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chipmunkmom
November 6, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I am having an open house this Saturday. I am trying to sell my house on my own. I was not planning on painting my front door. I have a fiberglass front door stained oak. As I am steadily crossing things off my list, I get to my last project: refinish front door where the sun has faded my fiberglass finish. Bad news: It has gone horribly awry. I now have a half-stripped door and a stain that doesn't match the original. I am in a mild panic. I don't think I can strip, stain and topcoat with two small kids and cold weather over the next several days. I am now thinking the easiest thing would be to paint the exterior. Can someone please help? What color do you suggest? Remember, I want to SELL!!! Any other colors than what I've suggested here. Sorry for the crude photos...I used microsoft paint, and tried to pick colors from my 1960's multi-colored brick. The shutters are factory black vinyl. Thank you, thank you for any help in advance.
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Emily Hurley
I like the second picture that looks a bit dark grey? Or is there a way to match the shutters?
November 6, 2012 at 4:19pm     
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charleee
I would choose the second picture too.
November 6, 2012 at 4:45pm     
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Michelle Blake
I think we are in agreement, I like the darker color too.
November 6, 2012 at 4:55pm     
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stoner0818
Red or glossy black is my vote! Good luck!
November 6, 2012 at 4:55pm     
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abbeywestlake
match the shutters
November 6, 2012 at 5:40pm     
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joshkozel
on the close-up picture(of the door) it seems like your brick is more reddish than in the other photo so im guessing that's just the camera and that your brick has a nice red to it. therefore, get the red door. and on the close-up picture, it seems more inviting. hope all goes well!
November 6, 2012 at 6:00pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
I think black is a safe choice. I think the red you picked is a tad dark and it may take some experimentation to figure out just the right shade. A good polish of the the door hardware will be nice too. Be sure to read up on the manufacturers recommendations--I believe you should lightly sand, prime with grey primer and then paint.
November 6, 2012 at 6:15pm   
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decoenthusiaste
Black will look best if you can get it done right and in time! Snap some shots of the interior and let us help you stage it for the OH this weekend.
November 6, 2012 at 7:35pm     
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sdrooks
I think white would look the best and cleanest..would make door pop with nice house number on front in black
November 6, 2012 at 8:19pm     
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janishill
One thing is for certain ~ on line pictures of your front door will likely be the introduction to prospective buyers! Make the front look fantastic.

High gloss white would be my choice. Light colors on the porch are more inviting and since the trim is already white it will make the entrance appear larger.

While you are at the store buying the paint pick up a WELCOME mat. Prospective buyers are already feeling at home! Since you are at the store anyway go ahead and get a couple of large yellow mums to go in the wood containers the fake plants are in right now. The fake plants look a little...how do I say this; fake! And since you are painting anyway those containers would look great painted white.

WOW! White door, white containers with happy yellow flowers and a welcome mat. First impression is great! Oh...and just so you know houses with yellow flowers by the door sell faster than houses with any other color flower. Maybe because the flowers look so cheerful.

It also appears there is a bench to the right of the door. It needs to be centered under the window if possible. It might look more inviting with a fresh coat of paint as well.

You may want to do is ask a friend or your real estate agent to walk through your house and take an objective look. They will see things you, as the homeowner, have become blind to; items, spaces and maybe a way to add a little extra appeal so you can sell fast!

I know it isn't easy with children, but set out a plate of cookies, add a few drops of vanilla to a cup of water and put it on the microwave until it boils, then set it out in a hidden place in the kitchen. Light a couple of vanilla candles in the bathroom or family room (people are sometimes allergic to floral smells, but never to vanilla.)

Please post updated pictures when you can. Hope it sells fast!
November 6, 2012 at 9:20pm     
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PRO
Mint Design
I like yellow. It says welcome in such a cheery way and really pops. No reason to match your shutters. I would also consider window boxes with evergreens for the season. Love the topiaries! Good luck! :)
November 6, 2012 at 9:37pm     
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chipmunkmom
Thanks for all the great advice! I'll be back with more pictures of the interior after everything is staged. I've been concentrating on the inside way more, so I think you'll give me a higher grade there. I have painted that bench (good catch), and a welcome mat is on my list of things to buy. Had not considered the fake topiaries...but great point! I'll definitely buy some yellow mums. Be back soon with more photos and questions. Thanks again!
November 6, 2012 at 9:42pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
I like white and yellow too, but white gets dirty pretty quickly and is less than impressive across a big lawn. I think the yellows pictured are too close to parking lot stripes--I prefer a bit softer hue. Black may not be exciting, but it is classy and will match the shutters and not compete with the pediment.

Again, it can be tough to pick a good color under pressure, but white, off-white, tan and black are always available premixed and are safe and easy to match if you have to.

How about a nice wreath or seasonal sheaf of wheet with some leaves, corn and bright ribbon? Pumpkins and gourds are good for Thanksgiving and a nice arrangement can really perk up an entry. Perhaps a backet with some small ones and bigger ones nearby? Maybe a bundle of cornstalks? These will add a much needed punch of color and will look welcoming and festive.

Good Luck!
November 6, 2012 at 11:52pm   
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chipmunkmom
Well, the open house is over! I only had one person stop by :-(, but then I remembered it was a holiday weekend. I did get two calls today and am showing it this weekend. I ended up re-staining the door after an expensive paint color-mixing mistake. I bought yellow flowers for the front porch and got a welcome mat. I'll include some photos of my staging here and welcome any more advice or suggestions of alterations. I don't have much of a budget left, so I have to make do with what I have. Thanks again for your advice! I'll add a few more in the next post, too.
November 12, 2012 at 5:56pm   
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chipmunkmom
Here are a few more pics. Staging suggestions welcome.
November 12, 2012 at 6:03pm   
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chipmunkmom
I do still want to make a quickie headboard for the queen sized bed in the lower left corner. And I also added a basket of fruit to the kitchen island. Also, I lowered the three pictures of china bowls above the buffet to the height of the electrical outlet plate.
November 12, 2012 at 6:05pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
Looks great to me! I wouldn't worry too much about the headboard--the pillows look nice. and it is uncluttered enough so they can see the room.

The door looks a little flat--do you put a finish on top of the stain?
November 12, 2012 at 6:13pm   
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sdrooks
I think you did a great job..fresh flowers and the smell of just baked chocolate chip cookies wafting through the air is all you need to add
November 12, 2012 at 6:44pm     
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sdrooks
I think you did a great job..fresh flowers and the smell of just baked chocolate chip cookies wafting through the air is all you need to add
November 12, 2012 at 6:45pm     
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PRO
Belle Fusion Home Staging
A pineapple centre peice, what a great idea! I think you did a great job too! I would suggest repositioning the bed in the first bedroom as it is tucked in the corner. The room seems big enough for you to leave some room in between, and when buyers see it's tucked in the corner, it may send a message to them saying the room is not big enough so you have to tuck it in the corner... :)

also I like the red or black front door that match the brick colour. When you are selling your place, consider what most of your buyers prefer and like, so red and black would be the safest go

Good luck!! :)
November 12, 2012 at 7:15pm     
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chipmunkmom
Thanks. the door is covered with two top coats in a satin finish, per manufacturer recommendations. I'll try to get a better angle. the stain is red mahogany from Old Masters. I tried to rag it a bit to give it an aged look. I will move the bed over..thanks for the tip! Even though no one came to the open house (and I did not have time to bake cookies..I used store bought ones), I did try the vanilla in the oven trick. It worked great for an hour or so. Just put a teaspoon or two of vanilla in a coffee mug and heat your oven to 300 degrees. It was smelling like baked goods in no time!
November 12, 2012 at 8:07pm     
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joshkozel
the door looks great! love it
November 12, 2012 at 8:20pm     
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janishill
chipmunkmom...you have done an excellent job! I have a few small things to suggest. :-)

Picture:

# 1 - The thingy hanging on the door looks a little small. Cheap wreath: use a large piece of cardboard. trace a circle using a large bowl to trace around. Use a smaller bowl inside the large circle to trace an inside circle. Cut out wreath shape. Use cardboard to hot glue real leaves on. Spray with clear high gloss paint..or even semi-gloss (if you have it on hand) Use a ribbon to hang it. Make it large enough to correspond to your door size.

# 2 - Remove whatever is in the middle of your coffee table. Need more space for the eye to rest.

# 3 - LOVE the pineapple!

Get rid of the garbage can!

Not knowing what kind of fruit you have I would suggest apples. Bright red (polished) apples with one sitting on the counter top beside the bowl and you might consider baking a couple with cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla. Or you might consider having a plate of chocolate chip cookies sitting toward one side of the island. Slice-and-bake are easy and will leave a delicious aroma wafftng through the house. It's also a good idea to grind half a lemon in the garbage disposal to remove sink odors

#4 - I think your bookshelve look fantastic...but you may want to remove a few more books. In other words free up a little more space for that potential buyer . As you already know less is more. :-)

#5 the art work may be a little too high. Difficult to tell from the angle. And maybe the lamp could be raised up by putting a couple of books under it.

#6. Looks sweet...but hid the changing pad and wipes.

#7 - the mirror is reflecting closet doors. Move it over the small chest of drawers so it will reflect the beautiful fall leaves.

# 8 - You have already made the change I would have suggested! I wonder how it would look if you switched the pitcher and the candle sticks...


Are you selling it yourself or are you using an agent?

Would love to see the LR and family room from different angles. Is there a lamp in the FR?

How do the bathrooms look? Have you upped the wattage in your lamps?

Be sure to bake those apples! ;-)
November 12, 2012 at 9:19pm     
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chipmunkmom
this is sooooo helpful! I will get to work on the suggestions you made. I knew that thingy was too small! I will make a wreath instead..didn't know the gloss trick would keep the leaves looking new. I'd also love to take everything off the coffee table in the FR. That's what I did before, but then I thought you were supposed to dress them. I am trying to sell the house myself, and with your help,I think I have a good chance! Here are the other photos you requested. #3 and #4 are older photos b/f I removed xtra candlesticks and added that table and books next to the reading chair based on someone else's suggestion (though I really like it without a table). I will remove some more books to show a little more space on the shelves. Critique away!
November 12, 2012 at 9:51pm   
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janishill
It's the little things, as we know. And I am with you on lack of funds, so will try to keep the cost at $0 -$5. We are smart women and can be creative!

Can the sofa be moved down so the mirror is centered on the back? It looks like the furniture is slid ding off the rug! With the brick and the furniture concentrated at one end it makes that side top heavy. So move the sofa down. You may have to switch the chairs then. Arrange them in a 'U' configuration. The armoire should be directly centered across from the sofa.

Move the little table that is next to the armoire to the right side of the sofa. Add a lamp. (the more lighting the better) Drape your throw on the right hand side of the sofa. Put the lumbar pillow in front of the pillow on the left hand side. (it looks nice, but people read a pillow in the center as uncomfortable since it has to be moved to sit down.) The small chair that is by the back door can go into the left corner by the back door. Put the pillow from the recliner in it. (men don't like pillows in their recliner!)

Do you have a small bookshelf that will fit under the window? If so pop a lamp on top to make it a reading corner. Don't have lamps? Thrift store and spray paint!

This is the place for that bowl of fruit! Clear the coffee table and put a small bowl of oranges on it. That's all it needs.
On to the LR! Remove the baskets under the coffee table. They make it look like you don't have enough storage. Remove about half the books to create the look of more space. (the books could go on a shelf in the family room.) Don't know what if anything is in that lovely dish on the coffee table, but swap it out for the silver bowl, top shelf, second row) then fill the silver one with peppermints.

The bookshelves are the focal point, but that don't aren't really drawing the eye. Bring the black tray from the top, right shelf down to the bottom, left shelf. Get rid of the basket. Put a few of the books you removed up there. Let's make the center portion really draw the eye. Swap the beautiful fish for the silver platter. Swap the red books/candle holders with the books/plate on the bottom shelf, third row. Arrange them so they read opposite from how they are now (with candlesticks on the left & books on the right) Now you need something that pops on the third shelf, third row. Maybe frame a piece of wrapping paper in a 5X7 frame?

Get rid on the center pillow on the sofa and the gold pillow on the slipper chair. Maybe put it on the wing back chair instead of the one that is there.

That's a lot of little things. I probably don't need to ask, but have you cleaned out the closets? The frig? Are the bathrooms perfect and do they smell divine? The master bath is a place to burn a candle or 3 candles (along the edge of the tub) BTW.

When you have the open house turn on every light! Basement included.

Oh my! This is a novel. I am going to make a separate post so I can share some other ideas to help you move that house!
November 13, 2012 at 5:39am   
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janishill
Buyers decide if they're going to buy your house within the first eight seconds of seeing it! Set your stopwatch, get out of your car, and see what you see in the first eight seconds. Chances are you'll do a little tweeking. Also check to make sure your doorbell works.

Rent or borrow a professional camera with a wide-angle lens and be sure to take the photos on a sunny day. A wide-angle lens will make your house and property look much bigger. One in three houses are sold online today! People skip properties with poor pictures. Post at least six good, bright house photos, both inside and out, online. The more good pictures you post the better.

Next interview 3 real estate brokers. Ask friends, business associates and relatives for the names of ones they have used.Once you have a few names (3-5) give them a call and schedule interviews at your house. When they arrive they should come armed with a basic market value for your home. They will put this together abssed on recent neighborhood sales statistics. They should then walk through your house and sharpen that number by considering your home’s unique features and/or problems. Be suspicious if someone gives you a high number. They are just trying to secure a listing. You can tell the agent you are interviewing a few agents and will get back to him/her. Now you have gathered some very important information! You know what changes need to be made, you have a fair price, adn you know how quickly houses are selling in your neighborhood.

ANother way to move a house is to auction it off! Yep, auction. Run an add in the newspaper and on Criagslist and anywhere else you can think of. Have an open house over a designated weekend. Set a minimum bid and accept only sealed bids over the course of the next 3 days. High bidder wins!

If all else fails you can ahve a real estate companies put your home in the MLS for a one-time upfront fee of as little as $350. Yes, you will still have to pay the buyer’s agent 3%. But paying 3% rather than 6% if it sells, but it might be worth it if your house stays on the market more than a couple of months.

Oh...and I hope to see updated pictures again today or tomorrow!!!

:-D
November 13, 2012 at 6:05am   
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chipmunkmom
Janishill, I am working on your suggestions, but in the meantime, you might be interested in my web site: http://100cherokee.com. I've also paid to list it on realtor.com. I've completed the wreath, and now I'm working on the bookshelves.
November 13, 2012 at 12:54pm     
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chipmunkmom
Oh, and yes, I've got closets neat and about 25% full to suggest a lot of space. On the FR, there is a door splitting the room (to the utility laundry room) that you cannot see. So I cannot shift the sofa. Here is a photo. Any ideas on what I might try?
November 13, 2012 at 12:58pm   
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janishill
Will the TV fit in armoir? If so remove the entertainment center, move the armoir where it is and paint the coffee table white.

If not then remove the armoir and remove whatever is on top of the E.C. Put the chair catty-corner and put a tall stack of books or a book shelf next to it. Add the pillow from the recliner.

Please post pictures as you go. You are doing an incredible job!
November 13, 2012 at 1:17pm   
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janishill
The link doesn't work. :-(
November 13, 2012 at 1:18pm   
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chipmunkmom
Maybe because of the period? Try this: http://100cherokee.com
November 13, 2012 at 2:37pm   
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chipmunkmom
Oh...you bring up some good suggestions. the armoire hides my home office clutter and computer and printer, which I can't be without. There's no room for the TV in it. But I"m going to mull over it some more and I'll post pictures with some changes.
November 13, 2012 at 2:40pm   
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PRO
Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
You are the best chipmunkmom - you are inspirational! Like all the suggestions thus far - think the pineapple is a great centerpiece - a plate under it might help - the bed against wall - the pillow might look better squared up and definitely books under the small lamp to give height - baby's room looks sweet but yes on the wipes and changing pad out of sight - candlesticks and pitcher need to come in a bit. We are all rooting for you -
November 13, 2012 at 3:05pm     
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realtour
The color of you front door is not going to sell your home. I would hire a professional to do the job. But good luck!
November 13, 2012 at 3:17pm   
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Rio Brewster
Everything looks terrific! Your website looks very professionally done. Good luck!
November 13, 2012 at 3:27pm     
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janishill
Hun...no wonder you haven't taken anything personally. You are from my neck of the woods. I am from Helena, but live in Massachusetts now. I have friends in Clanton! Are you on FB? Prayers for Garrett Jones maybe?
November 13, 2012 at 4:41pm   
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anitajoyce
I think a white door would look best also, as mentioned by others. The colors posted don't have much appeal.
November 13, 2012 at 4:56pm   
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janishill
OK...I am critiquing as I write.

Exterior photos:
Post a new picture of the front of the house without cars in the driveway. All a potential buyer sees is your vehicles! They can't envision theirs in those spots if yours are there!

Second picture: you have repainted the bench, centered it under the window, removed the fake topiaries, etc. In these pictures there is nothing to draw the eye to the door, but I know with the mums and the wreath there is now with all the things you have done. :-)

Third picture: That can't be my house because there are lots of cars that belong to strangers are in the driveway!

Remove the Welcome friends sign at the door. That keeps people at the friend level. You want new owners!

In the next pictures it is more of the same - your cars in the drive. Then I come to one take from the right side looking toward the yard and the thing that catches my eyes is the thing that goes under a down spout, but it's just sitting in the middle of a shrub bed. The next one is fine. Keep it. Then I see two pictures that show lawn. Lots of lawn, lots of mowing. Delete them.

Neighbors across the street have a lovely home. So do the neighbors to the East and West, but you are not selling their homes, so delete the pictures. Too much information.

View of backyard - great. View of extra storage that can be used for this, that or the other not so good. Delete it. They can see it in person if they get that far. View of pasture - great. Remove dog run, blueberries, and bird house (unless you bird house.)TMI again.The exterior photo of the storage shed/bird hutch is all you need. No need to tell them what to use it for. Exterior shot of the workshop from the front view is enough. They can see the inside in person, because it looks rough (which is normal for a work shop, but no need to show the dirty laundry, so to speak. Wood stove pix good.

Love the back patio and pictures. Wish the cover were off the grill and the table were set with a couple of plates of burgers and chips and there were glasses on a trya with a glass pitcher full of tea. What Southerner worth his or her grits wouldn't want to sit down and eat right then?!?! Draw 'em in!

Whoops. Overload again.Third picture of patio needs to go.

You are going to hate me by the time I finish, but I will fearlessly continue. Back door from den looks sweet, but needs to have flowers by it. Bring a pot of mums from front for a reshoot.

Magnolia next to swing picture. Great concept, but can't be my house cause there's a strange car in the driveway...and a big 'ol garbage can there. Crop the picture to eliminate these unslightly items. Delete the next one of the swing and work shop. Use the third one.

Enjoy your coffee right here sounds inviting, but it needs to have a couple of steaming cups on a tray with a little nosegay of flowers.

My hubby said open all blinds, shades, shutters. He thinks it looks like you are trying to keep people out. So if you do decide to reshoot the photos keep that in mind.

OK...so that is all I have for the moment. I already have more in mind. I know I am overloading you though, so I will stop here and we will revisit it tomorrow.

I am rewriting your "About This Home' as well. I will post it and you can decide.
November 13, 2012 at 5:47pm   
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chipmunkmom
Whew! I'm working on all of these things. I don't hate you or your suggestions. I am not even remotely and expert and my eye is not as sharp as those on these discussion boards. Isn't it true that I need fresh flowers in every room? I have some white and pale pink camellias blooming that will do the trick, and if so, can I put those in my bowl on the LR coffee table instead of peppermints? It's a big bowl. I re-did the shelves based on your suggestions. I'm taking a photo now, but keep in mind it is at night. I can re-shoot in the morning.
November 13, 2012 at 10:40pm   
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janishill
I shouldn't have even said you would hate me. I wasn't serious. I know you sincerely are looking for help. You are doing such a good job on your own I didn't want to even say anything, but I know it is the little things and you must be some what overwhelmed.

The shelves are better. I think a small vase of pink camelias would look nice on the shelf where you put the picture frame (3rd row, 3rd shelf from the bottom.) The would draw the eye toward the center...which is good. I wonder if a candle where the black vase is would do the same - draw the eye - if it were lighted?

I like the sofa with the middle pillow removed. It lookes like you could sit down now. The gold pillow doesn't work very well in the wing chair, does it? You should put the smaller pillow back. The coffee table is better with the basket gone. I can see the floor on the other side, which is good.

Flowers will work for that bowl. So will pinecones. What I had in mind was something most anyone will pick up and put in there mouth, hence the peppermints. Is there a place you can put a shallow dish of them? I think the vast majority of people will take a mint without thought...and food gives us a good feeling. Anyway, I believe if you can get food in their mouth you can get a 'sell' out of them. (just a personal theory)

Flowers in every room might be too much, unless they are fake. I have allergies and have had to leave houses because of the flowers or air freshner. That is the reason for using vanilla candles and boiling vanilla, etc. With vanilla and peppermint you are safe (though I can't eat peppermint I still like the smell.

You can always put wrapping paper, paper grocery bags, etc. in the bottom of a container to raise the item you want seen up. Like they do in gift baskets. Just make sure if any of the 'stuffer' should become visible it is something that looks nice (white tissue paper, colorful gift wrap, etc.)

I wonder if the throw were casually draped over the arm of the chair and a book were laid open, face down across the arm if it would look like one could just step over and curl up in the chair? We want people to imagine sitting there reading.

OK...let's move on, but first I need to go walk some dogs...
November 14, 2012 at 7:02am   
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sdrooks
I think the house looks great! As for your website, I would just say less is more. Keep the best pics to get people interested in seeing more. ..one picture of most important spacesunless you think people will buy without a walk through in person...good luck
November 14, 2012 at 9:13am     
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chipmunkmom
front porch with flowers and newly-stained door. Sorry to all those who voted for black, white, and red. Should my fake topiaries be stored in the shop or on the other end of the porch? Or perhaps by the back door or carport french door? I don't mind if you think they are cheesy..I just didn't want them to go to waste if they would help. Also, I was thinking about putting some house numbers up around the door, thus I flipped the "welcome friends" sign around to see if you thought it would look good with numbers, and if so, what kind. Or I could make a whole new number plaque (if you have ideas of how to do it cheaply). I swear, that welcome mat was centered when I snapped these! Anyway, I'll adjust the mat.
November 14, 2012 at 9:18am   
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janishill
The front looks great! Paint the sign white and use black paint for the house number. Do it so it reads "No. 100" in a nice font. See attachment.

Have you tried the pots (that are in front of the plant stands) on the top step? They might help get some of that lovely color in front of peopel faster.

Yes, use the topiaries. By the patio doors would be inviting or the carport door. Whichever one you think needs them most.

Houses that have American flags hanging on them sell faster as well. If you have one available maybe you could hang it on the workshed. A wreath on that shed door would look good, especially if it coordinates with the one on the front door. :-)

When showing the house close all toilet lids. Open doors to areas you want the potential buyer to see such as walk-in closets, pantries, attic, basement, etc.

Have a print out of basic info for potential buyes to look at as they stroll through the house. When someone comes in ask them to excuse you while you step outside to make a phone call. Let them look around and be as critical as they like without fear of you hearing them. Of course all valuables have already been removed.

I didn't see a mail box, but it should be evaluated with a critical eye. Make sure all doors open easily and without squeaking.

I am hopping around tonight.

Do you have a floor plan on your web site? If not add one.

I have come up with these ideas alnernate ideas for you: Sell your house on eBay
This is a foolproof way to get your home attention with really zero risk involved. The only cost is a $150 fee. Ebay draws a lot of traffic to your home and what makes it really great is that you can walk away at the end. The auction is noncommittal. Even if someone meets your price, you can always change your mind.

Two out of three home buyers start their search online. The five highest-traffic Web sites are:

•#1 yahoo.com
•#2 craigslist.org
•#3 zillow.com
•#4 trulia.com
•#5 homes.com


THat's all for tonight. :-)
November 14, 2012 at 6:35pm   
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judie
Book shelves need to be unevenly spaced and not spread from on wood separation to the next one. Place all on one shelf to the left, another to the far right, next one large display in middle, etc through the entire shelving. I guess grouping is what I am trying to say. Use big items and not so much kitchy things and don't forget books for book shelves--again some on their sides and some upright. It's a silly maneuver but it can make a nice look mixed with large candles,etc. Also, greenery on the shelves gives a sophisticated look and not expensive.

You have done a nice job of getting rid of clutter. Don't get expensive as they are buying the house and they know that.
November 14, 2012 at 7:03pm   
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janishill
Oh...one last thing. Embrance fall; the mums, wreath(s), and maybe have a thermal server full of hot chocolate on the patio table with some small styrofoam cups so buyers can pour themselves a cup and take it while they look around outside. Secret weapon to making folks feel at him; give them food.
November 14, 2012 at 7:43pm   
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PRO
the essentials inside
chipmunkmom - you found a great resource in Janis! Not sure I can add anything better. I'll have to review the post again.

I can tell you as a recent house shopper that the little details do make a difference. Too bad I don't live in your area...looks like a great buy to me.

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
November 14, 2012 at 8:22pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
Your photos look pretty good, but I might lighten them a bit in an editing program before posting on your sale site. But the best thing to do is get the exposure right the first time. Cameras do not see light the way our brains do--we adjust for bright contrast, but cameras only do well if everything is within a fairly narrow range of light--it can be all light or all dark or in the middle, but not too much outside of a range of values.

Here are some guidelines for getting good interior photos I posted on another discussion:

To get decent interior photos, I would open the blinds (unless the view is bad), turn on all the lights (unless in the forground near the camera), set up the camera on a tripod, and take multiple long timed exposures with high depth of field (f8 is nice). Set the exposure on a mid-tone in the room and bracket the exposure. Watch for the time of day when the room is the brightest, and not too early (too blue) or too late (too red) in the day. If the light or room color looks off, try some with the tights turned off, or change bulbs.

If you notice in home magazines, many photos are done so the interior shows nicely but the windows are very light. Your home looks dark in the picture because it is thrown off by the window--if you can see the view as well as or better than the room, the exposure is off.

Do not rely on the flash to get a good picture--if you can, you can try bouncing the flash off of the ceiling during the timed exposure, but set one or two stops below the overall exposure. That is called fill flash. This is particularly important for rooms with lots of windows.

Take a look at your instruction manual or get a friend to help, and it is worth the price of an inexpensive but sturdy tripod. Press the shutter very gently to not wobble the cameria, and try different angles. Also a moderately wide angle lens can help, but can make verticals look distorted.

Try taking pictures from different places and from between sitting and standing height to see what shows your home to its best advantage in all rooms, and outside.

Your photos are already very nice and much better than most.
November 15, 2012 at 11:46am     
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chipmunkmom
OKAY! I've finally gotten the time to apply a lot of Janis's advice. I really wish I could get my hands on a better camera, but I haven't had any luck. Mine is okay, but as victorianbungalowranch mentioned, I cannot use a fill flash on mine as it is all auto point and shoot. The camera decides when to apply the flash. I can only manually turn it off. Isn't that frustrating? grr. So here are a few updates. I'm very happy with the outcome. The shelves in particular. And the front porch. And I am tweaking my web site to remove a lot of redundant pictures, crop out or reshoot without garbage cans and vehicles, etc. The bad news about that is I now have a lot of brown grass, leaf-less trees, and leaves on the ground. But that's okay. Here's a sample of some of the changes I made based on advice here. I couldn't re-shoot with the pineapple b/c my three-year-old asked me to cut it up for a snack! I'll replace it before any open houses, and I will set it on a nice plate. the GREAT news is I showed the house this morning, and I have another person coming this afternoon. The morning tour went very well, and I think I'll get an offer over the weekend from them. I know I probably just jinxed myself, but I really feel good about it. The potential buyer is an older farmer who OWNS the hobby farm behind us. He wants a smaller house, and ours butts up to his land! But he did not book the viewing - it was his girlfriend. And she told me she was hooked in by my website and my decorating abilities. So if I get a good offer and it all works out, Janis will be pleased to know the staging is what generated (and hopefully sold) my house! Everyone knows if you can get the girlfriend/wife/spouse to fall in love, you are set!!!!
November 17, 2012 at 12:06pm     
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chipmunkmom
New headboard (Janis, I did move that mirror over the dresser). That arrangement in the bowl in the LR is magnolia leaves and cones, and my HUSBAND arranged it! Very proud. That book over the arm of the chair is poems by W.B. Yeats. ;-)
November 17, 2012 at 12:17pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
Wow, looks terrific. I wish you could come to my house LOL. So nice it makes me wonder why you are selling!! Good luck with selling to the neighbor--nice to know that someone appreciates the location and what you have done.

That shot of the backyard with the tea service is lovely although the background is a touch bright. Still, it is good enough you might be able to submit it for stock. Very inviting. When you take pictures of the front, pick a time of day when there are not such deep and harsh shadows on the porch--you can't even see the newly redone door and wreath.
November 17, 2012 at 5:24pm   
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chipmunkmom
I know...timing just wasn't right for that today. I may try to re-shoot it in the morning. I have other morning shots of the front door, but they don't have the new house numbers. Whew! So many little details that have to come together at the right time!
November 17, 2012 at 8:28pm   
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sallysuejones
That shot of the patio table with the pasture in the background has me sold....wish I lived closer....I would buy your house in a heartbeat. Great job, and best of luck!!!
November 18, 2012 at 5:05am     
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janishill
Hey Chipmunkmom!

My husband and I had a weekend get away, so I am just checking in.

WOW! You have done such a good job! I love the shot of the patio table with the tray. I want to come have coffee with you!

The living room couldn't get any more perfect. The blue book on the chair pulls your eye in and the color brings all the little touches of blue together.

Another little tweek is rearranging the pictures that are over the armoire in the nursery. Center them over the furniture rather than centered on the wall. Because you have several groupings of 3 pictures already try hanging these differently. Hnag the two taller ones so they are one over the other then the long one to the right side with the basket under it. I know they are all in the same size frame, but I couldn't think of how to describe them. I think you will understand though. :-)
.
I am going to wait until you tell me it's time before I look at your web site again.

I hope the neighbor decides teh house is perfect and buys it on Tuesday!
November 18, 2012 at 5:37pm     
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chipmunkmom
Janishill, you should take a look at the web site now! When you do, you will see that the home is under contract! I got two offers at EXACTLY the same time (I was on the phone with one when the other beeped in). Only 10 days after I put the sign up, and 9 days after my open house, and 2 days after I showed it to both the prospective purchasers! I showed the house 4 times, and got 2 offers. Pretty amazing! And this was before my listing was even on realtor.com. Sure wish I could get a refund for that! It was the signs and local advertising and the web site that hooked them in. The person that agreed to our price ended up being the farmer who owns the land behind the house. Actually, he didn't want to give us what we wanted, so we thought the negotiation was over. But 30 minutes later he called back and said his girlfriend was not having it, and he would pay us what we wanted. So, I was right! The staging hooked in his significant other...that's all it took!

Thanks to all who helped me pull this off. I learned so much throughout this process, and it made my husband and me a believer in home staging. It's really hard to move a property in my small town. I would just LOVE to tell the realtors who told me my house would sell for $20K less than what I got how to do their job!

My MIL also suggested I center that artwork over the furniture and not the wall. But in the end, I didn't have to make that change, as the contract came in before I could attempt it.

Now all I have to do is find a new home to buy in our new town! Wish me luck.
November 21, 2012 at 5:37pm     
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olldcan
This has been quite a journey, good luck to you.

THE END :)
November 21, 2012 at 5:48pm   
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janishill
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am doing a happy dance on the inside. I am so excited for you! You did an amazing job. you and your hubs. And you made it happen with no budget to work with. Truly amazing.

I can hardly wait to help you decorate your new home! ;-)
November 21, 2012 at 7:30pm     
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PRO
the essentials inside
chipmunkmom - just saw your comment via houzz email notice & I wanted to say Congratulations!! That's so wonderful! I'll be on the lookout w/Janis for your design "dilemmas" in your new home.

Hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
November 21, 2012 at 7:39pm     
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janishill
Did the sale go through?
December 4, 2012 at 3:52pm   
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chipmunkmom
janishill, we close in one week (good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise). We are still house hunting and have made an offer and countered and all that nonsense. When we are settled in, I'm coming to you for design help! Meanwhile, while house hunting, I've shared all your tips to sellers! It's amazing to now spot fingerprints on the microwave or a funny odor in a home. I just shake my head and chuckle!
December 7, 2012 at 12:32pm     
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janishill
I am so excited for you. Can't wait to see the new house! Keep me posted, please. :-)
December 7, 2012 at 1:09pm   
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lisalovesquilts
There's going to be a challenger to Houzz called 'Just Janis'! Janis your energy never fails to impress me. I often feel no need to add anything just watch! I'm becoming your cheerleader. Lovely house chipmunkmom, I really loved the carved wooden bed. The wreath was inspired.
December 7, 2012 at 1:33pm     
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janishill
Lisa...You are very kind. Lots of people here don't like me and I keep thinking I shouldn't type so much!

I almost told Chipmunkmom that the Wouzza Houzza Team would be looking forward to seeing her new house! Thought maybe we should check with Houzz before using the name.

Gla to hear you were accepted in the OLLD club even atsuch a tender age. ;-)
December 7, 2012 at 1:44pm     
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lisalovesquilts
Thanks Janis, I can't imagine why someone wouldn't like you! You are only giving advice not dictating. You are obviously very enthusiastic and have a good eye - which I consider helpful. I actually must be olld because I keep failing to find the daily thread!
December 7, 2012 at 1:49pm   
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olldcan
today it's "olld 12/7" , see you there :)
December 7, 2012 at 1:58pm     
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janishill
It is olld and the date.
December 7, 2012 at 2:03pm     
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lisalovesquilts
I was using single quotation marks - what a doofus!
December 7, 2012 at 2:22pm   
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chipmunkmom
Janis! I just got a call from the realtor. We have a contract!!!!! I will send you to the link..the house needs a ton of updates, starting first with the curb appeal. But I think we can do it. Is there a way to PM the link to you?
December 7, 2012 at 3:44pm     
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Christine
Congrats to you. Looks like you have the wind at your back. All the best.
December 7, 2012 at 3:57pm     
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PRO
the essentials inside
chipmunkmom - Yay, that's fantastic!! Congratulations! I wanna see the new house too!

janishill - someone not like you? That's crazy! I think you're awesome. I love reading your advice.

lisalovesquilts - congrats on being an OLLD doofus. (very much just kidding. :)


Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
December 7, 2012 at 4:27pm     
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victorianbungalowranch
Hey, are you going to let the rest of us see it too?

Maybe you have a new profession as a home stager!
December 7, 2012 at 4:46pm   
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orangecamera
chipmunkmom, you may want to revise your last post, you've given out your address to everyone on the internet. :/
December 7, 2012 at 5:59pm     
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orangecamera
hi chipmunkmom, I'm glad you took the info down. If you want to show pictures here on houzz, you can do what I did. Copy all the pictures from the MLS listing (before MLS makes them go away) and put them on your hard drive.

I wanted to have them for myself for when I'm looking for things for my new house anyway.

See if you can get a floorplan from the realtor. I made multiple copies of mine, and keep taking notes on them...furniture placement, wall colors, flooring choices....

best of luck with your new home!
December 8, 2012 at 11:19am     
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chipmunkmom
Don't know why I didn't think of that! Here are the exterior photos for those that are curious. the sellers enclosed the carport (or garage) at some point.
December 8, 2012 at 12:03pm     
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janishill
Now delete the post with your email address! I just deleted mine. :-) I will write to you sometime tomorrow. We just returned home after a weekend away and several things are calling for my attention right now. :-)
December 9, 2012 at 4:08pm   
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PRO
the essentials inside
janishill - I don't know how else to call you on Houzz besides in a thread. Someone needs advice on how to position curtains in living room -- http://www.houzz.com/discussions/267318/Need-help-for-curtains-for-front-window I know you are good at that.

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
December 10, 2012 at 4:06pm   
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