21 November 2005

handy household tips

Things I have learnt from selling my house.

(Some household tips for the benefit of anyone contemplating selling their house. Because I have picked up quite a bit during the last month of keeping my house in a Martha-Stewart-Vogue-Zen-like state.)

• fresh flowers really do make a difference, both to the house, and to your mood. Especially if you can coordinate them to your name. My house is filled with lilies (purchased) and roses (homegrown), and I only realised yesterday the accidental significance of this. Because my name is Hebrew for a lily or a rose! (Apparently.) How clever and witty of me to do this, oh yes.
• it is important to make the beds the mother way very beautifully, not the boy way just pull the quilt up roughly
• the fridge/dishwasher/oven/washing machine make very convenient places to stash the newspapers and that stack of filing that usually lives on the end of the kitchen bench
• that list stuck on your fridge? The one that says Put chair in front of dodgy skirting board, and Fix gouge in wall, and Scrape cat poo off verandah? Make sure you REMOVE it prior to the first Open for Inspection
• when preparing for an Open for Inspection, if you live with another adult and three small children, work them like dogs until half an hour prior to the Open. Then MAKE THEM ALL LEAVE so you can do the last minute things without having to screech "Don't sit on that couch, the cushions have just been plumped!" and "Don't touch that fruitbowl, the fruit has been carefully arranged just so. I don't care how hungry you are. The pineapple is not for eating! Away, child!" Because screeching raises one's blood pressure. And doesn't sound good to those earlybird prospective purchasers who are milling around outside waiting for you to leave and the house to be opened up
• as you back out of each room during a final check and notice odd bits of fluff or dead flies on the carpet that were not present when you vacuumed a mere fifteen minutes earlier, drop them down the heating duct. They won't reappear until next winter when the heating comes on. And with a bit of luck if the house has sold, you won't be there to experience it.
• check the bathroom floor religiously. Small boys sometimes have trouble aiming and you can guarantee that one of them visited the loo after you mopped
• soothing classical music camouflages the sounds of the psychotic neighbours over the back fence dismembering one another slowly with a butterknife having one of their tiffs
• go back and check those beds again. Someone will have bounced.
• remember to remove newspaper and filing from dishwasher/oven/washing machine prior to use the next day



Kim said...

Well that's that then, I'm never moving as just reading that list made me tired.

Windy City Wendy said...

Heating duct...Brilliant!

kenju said...

Beautiful photo!

jojo said...

You must be so relieved to be done with all that. Argh. With three kids, I can't even imagine....

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Yeah Kim, I'm kind of with you on that one except you can hold out for a future when your mum moves into the retirement home and vacates an entire FLOOR of your house whereas I am going to have to keep extending my original C1900 workers cottage to ridiculous proportions just to avoid making perfect beds and getting rid of those little bugs that float around the fruit bowl even when the fruit is gone...
Oops. Sorry Suse, we're doing it again aren't we?

A note just especially for you, though: after the hell that is house-dressing comes the unending torture of THE MOVING!

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

ps - also, there was some excellent advice here that I will cut out and keep for the day when the creaking walls of my little terrace just can't hold three kids any more!!
(and word verification is spebhik, which I believe to be the special tool that finicky house inspecting couples use to dredge dead flies out of the heating ducts...)

Jane said...

Is that a David Austin rose? It's a beautiful colour.

When you sell a house here, the prospective buyers visit when you are in - often at weekends and in the evenings - so there is none of this magazine-shoot cushion-plumping because there are usually a few chidren throwing them around to amuse the visitors...and announcing all the bad qualities of the neighbourhood!

irene said...

well, that makes me feel a little better for not owning a house right now. so thank you.

la vie en rose said...

hehe...great list. i'll have to keep these words of wisdom stored in the back of my brain in case i ever need them.

Miss Eagle said...

I found last year that, when selling your house due to ill health, it helps when the real estate agent is a friend and comes early and mops your floors for you. Fortunately, the house sold after just one open house. I could not have coped with more.

capello said...

You forgot the part where you boxed up all your clutter and put it in storage.

Which would be about 80% of my house.

Which is why I never want to move again.

Beautiful picture, by the way.

Susie Sunshine said...

If you spray a little Windex or furniture polish in the air in the middle of the room, everything appears cleaner, because it SMELLS clean.

Pour a strong pot of coffee down the drain to make the kitchen smell homey without the "bread/pie in the oven" trick which has been done to death.

Damn we should start our own realtor company together. The heat ducts trick is genius!

Di said...

what can I say? Thankyou so much!! Not only have I just had a good hearty laugh (whilst reading out loud to my man), now I also feel like we know what we need to do when we get to the open for inspection sessions (planned for early next year).
(and I'm suddenly grateful we don't have kids yet...)
I'm adding you to my bloglines right now!