The Hopbine

Renovation phase 1: selling our home

When I look back to when we decided to sell our family home it all comes rushing back. We didn’t just put the house on the market. We had a massive list of things to prep it first. It’s easy to forget the effort involved in selling as well as actually moving or buying. A lot of my 365 posts were about selling out home back in February (from post 42). I did a week of ‘what I love about our house’.

But sell we had to. I’d have liked to have rented it but there was no way we could raise the capital to move, buy the Hopbine and fund the renovation. So that was the compromise we made, to pass on our treasured home to new hands.

At this point I still felt it was all pie in the sky. I didn’t want to talk about moving to the Hopbine or even the plan to do so as we hadn’t even put an offer in. The idea was to sell as quickly as poss (in two weeks or not at all because of my pregnancy!!!) and offer on The Hopbine once we were in a stronger position. We couldn’t possibly offer on it when our house wasn’t even on the market. We’d have been laughed out of the water. Added to that it had an offer from someone else, not an offer that had been accepted but it meant the pressure was on.

Because everything was so uncertain (would we even move?!) in the prep for the house going on the market we also prepped to stay in number 24 for the arrival of the new baby, due 5th May. We had a lot of little jobs to do to tidy up and a few bigger jobs that were unfinished or had been hanging over us for a while.

This is what we did:

  • Had a loft hatch installed in the landing (previously only a tiny hatch was in our bedroom wardrobe) this was mainly down to easy access for child related storage but massively helped in the sale as we were able to declutter and dejunk to the loft with ease.
  • Had a wall plastered in the dining room and kitchen (plaster had been ripped off to dry out where we’d damp proofed). I’d like to point out this was the start of the involvement of Tom Robinson Plastering who has gone well above and beyond, is completely reasonable price wise and is a very skilled tradesman (cos obvs I know loads about shiz like that!). He’s been ace.
  • Had our second bedroom ceiling tacked and plastered in prep to be the pob’s new room. It was hugely cracked before and in the sale could have potentially delayed things or given the purchasers room for comment on negotiation querying movement (it’s just an old house that’s all!).
  • Put skirting on in the living room (which has been off for 4 YEARS and no amount of nagging has seen it put back on til now!)

Those were the majors.

What else:
Gave marked walls a lick of paint in living room, our bedroom and the stairs and landing
Touched up paint on woodwork in living room, stairs and landing and dining room
Massively decluttered especially in the living room, dining room and kitchen

Here are the pics of the house ready to go on the market and the particulars.

Picture 3

Picture 4

The house went on the market 22nd January. My 365 post that day was the For Sale sign. We had three viewings straight away and then all three wanted second viewings. Within a week we’d had three offers. My 365 post 38 was the sold sign. Quick right! And we got just a little less than next door who sold nine months earlier but had a lift conversion and a bathroom upstairs.

Tips for selling your house fast:

  • Declutter (put all your normal crap in the kitchen and bathroom away out of sight, take stuff off shelves and bookcases, create space). Even if you chuck it in a bag and put it in the loft or a cupboard (i did!). don’t leave anything on any workspaces or side boards, put everything away, it creates so much more space.
  • Make sure it’s clean, all the time! It makes it much more inviting. No one likes a dirty bathroom or kitchen with crumbs all over it.
  • Make sure the outside is in good tidy condition not just inside.
  • Touch up paint marks on walls. Always keep a little paint for each room for touch ups. It makes the room feel cleaner and tidier, its a nicer room when the paint is in good condition.
  • Keep it tidy at all times.
  • Think about the first room they walk in to. Give it a focal point for impact, it might be a table with flowers on or a mirror or painting in the middle of a wall. It doesn’t have to be staying there but it needs to be impressive so they say ‘I want to see more’.
  • Dress your rooms, make the beds, make it look like it is just like that all the time. Plump cushions!
  • Be out when you have viewings, they will feel more ‘at home’ if you aren’t there
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