Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October Goals

I think this month, it's clear where my goals lie. I'd like to do a lot more Suzy-Homemaker-y stuff, but for now, I'm going to try to focus on selling our house. If we don't sell it in the next couple weeks we'll un-list it in order to enjoy the holidays, so I'll give it one final push, and if it doesn't sell, at least we didn't already buy a new place!

  1. Send cards
  2. Have a real date night with hubs (it's anniversary month afterall)
  3. Sell house
  4. Sell house (Twice for good measure)
  5. Buy house
  6. Enjoy Thanksgiving
  7. Make at least 2 decent meals a week (I have been sooo supremely lazy/unmotivated to do any kind of meal planning or cooking in the last several weeks. Time to remedy that)
  8. Bake something (besides bread) at least once a week
  9. Go apple picking
  10. Get to work on time 2x this month

September Goals-Judgement Day

As I mentioned earlier this week, overall I don't think I did too bad this month. Let's see:

  1. Send cards Completed
  2. Have a real date night with hubs Completed
  3. Finish organizing the basement Completed
  4. Stage 2 spare bedrooms Completed
  5. Hit up an antique store or auction Completed (see review here)
  6. Make cinnamon rolls w breadmaker Compeleted (and deeeelicious-recipe here)
  7. Get to work on time at least 1x per week Haha--massive FAIL. I got to work on time ONCE. All month.
  8. Organize our closet Completed
  9. Host at least 1 open house Completed several times over
  10. List & sell our house Partially Completed. It's listed, it's just not yet sold.

Me thinks that may be my most successful monthly list to date! Unfortunately the one that would make me the happiest, is the one that's only partially completed. Oh well, soon-I can feel it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Goal numero 5

Wow---I'm not doing too bad on my goals this month! What's up with that??? (Although, we'll see about # 7 in a couple of days)

So my older sister and I hit up a few antique places this weekend, something I've been meaning & wanting to do for a while.

We started by going to the Fall Flea Market at Landsdowne, which was sold to me as an antiques show. Nah-it was definitely a flea market, and borderline a room of a bunch of garage sales (which I suppose are almost the same).

I certainly didn't find anything of substance, but I did manage to pick up several children's books for a future collection that I remember from my childhood
Remember these books? Wow--they used to have a lot more imagination built into them back then. I always loved these guys:
And classic 70's & 80's children books-the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit series: (sorry, I don't know why it keeps rotating)
And of course...a start of a Dr. Seuss collection:
After that, we went further down Bank St on a hunt for the Ottawa Antique Market. We didn't remember the exact address, but about where we thought it was we saw a big old "Antiques" sign, so figured that must be it. It wasn't. It had some neat stuff, but it wasn't super well organized, it was incredibly expensive and it was very dusty.

On the walk back to the car, we slipped into Found Design, which was definitely neat. Total blast from the past (literally, like the was before my time) and made us wonder how much similar stuff our parents would have had 30 years ago (or even 10-15!).

And eventually, we did accidentally come across the Ottawa Antique Market, which was definitely better than the other place. Far better layout, much better prices and much cleaner. Lived up to the hype, and my sister almost walked out of there with a buffet.

Overall, I think a pretty well accomplished goal considering I didn't actually buy any antiques...


Since last week saw the first official day of fall, I decided to Fall-ify our home. (And if you're in Ottawa...hoo-wee is it ever feeling like Fall).

I started with candles, candles and more candles,

Added some fall 'florals':

Sewed some less green throw pillow covers (apparently I CAN sew!):

And some seasonal decor:

And I even picked up an unintentionally-seasonal piece of art last weekend that fits right in:
You can't tell, and my camera's not good enough to get a good close-up, but they're all individually pressed actual maple leaves (or marijuana if you're my guy friends, and no, they're not 18). I really, really like it, and love it in our formerly-bare front hall.

I also switched up some linens, tissue boxes and other accessories to have a bit less blue, green and bright and a bit more neutral, warm and fall-y.

I thought I'd go overboard, but I think it's subtle overall and I really like it (hubs does too). I figure, it's our house until it's sold, and you might as well stage it seasonally if you're going to all that trouble anyways. (And yesterday's open house visitors all seemed to very much approve).
How do you fall-ify your home?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall Decor

I need to think about something else, and leave it to Style at Home to send their newsletter today featuring fall decor. [Enter angels singing].

I love fall and I love decor.

Some of my favourite tips, must-haves and accessories to bring in the fall?

1. Candles, candles, candles

I love these 2 festive ones from Bath & Body Works, and wish I'd picked them up when I was in Toronto a couple weeks ago:
And these Gourmet Apple Pie scented candles from Pier 1:2. New pillows & throws.
Or at least, recovered pillows. I plan on recovering a couple of ours if I ever look up how to sew a zipper, so I can remove it in a nice (coincidentally) fall-coloured fabric I picked up a while ago. Others I like include these 2 from, you guessed it, Pier 1:
3. Candle Holders, Centrepieces & uncheesy Decor:

I'm sorry, but I don't like too-literal fall decor with cornucopias overflowing with squash or hay or stuff like that. And yes, I have been to homes where they're all around. Although-I have been known to have some hokey decor on the 2-3 days surrounding Hallowe'en. Hey-sometimes it's just fun!

I love the centrepieces that the Thrifty Decor Chick has been posting on her blog. Seasonal, warm and still very pretty.

I don't at all mind, and in fact even have, some ceramic pumpkins and other squash. But they're subtle and I think pretty, and I do love me some florals. All are older or from HomeSense, so I can't have pics of them without taking some, but here are some other items I really like (conveniently, all from Pier 1-sorry, I just love it there and they always have good stuff):

And just for fun, how cute is this to give out your Hallowe'en candy from?

He called back

The same guy who offered us $330K called back last night to 'check in'. He asked if I'd considered their offer and discussed it with my family.

It was basically a less surprised (on my part) repeat of our previous conversation, where I said I'd discussed with my husband and we don't feel it's a realistic starting point. We're open to negotiate but not from there.

He keeps going on and on about window treatments and how expensive they'll be...seriously? Seriously? If you're so concerned about the window treatments, I'll spend the $2K on getting some on every window in the house!!! Then are you willing to offer a reasonable amount?

I'm sure he's got a list and that's the main/only one he can think of when we talk, but it makes his whole argument sound so silly.

After only 2 weeks being listed and the amount of interest we've had, there's no way we're settling for $330K. Sorry bud.

Still, though, I think it's all good signs that he's calling back and I'm sure they're interested.

This weekend brings a rainy Sunday and Open House numero 3.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Not much of one unfortunately...we had our second open house on Sunday. It was steady, but not nearly as busy as last weeks. There were 5 groups go through I believe. If nothing else, it was far less draining this week. None of the 5 were repeats though, unfortunately.

On Monday I got a call from the couple that came through twice last week. He wanted to discuss price. Ok, let's discuss. He thought it was overpriced and explained why. For the market, it's actually fairly priced and 3 real estate agents have come by and agreed that we'd sell it in no time with little problem (so far they're all liars though). So he basically made an offer $30K below asking. Are you serious??? I more or less said it wouldn't sell for that at we went over some other things to consider.

He offered to give me his number and if we changed our mind, could we call him. Sure! We won't, but sure.

So that's it. I've made a couple changes to the listing: the header pic, and moved the kitchen appliances from negotiable to included. And we'll be having another open house this Sunday.

Fingers crossed!

While I was hosting the open house, hubs and a friend went to a couple other open houses we had on our list of potentials. He really isn't eager to move to a town house, so his impressions of those ones were a little biased. There was one in an area that we really like, but the house itself needed A LOT of work. And not good work-like, the addition was sinking and needed to be completely re-done. There was another that hubs was really excited about. Great potential, and the only potential draw back is it's incredible proximity to my parents. We both love them very much and have no problem being close to them or spending lots of time with them, it just might be a bit strange. If that's the only thing against the house, though. It's a very good thing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I'll always be crazy for Swayze. RIP.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Goal # 9 and Open House Recap

Well, the first open house has come and gone. At least I can cross another goal off my list.

Short answer: It went quite well, had a lot of people come through and several of them seemed genuinely interested.

Longer answer:

The open house was supposed to be from 2-4. The first couple came at 1:40 and the last group left at 4:50.

I tried to keep track, and I think there were about 12-13 groups that came through. At one point, there were 5 groups in at the same time. It was hard to give them all a tour and/or the attention I thought was necesary to acknowledge the potential buyers. I managed pretty well though I think, and double-teamed a couple groups with the tour and questions.

Of the 12-13, I figure 5 of them I wouldn't be surprised to hear from. Everyone seemed interested (they wouldn't tell a homeowner their home was crap), but the other groups were 'just starting to look' or something similar. Just didn't get the "I'll hear from you soon" vibe from them. But hey, all we need is one, right?

It was so busy, I had to keep cancelling my texts to hubs giving him updates and it took me about 40 minutes to finish my sandwich I'd planned to eat before the open house started (plan was vetoed by the early arrivers).

The last couple to leave also came back for another showing at 8:30 with a friend who's in real estate. I asked if they wanted to tour again, or if they wanted to walk around on their own. They opted to go on their own as I'd already given them the tour, so off they went. They were looking for a while and I even overheard them placing furniture, discussing changes they'd make (hmph!) and stuff like that. It doesn't take a real estate agent to know that's never a bad sign.

Overall, I was poo-oooooped when all was said and done and was asleep before my head hit the pillow after the group left last night. I'm hoping it isn't necessary to have another open house, but I'm trying (again, and probably unsucessfully) not to get my hopes up. It seems very promising though.

Cross your fingers for us if you don't mind. I'd love to put a great update similar to this one and this one sometime very soon!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Outlook not good

Remember Magic 8 Balls. Man, they were popular.

Unfortunately, if I had one and asked it about the potential of last night's couple making an offer, the subject would equal the answer.
I came across this posting on Grapevine, which is basically just down the street from us, a slightly more expensive model and not a whole lot more expensive. Obviously I think ours is nicer and better, but I also realize that this one has it's own appeal. And depending on the demographic, possibly even more. Boo!

I know I said I was trying not to get my hopes up, but then why am I so glum now?

To make myself feel better, here are the things I don't like about it:

  • The write up starts with "A FABULOUS HOME!!!" Why all caps? Why 3 exclamation marks? Why waste the space with hyperbole?
  • Lower Level description: "Unfinished basement left for you to add your personal touch!". Ew.
  • Eavestrough. It's one word, not two.
  • Extra pieces of hardwood from builder left in basement. Why even bother writing that?
  • Hood fan: it's two words, not one.
  • Year Built: 2007 Approx. You're the original owners, and you don't know when it was built? Shaaaaady.
  • Weird siding -why the random bit of a different colour?
  • Horrible drapes/sheers in the dining room
  • Where is the crown moulding? They say it's there, but I don't see it.
  • Drapes in the bathroom? Directly over the bathtub?
  • The desk looks way to large for the 'loft' (which is really just a large landing). It makes it look cramped.
  • I straight up just don't like the 'gazebo'. It looks like you're camping. And it's not a gazebo for heaven's sake. It's a mosquito net.

Anyway, I'm just being bitchy and juvenile, but all those things are true. It is a nice kitchen though.

Showing, First Act

So, we had our first showing yesterday evening.

The short version: it went well, and the couple should be making a decision today. Fingers are crossed, but the plan is still for an open house on Sunday.

The long version: I left work early so I could get the final prep stuff done. Nothing serious, my list just included closing all the windows, turning on all the lights, turning on the speakers, and putting away Max & Layla's food & water dishes.

That was done quite quickly, so I had a quick drink of water and the doorbell rang. I gave them the tour, and they asked questions along the way. A middle-aged couple originally from the area moving back from BC because grandchildren are on the way. Seem quite well educated in the market, industry and the area as well. Thankfully I'd done my share of research and have paid attention to the build, so could answer his questions quite easily.

Once I'd given them the tour, which ended in the master, I went back downstairs, leaving them to check it out without someone peeking over their shoulders. I, for one, find this essential. If it were me, I wouldn't be nearly as comfortable talking with my partner honestly about the house and peeking in all the nooks and crannies if the homeowner was right there watching me.

My one complaint, and I'm still kicking myself for it, is that as I was turning on the lights, I did a quick sweep in the laundry room because of the litter box. The room didn't smell, per se, but no one ever notices smells they're used to, so I gave it a quick Febreeze spritz. Bad move! I never use the stuff, so I'd forgotten how strong & overpowering it is. Rookie mistake. So I turned on the vent to try to eliminate some of it and keep it from travelling, but that didn't help at all. I had to apologize as we got upstairs because you could already smell it. Damnit! I hate that stuff-I threw out the bottle as soon as they left.
When they came back down, I gave them a feature sheet and we talked dates. They're home in BC is closing Oct 29th, so they asked how flexible we were. I said we can be as flexible as needed since we haven't bought a house yet, but our listing noted October 30th closing-so no flexibility is needed. Perfection.

They were on their way to another showing, and had a few more today. He said they'd likely be making their decision later today.

I have no reason to believe they didn't love our place, but I also have no reason to believe they didn't love another one more. So, I'm cautiously optimistic, but still planning an open house in 2 days. It would be amazing not to have to bother, but that's so ideal, it's fairly unrealistic.

PS-Is the top exterior photo better than yesterday's?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thoughts and opinions...

Does this picture make our house look like a town home?

I was cruising Building Homes and stalked came across this link where they were discussing if it was a town home or not.

I realize the homes are quite close together (as most new builds are), but I thought this pic best portrayed the whole house. Since it's a corner lot, it's difficult to get both the 'front' and the 'side'.

We may have to have another pic tonight after the showing.

Wondering if you think so too???

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My version of Twitter-Home sale edition

I'm way too boring to actually have or use Twitter for anything.

However, at times like this, there's a lot going on and it changes all the time.

So, our house went up at about 10:15 this morning. At about 10:35, moments after posting the link here and e-mailing it to the fam, I get a call from someone visiting from BC who's buying a house ASAP and wants to see ours today. Wowza---that was quick.

We're not ready to show today, hence the open house on Sunday, but she mentioned near the end that they're very interested and asked if she could leave her name and temporary number so that if we were ready sooner, she and her husband could come by. She said she hoped we wouldn't have to bother with the open house.

Let me just say that again...She said she hoped we wouldn't have to bother with the open house!!!

So, heart a-flutter, I called hubs immediately and he was obviously excited. I asked him if he thought we could be ready for a showing tomorrow night. He said definitely-he was going home tonight and working his tail off.

Yes!!! So I promptly called her back and made arrangements for the showing tomorrow night.

Imagine? Can you just imagine??? *insert daydreaming*

No, no-I can't get ahead of myself. It's only been 2.5 hours. But imagine...

Unfortunately the flip side, is that the houses out there I can find are shit. Truly. I think we're going to have to enlist the help of an agent to find a realistic place. Especially if it happens quickly.

Wish us luck!!!!

And we're on...

Here's the link to our actual nerves are going crazy right now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Here goes nothing...

Well, I've made the listing, loaded the listing and even paid for the listing.

Here goes nothin'.

Last night, after coming home from a trip to Toronto, I was so pleased that hubs was motivated to help me take the pics for our listing. He played photographer and I played stylist (or, more accurately-remover of style) and remover of cats from shot-er, and I genuinely think we got some great pics of our home.

We were fighting against night-fall (side note: since when did early nights start? I'm not ready for fall!), but we made sure to get the exterior shot among the first.

Despite my own advice, it proved extremely difficult to get bright, clear photos that accurately depicted our house. We're not professionals, and we don't have one of those cool round lenses that fit a lot more room into one shot. I managed to adjust some colours and brightness in Picasa, so I hope it's paid off.

Here are the images we selected for the listing:

Family Room:


Dining Room:

Master Bedroom (extremely hard to capture):

Ensuite (again-lost the battle against dark, so the lighting's a little off):

Aside from the main exterior shot, there was room for 8 images and 2 floorplan files. Rather than try to get a shot of every room, where they would be less than stellar photos, we opted instead to put a couple of the kitchen and the family room so the whole room could at least be represented. Also-especially for the kitchen, so the appliances could be shown.

We purchased the Sign & Internet with Open House signs from Grapevine, which is the same package we bought for the sale of our last home. We were happy with it, and we don't need the consultation, etc, so this was perfect for us. I also called and asked if we could get it up ASAP and get the signs delivered & installed ASAP as well. It'll all be up and ready for sale to the public tomorrow! Eeek!

We've decided to have our first open house this coming Sunday, hence the slight rush, but I don't see why we'd wait. We don't have plans, it should be a decent day weather-wise, and we want to see what's out there. So, why wait?

I tried to keep the write-up succinct, and after several drafts, here's the final product:

Brand new 3 bed/2.5 bath 1900 sq.ft. corner unit located in Mattamy Fairwinds near Scotiabank Place. This home boasts numerous upgrades and custom touches,including hardwood and pot lights throughout main level, a hard-wired multi-room stereo system and high end appliances.Third floor features a spacious master bedroom with large walk-in closet and a retreat-like 4-pc ensuite. Automatic garage door opener for 2-car insulated garage, rough in for security system and central vac make this home move in ready. New construction still covered by Tarion Warranty.

And that's that. Tomorrow I'll (hopefully) have the link to the actual posting. In the meantime, I'd love to know what you think...did I follow my own advice? Would it peak your interest?

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Tips for Home Staging

There are lots of websites, blogs and everything in between that give tips on how to stage your home for a sale. Since hubs and I are doing that right now, I thought I'd make my very own list from experience in selling and looking to purchase. I've tried to include images to show what I mean. For most-a yay and a nay in regards to the topic.

  1. Cleaning: This one I hope goes without saying. Clean the crap out of your house (not literally, I hope). Clean like you would if your whole family, including aunt Margaret who "secretly" swipes her finger over windowsills, and who "innocently" looks in your fridge to see if there's some juice (but really is looking to see how clean & stocked it is).

    Those wall vents-vacuum 'em. Those baseboards-wipe 'em. Behind the toilet-clean it. Stair rails-wipe those too. Window ledges-clean them all. Appliances-clean them inside and out. No, at an open house or private viewing, people probably won't check all those things, but in case they do check, you want it to give the impression that the house is very well maintained, and nothing is forgotten. Yes-it's more work, but not all that much if you think about it. And it may sell your house.

  2. Tchochtkes: Put them away. Despite being hard to spell, they're not that hard to box up. This one's mostly based on purchasing experience since I'm not a knick-knack person. I don't care about your collection of antique dolls, teapots, figuringes or anything else. Pack them up and put some neutral decor in the display case if you need to. Baskets, candles, etc, but keep it un-cluttered. Keep counters cleared, shelves bordering on sparse and tables/surfaces with the absolute minimum. I want to imagine myself there-not your stuff and your memories.

    Oh-and for heaven's sakes. Take your magnets, reminders and children's art off of the fridge.
  3. Photographs: Same idea as knick knacks. You can have a couple photos out to warm the house up slightly, but generic-ish ones and in not-so-prominent places. Display areas should be clear and nightstands, etc shouldn't have any. Again, I want to imagine myself there, not you and your dog/mother/children. Speaking of which, I've heard it mentioned (probably on Opes) that any photographs of children should especially be put away in case someone viewing your home is less than trustworthy or potentially pervy. Awful to think about, but you never know.

    Think about it: If you visit a home builder's model homes, there are almost never photographs in the home.

  4. Curb appeal: Do not forget the outside! I know hubs and I have participated in the creepy slow drive-by when we see a home we're interested in. And first impressions say a lot. You can crop/angle images for MLS in a very positive way, but driving by and seeing it in person can make or break it. Hose down all porches, railings, etc. Wipe your mailbox, banisters, tables, etc. Put out a nice potted plant and make sure there aren't any dead plants around.

    And don't forget to get your car(s) out of the driveway. Park it a few houses down so there's room for potential buyers to park and feel comfortable.
  5. Bathrooms: Clean them, clear them and empty the trash. I don't want to inherit a gross bathroom, I don't want any indication of how's it's currently used, and I certainly don't want to see your bathroom garbage.

  6. Clutter: Has been mentioned several times, but bears repeating. Keep clutter OUT of your house if you're trying to sell it. It may make it feel colder to you, but hopefully it won't be yours for long, and sorry, but no one else really cares if your favourite memories are on display in their potential new home. Just look at it this way: You're getting a head start on packing!
  7. Furniture arrangement: Any unnecessary furniture you can stash or store somewhere else-do it. You want the home as functional and "blank-slate"-y as possible. If there are any obvious traffic-stopping pieces of furniture (get an honest outside opinion) move 'em or store 'em. Any very stylized furniture you may want to temporarily replace too. Slip covers can be wonderful things.

    Assume anyone coming to look through your home has never read Style at Home, Domino or watched HGTV. Sure, they appreciate a nice design and a beautiful home, but they don't understand that vintage art is all the rage, that your collection of ottomans are handmade in Nepal or that ikat is actually very trendy right now.

  8. Closets: Clean them, organize them, and get rid of anything you can. The idea is to make your home seem as spacious and functional as humanly possible. If you can store stuff so there's extra space in your closets, all the better. Try to make them seem like you couldn't possibly fill all the closets because they offer you so much storage. This is a great way to get yourself to purge,purge, purge too. Easier for packing later and for the move. See-it's not all for someone else's benefit.

  9. Windows: Open the blinds, close the windows. You want to let in as much natural light as possible, but keep the noise to a minimum. You never know when some loud, annoying motorcycle is going to drive by your open window.

  10. Lighting: Key. Perhaps this is spoken a bit too much as the wife of an electrician, but I think lighting can really make a space. You want to avoid any dark looking spaces whatsoever. I usually turn every single light on in the house for a showing/open house. Sorry planet (but they're energy efficient!). When someone's going through, I don't want them to have to fuss around with the switches to see a spare bedroom, etc. And we all know that generally the switches aren't exactly where you'd think they'd be, so help potential buyers avoid the frustration of this task and let them enjoy your home!
  11. Scent: Don't try too hard. And don't use a million plug-ins: it looks like you're hiding something. Have an outsider (that doesn't visit your house often) come by and let you know how it smells. We all know every home has a smell, and we all know some of them aren't that pleasant. Have someone tell you so you can take action if necessary.

    Baking cookies, bread and stuff---nice for a restaurant or grocery store, but frankly I think it's a little too gimmicky and obvious. I like to keep the windows open for as long as I can before a showing for some fresh air, and keep some nice reed diffusers wherever they can be. Think linen, spring, etc over cinnamon, vanilla, etc.

  12. Pets: This one hurts. If you've read my older posts, you know that we had some tough times when it came to our cats when we were selling our old house. It was a smaller home with no basement to stash their stuff, so we had to get them out of the house. I know my house is clean and I know my cats are clean. But no one else does, and even as an animal lover myself, I still hypocritically prefer a pet-free home. Or at least one that doesn't shout "Animals Live Here!!!"

    So, get rid of their gear. We are guilty of having a lot of cat beds, posts and toys throughout the home. Hey-they're our babies. But...when it comes time to sell, they get stored. Some come out again after photos & an open house, but not all. This time, since we have a little nook for it, we'll be keeping their litter box out. It's risky I know, and I may not be taking my own advice, however...we've since crafted a nice fabric door for it which really contains the smell and hides the visual. We'll also be keeping it IMPECCABLY clean. It will probably look like additional storage to the uninformed, but we have no intentions of misleading anyone. If they ask-we tell. Simple as that.

    A bonus for us-our cats are sissies. So as soon as they hear someone come in that's not us, they run and hide. If they determine it's someone else they know, they may venture to see them. If not, they generally remain hidden. If, however, your animals don't have this brand of social anxiety, I'd take them on a road trip. Especially if it's a big dog or something. I know it's hard on you and the animal, but sometimes it's for the best.

  13. Kids: I almost forgot about this one because we don't have to think of it quite yet. However, by a similar token as above, unnecessary baby & kid furniture, accessories, toys, etc should be stored out of view. Not everyone is familiar with or as welcoming about the immense amount of 'stuff' that comes with children, and certainly not everyone is a fan of kid-centric designs (especially in bedrooms). Hey-not everyone is even a fan of kids, period. But that doesn't mean you can't sell your house to them.

    Clear out the kid-clutter, paint their bedrooms beige if you need to (it's temporary and their imaginations can still function), put away their fingerpainting projects until your next home and get them out of the house for showings.

  14. Online Listing: Your listing will bring in your potential buyers. With a crap listing, you'll have a crap turnout.

    Take good pictures. Take a variety of pictures. Don't take 3 of your kitchen, no matter how awesome you think it is. There is a maximum number of pics allowed on a listing, and if they're all of your kitchen and backyard, it seems like the rest of the house is crap. Make sure the pictures are well-lit and clear. Download and play around with Picasa if you're able. It's a simple way to really improve your pictures. If you can't go that far, at least use the Edit Photos function in MS Picture Viewer.

    The blurb...KISS. Keep it simple, to the point yet informative. Don't use infinite superlatives saying how gorgeously beautiful your stunning home is. I won't read it, and I certainly won't believe it until I see it. Don't tell me it's a 'must-see': everyone says that. It's only a must see if I like it. Also, don't tell me it's the nicest home I'll find or the best on the block---that's an opinion. I'd like to make my own thanks. Include the square footage, a couple highlights and maybe a simpleton's statement on where it's located (Not everyone would know your specific neighbourhoods name, but they will know a mall, arena, etc)
  15. Price: It's all about the Benjamins. For you and for the buyer. You know how much you 'need' to get from the sale. If you're looking for a fairly quick and painless sale, look at the comparables in your area and don't get greedy. If you can sell the home for $250K and the homes in your area are listed at around $260K and have the same 'basics' as yours, don't list it at $275K because you like yours better and want more. Unless there are quantifiable upgrades on your home (hardwood floor, premium lot, etc), don't be stupid. List it along the lines of the other models, or even be really savvy and list it for a smidgeon less to pique interest. Also, don't say 'priced to sell' unless it really is.
If all else fails and you need a kick in the butt, head over to Lovely Listing (formerly It's Lovely I'll take it) and be reminded that the above isn't as obvious as one might think or hope. Also a few excellent reminders of what NOT to do.