DIY : Do NOT Make your dining room an office! Sell fast for way over asking!

Not the house we saw, but a good example of what you shouldn’t do in your dining room.

Yes, you heard it…..don’t make spaces in your house something they are aren’t! Especially if you are trying to sell your home. You are forcing your buyer to focus on how strange everything is set up and not how they could picture themselves living there. I previewed a house the other day and as soon as we walked in there was an open space that was suppose to be a dining room, but instead they had 2 desks. So I thought no big deal, but as we got deeper into the house, the room use got more odd. My buyers spent the whole time talking about what the owners must do for a living and where they sleep. See, the master bedroom was a kids room with lots of toys…….we never found where the owners slept! You are expecting an awful lot out of your buyer to be able to come in to a space and piece it back together. And you are also assuming that they will have an experienced agent that is going to paint the picture of how that dining room should look. Sometimes the experience doesn’t matter. People either have vision to see past it with some help or they don’t! Everyone’s circumstances are unique, but the market is hot and the sacrifices of a clean, clutter free house will only be short lived. We thought maybe they home schooled their kids and used the dining room as their classroom. I think that is awesome, but not when you are selling. Get creative here! Buckle down and make those changes if you want to sell fast and for top dollar. I think you would be surprised at how fast your home will sell with a few tips, but you have to follow them to a T! This has a few stipulations. In Colorado, under 375k moves very fast and most buyers don’t care if there is even floor coverings. If you are asking above 375K, listen up:


Clean your house…..if that’s not your thing, hire someone. Your agent should have someone she/he recommends. And keep it clean before each showing. Is that super annoying and hard with kids? Yes and feels overwhelming, but if you want to start the next chapter in your life, it’s a must!

Remove all personal items- mostly pictures of your family. When I sold my first home before I was an agent I was given this advice. I was kind of sad to take down my kids pictures. I, of course complied with the request and after I took them down my house felt so much cleaner. And it made packing so much easier when we went under contract. After we sold and bought our new home we decided to keep the kids pictures in one hallway…..funny how things work!

Consider Staging your home. This topic is very controversial among Realtors. If you have items that are nice and you can make the space look bright and clean, we are good! As a realtor, I can usually save my clients thousands of dollars on the sell because I am able to guide them and help make their house appealing to buyers on very little money. So, take the time to interview who you are hiring to sell your home. Here are my general thoughts. If you have old comforters, beat up couches and your dog chewed the leg on the table, we are not good. In our second home, the market was hot! We wanted top dollar for our home so we had it staged. It was amazing how much bigger and brighter the house felt. We owned a King bed and a large sectional and the staging company came in with a queen size bed and a single couch. We ended up with 12 offers and went 40K over asking……was it the staging? I think it was the staging on top of my other suggestions. Remember, you only have one shot at this. Why leave money on the table? I would say my only exception in the Colorado Market is a price point listed under $375,000. Chat with your agent and see what their thoughts are!

Staging and great Pictures really make a difference.

Weed your front planter and throw down some fresh bark. Consider getting some bright colored planters and planting a few nice plants. This will draw their eye away from other things that could turn them off before they even enter your home. Grab a new, bright porch mat and please mow your lawn!

How inviting is this?

Clean off the siding and all those cobwebs on your porch and around lights. If you have vinyl siding, pressure wash it. Pressure wash your driveway and walkway……super simple and it will look dynamite.

New Carpet? Who doesn’t like the smell of fresh carpet? By doing this small thing, you may even entice a buyer to waive inspection or come in with an all cash offer. Or is your carpet fairly new? Then just get it cleaned! Just think if these things made the buyer waive inspection, how much would you save in just the headache alone? Face it, something always comes up in inspection. Do not put top of the line carpet in……you wont be living there! Builder grade is perfect!

Touch up the paint in your house. You will be taking down pictures and there will be holes. Patch those up and touch up the paint. When we sold years ago, we repainted the bedrooms where my kids rooms were orange and off the wall kid colors. Most agents would say just worry about the main areas being neutral. That’s up to you, but if you want a slam dunk……..repaint the rooms!

A little touch up goes a long ways.

Get those windows washed… easy as picking up the phone and making an appointment.

Get your furnace and AC serviced. I feel like this one thing was a huge contributing factor to our buyers waiving inspection. That was one big ticket item they knew was good. It is a standard when selling. You will either do it before, or you will be doing it during inspection resolution. The more on top of things you are, makes you as the seller look like you take great care of your house and that gives the buyer piece of mind.

Insist that your Agent has professional pictures done of your home. They are able to make it look sunny and bright when its actually grey and overcast out. They can get wide angle shots that make your house look bigger. This will all drive traffic into your home……exactly what we want.

Some sellers hire an inspector to do an inspection so they have the report ready for their buyers and that saves a little time. I guess I would say this is up to the seller and how fast they want to move. I did not choose to do this. Our house was built in 1979, original furnace and I knew something would come up. I thought that I would have more bargaining leverage once they were under contract and in love with my home. Turns out they waived inspections all together, so I saved time and about $500.


Have a fan running! This tells me you think your house smells and you need the fan to air it out. Or leave your windows open.

Make your Master into your kids room……people are not as creative as you and cannot picture it any other way.

Set up a classroom in your dining room……..Its going to have to be packed up until you move.

Have a mess when there is a scheduled showing. I could go on and on here, but if you do the “Do’s” then this list becomes very small.

So Now you are thinking, how much is this going to cost me? It could be done in 7 days if you go at it full time or maybe a month if you are working a full time job. Our house was in Seattle so I had to fly in and make the house ready for the market in 4 days. I had the help of my Dad and we were at the house at 5 in the morning till 7 at night. I pre-scheduled the carpet install, window washing, cleaners and furnace to be done during that time frame. We then came in and got to work patching and painting. This took quite a bit of time, but time well spent. We then spent a lot of time outside, pressure washing the driveway and walkway, planting flowers, laying down all new bark, pressure washing the siding, trimming bushes and hedges and mowing the lawn. Every house will have a different set of unique fixes. So, how much will this all cost? Here is the breakdown for my 2300 Sq ft house in Seattle:

Carpets: $3000

Staging $2500, but my agent split this and gave us a credit at closing (she was awesome and really believed in the value of staging)

Paint, brushes etc: $250

Planters, flowers, bark solution to for cleaning siding:$500

Window washing $100

Servicing of the furnace: $100


Misc repairs/supplies: $300

Total:$5650 (after closing)

Seems like a lot of money, but you may never know how much money you left on the table. This wasn’t a gamble I wanted to take and I ended up with 40K over asking with only a 5k investment. Additionally our offer on our new home was contingent on the sale of this home, so we had to move fast. It got multiple offers and sold right on time. Find a good agent who knows what they are doing. Hit me up with questions and good luck! #Let’sdothis


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