Yesterday I borrowed a Canon 5D with a wide-angle lens (and briefly considered faking my own death so I’d never have to give it back) and took the MLS photos for our house. It was a sweaty and near-impossible task, trying to keep surfaces clean and child-free for long enough to snap the photo, and I am officially in a state of anticipatory despair over the idea of keeping the house in show-ready condition with two small kids in the house and a husband who apparently believes all cereal bowls and shoes are continually sucked into another dimension by invisible dimension-sucking fairies and a dog who sheds giant haybales of fur every five minutes and the toys and the dirt and the mess, oh god.

Here’s what the pictures look like:

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(I’m not sure about using this photo. On the one hand, I should show more than one bedroom, right? On the other, it’s nearly impossible to photograph well and is so Kid-Decorated which might be a turnoff.)

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If you have any thoughts on house staging, I’d love to hear them. I’ve de-cluttered the closets and cleaned our windows and we’re about to touch up some trim and remove 90% of our family photos, what else should I be thinking of? Oh and also, hey, just how the shit am I going to manage this whole thing without losing my mind?

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Erika
Erika
12 years ago

The house is lovely. Just think about how you will feel when you sell this house and are in the new house. Concentrate on that feeling and you will make it through just fine. :)

Bobbie
Bobbie
12 years ago

Flowers in pot by front door and if possible; bake cookies the morning of showing. (Brings up home nostalgia for those viewing and gives you some quality carbs to drown yourself in later if needed.)

Amy M.
Amy M.
12 years ago

When we were showing our house (with a newborn & a 2.5-y-o, we bought a ton of nice-looking baskets for concealing cleaning supplies on shelves, and bins with lids for toys. We’d only let them play with toys out of 1 bin each day, so they can easily be swept back in the bin into a closet if we needed to vacate. The dog fur tumbleweeds had us vacuuming constantly, though, & we briefly entertaing shaving our poor lab. ;)

Good luck & you ahve a gorgeous home! Love the new kitchen. And since I didn’t comment yesterday, don’t paint the ceiling!!!!

js
js
12 years ago

Linda, I have always thought this, but I’m going to tell you know, your house is gorgeous. And the realtor who told you to paint the ceiling and the red wall? INSANE. If there were ENTIRE rooms of dark colors, I could see that, but that room is large and open and filled with light, it’s one red wall, and I think it’s beautiful. Plus, I know when I was looking for a home, paint color really didn’t turn me off, it’s an easy fix.

As for how you’re going to get through this without losing your mind…no clue! But good luck. I know the market is shitty (at least here in MI it BLOWS my $156K house is worth $60K 4 years later), but your house is so beautiful, I think you’ll have great luck.

H
H
12 years ago

Paint the ceiling and get rid of that red wall – JUST KIDDING! Your house is beautiful. In addition to the cookie suggestion, I’ve heard you should bake bread or, as our realtor suggested, gently warm some vanilla in the microwave or over the stove (and then hide the evidence) before a showing.

Christine
12 years ago

It looks gorgeous, and a million miles big. And oh so tidy. My kitchen guys and realtor told me that kitchens and bathrooms are what sell a house, and yours both look beautiful. My only possible suggestion would be to paint the dark brown accent walls cream to enlarge those spaces even more. But not the red wall; I love the red wall.

Liana (Suburban Mom)
12 years ago

I don’t know man, I personally LOVE your home. It’s like a dream home to me – so so cute. I say most definitely don’t you dare paint the ceiling OR the fireplace – but if the boys have some strange colors in their room, or it’s very gender boy heavy, you might try and tone that down. Otherwise, it looks awesome!

Good luck! And I agree – keep your eye on the prize and maybe, JUST MAYBE, that will keep your sanity somewhat in tact.

Pete
Pete
12 years ago

Shows well. Remember, an Open House is for the realtor’s benefit, that’s how they find clients. Not many houses are sold from an open house. Most are from the MLS. The realtor’s caravan can be important. That’s where they go around to new listings. Good free food for the realtors will get a great deal of traffic.

Courtney
Courtney
12 years ago

Dude, this is so minor, but what about cutting some of the (awesome!) blue hydrangeas you have to the right of the driveway and plopping them in a vase in the dining room?

… yeah. That was totally a productive comment. LAME.

The house looks great! As for the kids, and husband, I have no idea. And Dog… well… shave her?

serror
serror
12 years ago

It looks gorgeous! And great job on the photos.

Honestly, I would rather see a second bedroom than not see it. It always feels like they are trying to hide something by not showing bedrooms. It is kid decorated, but the room basics are not kid focused. I wouldn’t have any problem imagining it differently.

Playstead
12 years ago

You know what sold my last house? New bark. Made the yard look fantastic, and who doesn’t love that new bark smell? Good luck.

Amy
Amy
12 years ago

Gorgeous photos! Will you include one of the master bedroom, though?

I think you have the staging down: decluttered closets, counters, and tables… fewer family photos… no towels in the bathroom… even moving out some furniture can help (although it doesn’t look like you need to do that). If you need to clear out stuff for a last-minute showing, throw it under the bed or in the car. Good luck!

Valria
12 years ago

Linda, I will watch Dog if you need for a day with an open house. Also, from what I hear baked cookies or the smell of baked cookies helps. -Valria

Anne
12 years ago

Oh my LANDS your house is STUNNING. If I didn’t live half-way across the country I’d put in an offer now, over the internet. The drool puddle on my keyboard is…well, really gross, actually.

But the house is stunning.

Jessi
12 years ago

When I was house hunting, photos really dictated what houses I’d see and these are perfect! The only suggestion I have is maybe take a few looking from room to room so buyers can get a sense of how one room flows to the next.

I wish I could afford a beautiful home like yours.

Becky Mochaface
12 years ago

You bought the house for the red wall and ceilings. I would buy it for that bathtub.

Keli
Keli
12 years ago

When I sold my house in 2007, I baked cookies. The house smelled awesome.

To make it so that everything didn’t have to be perfectly dusted and clean, I tried to keep showings to nighttime.

Removed any trace of dog in the whole place.

Kept an empty box with a lid for dirty dishes or miscellaneous crap. Threw the crap into the box before leaving and left it in the garage until I got back.

Marolyn
Marolyn
12 years ago

What we always tell sellers is to clear as much personal crap out as possible, so that potential buyers as envison their own stuff there. I never understood WHY other people couldn’t IMAGINE different colored walls etc.. like I can… but sadly ALOT cannot. Cinnamon smells are best. Oh and fresh flowers if you can.
I would ask your agents to do a realtor open house, where other realtors come and see the house. Try and get them to get a sponser ( like a title company, bank or other affiliate) to pay for lunch/brunch and offer a desireable prize for a business card drawing. This way you can try and get as many realtors in there to SEE it for their current and future clients.
You can always offer a selling bonus as well… like 1k to selling agent.
Good Luck .. and you’ve got a gorgeous home and your pictures are great!!!

Annie
12 years ago

I just want you to know, I’d buy your home if I could. I love it dearly, and the work you guys have done shows immensely – it’s gorgeous, open, and spacious. And I don’t agree with changing the colors or anything – it would detract from what makes the house unique, lived in, and… well, beautiful.

Pavette
12 years ago

Leave Riley’s room photo intact. We’re in the same boat as you, trying to get from Edmonds to the Peninsula since hubby got a new job.
You don’t have any weird kid-murals to cover up, and all of his stuff is tastefully displayed. The key is for the buyer to imagine their own stuff in your space, and I think this can be done as is. Whenever I don’t see all of the bedrooms in a listing, I think something must be weird with the others. Love your soaker tub!
We had one realtor tell us to wait until spring to go to market. I’m getting a second opinion this week! Baby #1 is 2.5 and Baby #2 will be here in a month, so I’m not too jazzed about trying to schlep all of that gear out of here, but also hate the ferry commute that my husband is doing!

Josey
12 years ago

Lots of great ideas on here already! Definitely include the kid’s bedroom picture. Decluttering is key – that’s great you’ve already done the closets.

Our best feedback comes from homes where the Sellers consistently do the following before showings:

Turn on all lights.
Burn a delicious smelling candle (or bake cookies if you have time!)
Muted music throughout home (if you have a system like that) to showcase it.
Open drapes – let lots of natural light in.
Fresh flowers (if you have them).

In our area, Open Houses do NOTHING for the Seller OR the Realtor – it’s just a waste of time and money. The vast majority of Buyers call about your home b/c of it’s look ONLINE. Make sure you’re Realtor is maximizing your home’s exposure (i.e. lots of pictures, good descriptive verbige, list of all amenities) in the MLS, Realtor.com, Zillow.com, etc. The more quality pictures the better – all the reasearch shows that. People LIKE to see pictures b/c they often narrow down their search before they ever pick up the phone to call a Realtor.

That being said, a Realtor open house IS a good idea – gets your home in the forefront of their minds!

Good luck – you have a beautiful home!!

Shelly
12 years ago

I think it looks great! I would keep up Ryley’s room (I’m assuming that is his) since you can easily turn that room into whichever you’d like it to be, seeing as the paint is very neutral and there isn’t anything that can’t be moved. It’s nice to see how big the bed is, and there is still tons of room. Good luck with the sale! :)

Kristy
12 years ago

I want to know why you are moving..what the intended plan is. Because I wouldn’t leave this house unless it was a location issue myself. :-)

Incidentally that picture in the bathroom is too small for that wall…takes away from the expansive large bathroom. But that’s just my un-real estate selling opinion. Also..add some candles around that bathroom. It’s the women who BUY houses in any couple…and any woman would love to envision themselves relaxing in there with candles and bubble bath.

You asked….teehee..

may
may
12 years ago

Your house is fabulous! I think it’s awesome, and I’m CONSTANTLY looking at MLS photos (…I guess because I’m nosey?) and yours are some of the best I’ve seen – everything is clean and shiny and full of light. Definitely leave the kid bedroom picture, but maybe remove the skull? That might turn people off. But otherwise, your house is amazing and I hope it sells quickly – and at YOUR price!

Melanie
12 years ago

I think it looks beautiful. I wish you only the best. We’re nine weeks in and it’s hard. And I haven’t been working outside for six of them! The best advice is to have cable television and plan to let your kids binge on it while you are doing projects. It’s craziness but reality. I tell myself I’ll make up for it when we move!

shygirl
shygirl
12 years ago

Yes– make it smell good. And good light is important too, though it looks like you already have plenty of that! Fresh flowers, sure, but be careful, get unscented ones if you can (like daisies or something)– some people love the smell of fresh flowers, but others (like my SO) immediately think of a funeral home. So I’d go with yummy food smells (cinnamon, vanilla, you know, the “homey” smells). You don’t even actually have to bake anything, you can just throw a pot of water on the stove with a few cinnamon sticks and whole cloves, and boil that for a bit.

Damn, I so totally want to move back to Seattle now just so we can make an offer on your house. IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

(Here’s a thought: if everybody else who’s trying to sell in your neighborhood took the standard agent’s advice to neutralize the shit out of everything, your house will be the standout, attention-getting star in a sea of boring, mediocre houses! :)

jb
jb
12 years ago

Sundry, you’re house is beautiful and ohmigod so tidy.

I definitely agree with barking the gardens.

The only other suggestion is a few cushions would look nice on your bed as would standing your pillows up rather than laying them down and covering them. When I see that I always think of dead people. I’d say that that’s just me, though.

Good luck!

honeybecke
honeybecke
12 years ago

I haven’t commented lately, but I am following you on this dream of yours and I am so so so excited for you guys. I LOVE that you are going for it.
When we sold our house we rented a storage unit and stored all the clutter/crap that I wanted to keep but didn’t really have a place in the house. It was easier to keep the place clean for showings with less toys to clean up. Whatever toys didn’t fit into one big toy basket went into storage. And dontchaknow it was like Christmas when we brought them back out a month or two later?
So,yeah a storage unit made a HUGE difference for us.
Smell was a major thing for me when I walked into houses I was potentially going to buy. I did not like to walk in and smell candles. I was suspicious of candles, like what are they trying to hide? Open windows are good.
Cookies or pancakes are a great smell to walk into. Pancakes are easy and fast to make…well, you could just keep a roll of cookie dough in the fridge to use in a quick pinch.
The house looks great, try and relax!
Good luck!

Brenna
12 years ago

The red wall is a matter of personal taste (and easily changed), but I can’t imagine anyone not loving that ceiling. It would be madness to paint it. MADNESS, I SAY.

I don’t think the kid room is overly “kid”. Everything is neutral except the decorations, and those are all pretty chic as far as kid decor goes.

My only advice would be to have an honest party come over and sniff around. I think we’re mostly oblivious to the way our own homes smell, and since you have a kid in diapers and a dog, it would be worth your time to make sure there aren’t any lingering odors.

Mama Ritchie
Mama Ritchie
12 years ago

The pics look great. I know that the pics and the staging sold my house. Rolled up white washcloths stuck in an asian-y box in the bathroom and boom – there’s an offer.

The only thing I would change in Riley’s room is I would take down the pirate flag. Though pirates are awesome, the skull and crossbones remind me of death. But maybe that’s me.

I like the suggestion of having a big box to throw any dirty dishes into and stashing it in the garage when a viewing turns up. Also, tho bad for the environment, consider going with paper plates for the duration.

Open houses are obsolete in this era of the internet. But do NOT ignore craigslist. I posted my house there every day while my realtor did the MLS thing and we got a lot of responses from both.

Your house looks beautiful. Especially the lube-y bathroom!

mixette
mixette
12 years ago

Wow! It looks professionally staged and everything looks perfect – not too personal and not too blank. Looks like home.

When I sold my last house I had bowls of this Santa Maria Novella potpourri http://bit.ly/aQgVji stashed around the house. My agent said she had never gotten so many comments about how good it smelled…and it sold fast!

Laura
Laura
12 years ago

Wow – your house looks great. One thing that came to mind for me was to move your couch AWAY from the wall. It looks great, but I think it might make some people think their furniture might have trouble fitting in the space. Even if you don’t have a side table to put there, leaving the space for one would look good.

kristin c.
12 years ago

Ummm…..I would TOTALLY buy your house if I lived in your area. FOR SURE. Friends of ours just bought a home on Vashon Island….have you ever looked there? GORGEOUS.

warcrygirl
12 years ago

Holy shit Linda, I’d buy your house for the bathroom alone! Don’t worry about the kid’s room; the decorations aren’t permanent and you never know if a red-wall loving family comes to see your home. I like how you de-cluttered the kitchen; that room seems to be the most personalized one of the house (photos on the fridge, anyone?).

Wendy
Wendy
12 years ago

Your place looks great! I agree with all the comments about turning on all the lights, the music, the smells, open curtains, etc…although you’re a smart person so you and your Realtor probably already knew these things.

I know you’re in the area, but not sure exactly where – if you’re near Bellevue I’d say that a Broker’s open would be a good idea. As a former agent at the downtown Bellevue Bain office I know the agents in my office toured regularly for our Monday office mtgs. and on whichever day that area suggests broker tours through the MLS. It’s hit or miss, but agents with buyers should be out there previewing during the day.

As silly as it sounds, a lot of buyers really are retarded when it comes to being picky about things like paint colors. Not saying you should change yours, just know that no matter how stupid it is people still pick at EVERYTHING in a house.

Good luck!

mixette
mixette
12 years ago

Also: many women are going to want to buy your house but the man cave is totally going to sell the husbands!

Suzanne
12 years ago

Do not worry about the kid-ness of the kid’s room – as far as over the top child decorating goes it is VERY tame and clearly could function as an adult bedroom with almost no changes.

Did someone really suggest you paint the WOOD ceiling? They should be shot. Don’t even think about it.

As a former realtor, I approve of everything. Nice neutral colors, not a lot of super personal things, beautiful kitchen. If you wanted to get really fancy, you could add candles and big fluffy towels around the tub so people can imagine relaxing there after a long day at work. You could also stage the outdoor table with a couple of glasses and a bottle of wine. People eat that kind of shit up.

Gray Panther
Gray Panther
12 years ago

The house looks great. Some further suggestions: Have a place in mind to go to with the kids. Many lookers are uncomfortable really appraising a home if the family is there. Have whatever you and the kids need ready in the car. Ask the realtor to call when the potential buyers leave.
Leave copies of the home and room measurements and your pictures. The clever woman who sold me my last house had photos available that showed it in the springtime with the sun shining and the trees and bushes in blossom. I saw it in November with gray skies but could visualize it sparkling.
Best of luck!

L
L
12 years ago

Looks great! I am in the same boat as you. Trying to sell our house to take a leap of faith. My house is yellow too :)

We tried to sell it ourselves, and that wasn’t working out too well so we met with a realtor today. She said she would get professional photos of our place (yours looks WAY better than what I took!)Trying to make it look like a toddler doesn’t live here has been so much work. When she sees me furiously picking cat hair off our carpets and stashing her toys in a closet, she says “Mommy trying to sell our house?”

No real advice here – your home is beautiful. Wishing you tonnes of luck!

victoria
victoria
12 years ago

GORGE! It looks huge, spacious, and inviting. Well done.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
12 years ago

I have always loved your house, it’s beautiful. I wish we could buy it, pick it up and move it out here to MA.

I have no ideas on how to keep the house clean. Our house is sooooo small and always cluttered with stuff and dog hair everywhere. I don’t know what we would do if we are ever able to sell it (which I hope will be soon!). When we bought our “starter” home we planned on moving out in a year or so, here we are 10 years later. YUCK.

dani
12 years ago

as someone who continually stalks houses online, I say show riley’s room. seeing a kid-decorated room helps people imagine their own family living there. and it is totally neutral enough for childless people to imagine it kid-less.

I didn’t see another bedroom pic…?

they all look great. the only thing i would say you could improve on is maybe taking a shot or two which might give the viewer an idea of which room leads to which room. but really, i think the shot of the living room with the floor-to-beautiful-ceiling windows will probably be enough to get someone in there to see it for themselves.

Tina G
Tina G
12 years ago

I want your house! But we are in NY, so there goes that idea!
Our previous owner made an apple pie (and we knew it was a ploy) but man, that smelled sooooo good we didn’t notice that the kitchen floor sloped badly!

lindsay
lindsay
12 years ago

is there a view from the kitchen into the living room…or into the dining room? I am looking for a home for the first time and after 8 yrs of cave like kitchens in apartments I always want to see if the kitchen is open above the counter top and if so what room it looks into, when I house hunt online.

Lovely looking home the two of you have put together!

Penny
12 years ago

Your home is goregous. Just a suggestion though, do not go with any fragrances such as vanilla. Due to my high allergic reaction to fragrance especially vanilla, I would be puking all over your hoime and never appreciate the beauty. But I think baking cookies or bread is a nice touch. Keep in mind some people cannot handle the fragrances while they smell nice, are painful. Good luck.

Kym
Kym
12 years ago

It looks great!! Best of luck!!!

Deb
Deb
12 years ago

I want to move back to Seattle so bad! We left and I have regretted it ever since.

Leave the bedroom pictures – the people who will be interested in your home have families, and they will want to know about the other bedrooms. I always feel suspicious when they don’t show other rooms. I am a real estate geek and when I filter on realtor.com I ALWAYS sort by number of pictures. More is better, imo.

The ONLY thing that struck me is that the master bed seems a teeny bit cramped…is there any way at all to turn it and put it under the windows? Put the dresser on the wall the bed is currently on? I don’t necessarily care about having a big master, but I need enough room for a decent sized bedside table.

It’s a great house – it would totally warrant a visit if I were buying. Kitchens sell houses and yours is great.

shriek house
12 years ago

If they haven’t already posted to the listing site, I would brighten up the photos. They look warm, but darkly warm. (I can help if you’re not a photoshopper yerself.)

Keep the kid room pic! Every home that is staged in my area has a real or faux kid room/nursery.

Add a pic of the fireplace. And one showing transition from dining to kitchen.

And finally, why are you leaving again? What a GORGEOUS house. Dayum.

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