A Jewel in the Crown

The preparation of a home for sale is often one of the most difficult but rewarding of projects.  They aren’t kidding when they say it is up there with one of the most stressful times of your life and as such, the herculean task of dividing yourself from the clutter that needs discarding and the memories tied to such clutter are often at odds with what you are trying to achieve.  Determination, focus, a deadline and a little professional advice certainly help to accomplish the task. Think ripping off a bandaid.  It hurts less if it is done quickly.

This dual family home was situated in a great location and was long overdue to begin its new journey, to share in the story of a new family, to create new memories.  The current residents were struggling with ill health and were overwhelmed by what seemed to be a mammoth task to de-clutter and unlock the full potential of their home for the real estate market. This home was their financial security and their future.  A strong sale price was required, however their renovation budget was tight.  A frank discussion over a cup of tea quickly became a plan of attack, a firm date for professional photography and a listing with a very understanding and accommodating real estate agent.  We had 8 days to de-clutter, reclaim the spaces, clean, repair, paint and style the property – inside and out.

Bright and early the following morning we began with a brisk walk around the property where we made a list of what was essential to have the property ready for sale.  We then added a couple of ‘would increase the value’ and ‘street appeal’ items that wouldn’t blow our tiny budget.  Timber cross braces on the fence and hand rails that had deteriorated in the humid Queensland climate and cracked yellow glass panels in the front foyer that screamed 70’s needed replacing.  Fresh paint on the verandahs, front and back door, side fence and gates were a must.  The neglected back verandah had the potential to be an oasis so the sourcing of a new floating timber tile was added to the list.  Inside, a couple of bedrooms needed a timber venetian to coordinate with the rest of the house, one room required a fresh, neutral colour palate so new paint was added too.  The built in dresser in the master bedroom downstairs needed a new mirror and several furniture and styling items needed to be sourced.  A skip was ordered to assist with the de-clutter and garden clippings.  Lastly, a hasty and decisive trip to pick up much needed supplies was underway.

We were blessed on this project to have help from plenty of family members – old and young alike. Everyone pitched in to paint, garden, clean, de-clutter and construct the new timber rails and flooring.  With the budget being so tight, I suggested that styling costs could be kept to a minimum by using products, where possible, that were already owned by the residents and family.  I also sourced a couple of items second hand on eBay that the resident loved and wanted to take to their new home.  Items that had seen little to no use and that I was able to purchase at a fraction of the cost of new.

Plenty of hard work, many long days and late nights, a few tears, daily donations to charity, lots of laughs and memories re-visited and made, a full skip and a dozen tired family members later, we had 2 x kitchens, 2 x dining rooms, 2 x living rooms, 5 x bedrooms, 2 x bathrooms + all the extras, ready to be photographed and put on the market!

Not only were the residents of Crown Road delighted to see the property looking its best once again, they were looking forward to enjoying the fresh new spaces and hearing the lovely feedback from the enthusiastic public after each jam packed Open Home.  I arrived several hours prior to each scheduled viewing to ensure the property was looking its best and was amazed at the popularity of each and every viewing.  Cars lined both sides of the street and stretched down the block.  It was with no surprise that the home sold quickly and with an initial offer that required no haggling.

Out of respect for the owners of this property, I did not take ‘before’ pics.  I am sure you will agree, the ‘after’ photos are amazing and tell the story well.  A beautiful home, restored and styled on a budget.