After nine years in our little downtown Toronto house, we’re ready to sell. We’ve been saying this every spring for the past four years, but now, after watching House Hunters every night, we’ve got the moving bug and it’s GAME ON!
A little background: we have three kids — 11, 8, and almost 7. The two youngest share a room, as well as a bunk bed, hence our need to move. I need to preserve their relationship so they can stand seeing each other for the rest of their lives. Right now, they’re fighting like polecats. The oldest is lucky and has her own room but it’s the tiniest and has no closet.
We also only have one small bathroom. For five people. Is it just my family or do other people’s kids often have to go at the same time?? It’s like yawning, only with peeing (or worse when it’s the other one).
We think we’re doing everything we need to do to get ready: we met (well, emailed) a mortgage broker who has set us up with a pre-approved mortgage and we’ve gotten advice from a home stager, Taisa Dorney, on prepping our house to sell. Her tips include:
- Get rid of the piano or at least put it in storage. We ignored this bit of advice when our oldest swore she would chain herself to it if we tried to take it away but Taisa stands by her advice. “It takes up too much room and doesn’t add anything to the space.”
- Paint walls in a neutral palette. “You’re trying to appeal to the masses,” Taisa says, “and the masses appreciate neutral. It allows them to visualize themselves in your space.”
- MYTH: Remove all personal pictures. “I don’t agree with this at all,” Taisa says. “I like to see family photographs. It gives life and personality to the home.” But you should make sure the pictures are tasteful and have contemporary frames. I somehow have to admit to my hubby that I was wrong on this one.
We’ve had some nasty surprises (like how messy it is to sand, prep, and paint wood trim!!) and some good ones: we qualify for way more mortgage than the online mortgage calculators said we would. (Tip: If you’re using those tools, contact a mortgage specialist because you might be surprised at what you can get.)
This week we’ll continue to de-clutter the rooms of large, unnecessary pieces of furniture, as well as clearing out the front hall and kids’ rooms. Our deadline is Monday, when the pictures for the listing are being taken.
Yikes. We’re having many, many moments when we think we can’t make it (three just this morning!) and there’s no possible way we can keep the house clean for showings. I have to tell the kids every day not to RipStick in the house in case they chip the freshly painted trim. What I’m not thinking about is how sad it will be to leave our little home. There are a lot of good memories (our son was born in our bedroom) but it’s time to move. Tears will definitely come later.
Next week: I’ll give you more tips from Taisa and fill you in on how we did.
Reni Walker (AKA Scotch Mommy on slice.ca) shares her moving mayhem Wednesdays.