emergency.
You’re just deciding that you’re worth making the effort for.
So check out these most commonly overlooked areas – often a little attention here will make a big difference.
Visit your storage spaces
Basements, garages, closets and attics all seem to breed the most curious stuff when you aren’t looking.
And let’s be honest, home buyers go snooping around in places you would never show your friends.
So have a look in your storage areas and notice how you would feel about other people looking in there. What could you clear out? How could you tidy it up? Use those new eyes if you need to.
And don’t forget the cupboard over the fridge. How does all that stuff get up there?
Be on the lookout for things in need of fixing – or finishing
As you’re touring your house, see if there are repairs or maintenance to be done. Or projects that got started but not finished.
Make a plan to handle them.
At our house we have a day every month we devote to doing the stuff we’d rather ignore.
Doing it does in fact feel better than ignoring it.
Turn on your buyer radar when you come home
When living in a house, most people don’t think about creating curb appeal for themselves.
The way you feel about your home begins outside. No one wants to come home to a messy or overgrown front yard. Or piles of yard waste by the garage.
It makes your heart sink rather than lift.
Don’t forget to snap a picture to get a whole new view on how welcoming your house looks. Then give yourself the gift of a lovely homecoming – try cleaning up and trimming in the yard, or washing your windows, doors and steps.
See what you can do easily to spiff up the outside and enjoy coming home.
When you’ve been living in a house for a while, some places seem to fall by the wayside or escape notice until you think about calling a realtor. So today – instead of waiting to make your house nicer for some stranger – choose one thing you can do to make your home nicer for you. And do it.
Now it’s your turn
Are you going to take up the challenge of making even one change so your house is more attractive to you? I want to hear about it! Please leave a comment below about what you’re going to do.
I’d also love to know if this article opened your eyes to some things that had been hiding in plain sight.
Ready to make your house more attractive to you?
I’m interviewing women just like you about where they feel stuck creating a beautiful + functional home so I can develop my business to give you the support and guidance you want. In exchange for answering my questions – I’m offering a complimentary Design Vision Consultation. Click here for more info or email me to say you’re in.