Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Interior Decorator

My local realtor setup an appointment with an interior decorator, to come see my home and give me a list of things to do before putting the home on the market. I found we had a different idea of what a "motivated seller" is. I always thought that term meant somebody who was forced to sell a home quickly - for example, they already moved and bought another house, and don't want to have double mortgage payments. Lynne, the interior decorator, explained a motivated seller is somebody who is willing to put some money into improving the house before listing it, in order to get the best price possible.

I'm not sure I fall into the latter category, and certainly don't want to be in the former. I had some landscaping done, and am willing to do a few things to enhance the appearance of my home, but let me just say I'm not going to flip out and put a lot more into the house before I sell it.

After a walkthrough, Lynne suggested I do the following:

  • Get rid of clutter. Basically remove all small items from counters and table tops, remove most art.
  • Have the carpets professionally cleaned.
  • Have the windows professionally washed.
  • Clean my gutters.
  • Clean off the deck.

All of the above is fine, and I can see how that needs to happen. I think I can handle cleaning my deck and gutters, and obviously I'll need to do the uncluttering. I'll be making a trip to IKEA to buy of bunch of the plastic stackable boxes I like!

She also suggested:

  • Replace all my energy saving bulbs with normal brighter ones.
  • Paint the living room and dining room.
  • Paint the hallway.
  • Paint my study.
  • Replace blinds in the guest bedroom and master bedroom.
  • Do some rearrangment of stuff in my den.
  • Buy light fixtures and ballasts throughout the house.
  • Oil kitchen cabinets.
  • Fix various nicks in trim and woodworking; spackel a bunch of nail holes.
  • Caulk along the baseboard in the living room and dining room.

These suggestions didn't do much for my level of stress. ;)

The logic behind the bulb replacement is to make my home appear brighter. Similarly, painting the living room and dining room is to make a good first impression. Admittedly, the hallway could use some paint because of various scuff marks on the walls. But the study... argh... that will take forever to move all my stuff out just to paint it. I could hire out, but I am trying to save money where I can so I'm considering doing the painting myself. Hearing about the light fixtures and ballasts is irritating, mostly because the home didn't come with any. It isn't as if I went through and tossed them all out! Hopefully ballasts and fixtures aren't expensive... As far as bulbs, I guess I could save my energy efficient bulbs.

The blinds are also irritating. The guest bedroom blind is very heavy and she actually broke it while using it, so that needs to be replaced. Her excuse was that people would try to open the blinds so they have to work. I can see that, so I'm not too bent out of shape over it. The two halves of the blinds in my master bedroom don't match and she thinks it would appear much nicer if they did, or if I replaced them with a single larger blind.

My boss asked if I needed some time off to get stuff in order. I think I'll take him up the offer and take a few half-days here and there, so I can get this stuff done and not eat up all my evenings and weekends. I'll be checking out prices and Home Depot and figuring out what I'm willing to spend.

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