The Villages Florida Area Real Estate: Have You Ever Tried Living on a Stage?

Have You Ever Tried Living on a Stage?

Have You Ever Tried Living on a Stage?

255 Nob Hill Road, Cheshire, CT 06410I am one of those REALTORS who has moved before.  Actually, during my corporate years, my wife and I sold our homes seven different times.  We have seen the evolution.  Yes, our house was always freshly painted--my wife used to joke that as soon as she put down the paintbrush from the last project we wanted to do after moving in, I would get the call that it was time for us to move again.  Yes, our house was always picked up and tidy--even with very young children--but "decluttering" and packing up 3/4 of your belongings was not part of the process back then. 

255 Nob Hill Road, Cheshire, CT 06410The last time we sold our own home was in 2001.  We installed new handles on our "pickled" cabinets and put in a new kitchen faucet.  Done!  Of course it didn't hurt that we lived in Sarasota, Florida, where the market was then booming and we had a pool with spa and lived on a large lake.  When the REALTOR told us what we should list for, my wife said "Yes, but we want to sell."  But even though we thought the price was high, the house sold in four days.

Last week we put our 5 bedroom 4.5 bath home on the market.  With the children grown and one finished with graduate school and the other entering the final year of undergraduate, two people just don't need this kind of space.  What did we do to prepare?  Well, it took about six months of packing, painting, and preparation--you know, 1.5 days in HGTV time.  The house is ready to show.

255 Nob Hill Road, Cheshire, CT 06410Now every morning we get up and walk out of each room backwards, making sure that everything is in place.  Each time there is a showing, it looks like there is a new airport runway in Connecticut with all the lights that are turned on.  We empty the trash, change any used towel, and make sure the kitchen is spotless. We are fortunate that we do not have young children living in the house during this process.

"Have you ever tried living in a staged home?"  Yes folks, I have; and I understand how hard it is to make your home show-ready these days.  With the on-the-go lifestyles we all live, it is tough to get the call asking for a showing in one hour.  But the market is pretty brisk right now, so we all have to be ready to show when a buyer wants to see our home.

255 Nob Hill Road, Cheshire, CT 06410

 

Chris K. Canfield

REALTOR®, ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GREEN, MRP, SRES 

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

2890 E. Skyline Drive, #250

Tucson, Arizona  85718

 

 

Mary-kay Canfield and Chris Canfield ActiveRain ProfileE-mail Chris and Mary-kay Canfield

 

 

Comment balloon 62 commentsChris Canfield • April 09 2011 01:09PM

Comments

Super post.  Love that you can really lead by example now.  Perfect to explain to your clients what you are doing.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

I really appreciate your post. It is about being show ready at all times for potential buyers to tour the house, whether a client's or my own. - David

Posted by David Burrows, No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate (Classic Realty) over 7 years ago

Thanks Debbie - It has been an eye-opener; really hard to understand what your clients are going through if you have never gone through it yourself--especially when it comes to moving children!

Hi David - It is a competitive market out there; you have to be ready when the buyers are!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Chris~ The house looks great!  Best of luck with the sale and the move.  We sold our house 4 years ago and our children are grown and out of the house.  It's challenging to keep the house "show ready" even when there are just 2 adults living in the house!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 7 years ago

Hi Donna - You know, sometimes you really don't feel like doing the dishes as soon as a meal is done.  : )  Yes, even with just two people, living on a stage can be hard!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Chris....you are speaking to the 'choir' and the 'choir' is listening--hopefully. remember that song from the 70's:
"Walk a mile in my shoes"-somehow it does apply when you are the lister for others or it is your home that you list.  Normally, one would leave some scrap of something "for tomorrow"-- NOT when you are listed.  It is hard with children & pets as well.  Thankfully for our hoe it is just the two of us.  Never thought about the "walking out of the room backwards' --pretty clever tip.  Have a great weekend.  PS--your home look grand.

Barb

Posted by Barb & Sal Dragotta, Macomb County Michigan over 7 years ago

Hi Barb - We all know it has to be done, we just don't always realize how hard it is until we have to live it!  Thanks for the comment that my home looks grand!  : )

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story - that is the best way for people to learn with stories. . . I too have moved and sold 3 times in my real estate career - I know what it takes and I am willing to do it!

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) over 7 years ago

Hi Joy - Yes, you have to be willing to do what it takes!  Thanks for commenting.

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Chris, Great Visual Tour and a very lovely home and setting.  I hope you do not have to live in your staged home for too long!  No I have never had this experience yet, but know what needs to be done to sell.  Most of our clients get it luckily. 

Do you plan to stay in that area? 

All the best,
Gloria

Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Century 21 Absolute Realty ) over 7 years ago

You should frequently take your wife out to dinner to avoid the issue of dirty dishes or pots and pans in the kitchen.

 Life is good!

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) over 7 years ago

The house looks great, Chris! Hope you sell it soon! I love your comment about walking out of each room backwards everyday - I'm going to recommend that to one of my clients!

Posted by Rose King, Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area (David Tracy Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Chris--This is a great post.  Yes, it's not always that easy to live in a staged home, but I tell my clients that it is easier to live in a staged home for a short time than an unstaged, cluttered home with many price reductions for months on end.  Hope you sell your home soon. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) over 7 years ago

Chris, and if you work from home, it gets even more difficult to be ready for a showing at any given moment.    Your home looks great, and sure it will sell quickly.   

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 7 years ago

Hi Gloria - Thanks for your comments!  Yes, we plan to stay close by--just in a smaller home.  A stand-alone condominium sounds very attractive.

Hi Roy - My wife certainly appreciates your advice!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Rose - Just remind your clients to watch that they don't back into anything.  : )

Hi Janet - Yes, it makes a lot of sense to be ready all the time.

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Joan - It is very difficult to work from home and sell your house at the same time.  My wife is on the computer all the time at home keeping the business under control, and I am there when I am not physically meeting with clients.  Usually we get more done working from home; right now that not be the case . . . Perhaps we'll show up at the office more often.  : )

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I have a funny feeling that someone is going to scoop that house real fast.  You've done a grea job preparing it for sale! 

Posted by Karen Bernetti over 7 years ago

Hi Chris - Great post! I know how hard it is living "on stage" and the incredible relief when the house sells and you can move on.

Posted by Judy Klem, Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties (Transition Stage LLC) over 7 years ago

Hi Chris - I always admired people who have their homes on the market.  I have not moved in quite a while but I can certainly appreciate all the work of having your house show-ready!  I am thinking of moving in the near future though so I now have a lot to think about--getting the house ready, dog. cat, showings, etc.  Good luck with it!

Posted by Peggy Chirico, REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate (Prudential CT Realty) over 7 years ago

We forget how hard it is to live in a showroom... great post

Posted by Michael (Mike) Robinson, CRS, CIPs, REALTOR (Broadmoor Realty, Inc.) over 7 years ago

With an almost 5 year old daughter and a large "I like to shed" dog, the thought of keeping my house in ready-to-sell mode is overwhelming.  Good luck with the sale.

Posted by Kevin Kueneke, San Diego Mortgage Banker (Caliber Home Loans) over 7 years ago

Good luck to you Chris on your sale and yes we lived in a staged home for 2 years with 2 little children and that is not easy but not one time did I back down from the perfect look home. I made sure the house was show ready at a moment's notice. It must be super easy now to now have children trapsing through destroying everything you just did.  I love how that feels when the kids are away and you realize the way you come home to the house is the way you left it! Ha.. again, good luck for you Chris!!

Posted by Tammy Emineth, Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer (Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing) over 7 years ago

Hi Chris...I missed this first time around...hope it is going well!   My husband put his home on the market a few weeks ago in anticipation of his move out here in a couple of years...we don't know how long it will take to sell and he would rather rent for the last year if that is what he needs to do!   BUt he was saying tonight he is getting rather tired of keeping up the home and he keeps an immaculate home!   LOL

Posted by Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady! (Keller Williams Realty Boise) over 7 years ago

Ah yes... and even stagers should hire OTHER stagers to stage their homes.  Just like doctors, we should not try to operate on ourselves.  Living in a staged home is not fun.... not by any means (well, unless you actually are a minimalist neat freak that can still manage to keep a warm, inviting and non-sterile environment).  Still, if you want to make the most out of your home sale, it is vital. 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 7 years ago

Chris, in reading your post, I am taking a quick look around the house and have a great deal of sympathy. If we can talk the talk, then we should also be able to walk the walk.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Chris:

Wonderful house and beautiful grounds.  What a perfect place to raise a family, although I know am not suppose to say that.  Living in a staged house must be tough.  We so glibly ask our clients to keep their houses in perfect condition all the time and we don't even know what that is like.  I guess now you know.  I think I just might move out and rent until the house is sold.  Good luck with your sale.  Nice post.  Thanks

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 7 years ago

Hi All - Just tuning back in after being slammed with the spring market (thank goodness).  Let's hope it keeps up this crazy pace!

Karen - Thanks for your reblog.  The showings are going well with lots of great feedback.  As a seller we have to remember that not every showing is a ready buyer--many have properties to sell, are just starting to look, or many other reasons that they are not quite ready.  Patience is another virtue for every seller!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Judy - Thanks for your nice comments.  My wife is already making decorating plans for the next house after what we have learned on this staging this one.  I thought I would be able to relax after selling!  : )

Hi Peggy - If you are thinking about putting your house on the market, I suggest you start your "to do" list now.  Number 1 lesson is that the "to do" list is never blank.

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Mike - You are so right!  Thanks.

Hi Kevin - Very happy that we have no pets during this time!  That will have to wait till after the move.  Maybe my wife will finally let me get another Bulldog then!!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

This is something that every Realtor should have to do at least once, so they can understand and empathize with their sellers.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 7 years ago

Living in a showroom is not going to be easy, but it does give you empathy for our customer's who have to keep their homes in pristine condition all the time.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Hi Tammy - No small children and no pets does make for a much easier staging/showing time!  But as my wife and I both work from home (or from the car in my case), sometimes we still have to run around at the last minute.  This spring market has kept us both hopping (even on Easter Sunday).

Hi Deborah - It is amazing how a clean house is not all it takes for staging.  You have to walk out of a room backward to be sure everything is in its place.  Hopefully it will pay off for your husband soon!!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Melissa - Interesting point!  I have the benefit of a large office of very active REALTORS that I work with, and I had a group stop by just before putting the house on the market.  Then the rest of the office came by just after putting it on, and the rest of the REALTORS in town were invited two days later.  All gave constructive feedback to help get the staging right. 

Hi Ed - It is one thing to LIVE in a house and another thing entirely to MARKET it.  : )  But when downsizing, lots of things have to go anyway, so Goodwill and Helping Hands have benefitted greatly from this downsizing!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Evelyn - Or at least encourage the college age children to hang out at their friends houses this summer.  : )  NO, not really. 

Hi Alan - Funny you should say that--I have moved many times over the years, but it is a whole new world out there now to have your home ready for showings.  I thought I knew what it would be like, but I guess it was time for a refresher course!!

Hi Eileen - It does give a REALTOR a lot more credit when you tell a prospective seller that they need to paint with today's colors, pack up many things, and make updates to the home that you had been planning to do for years (but never did).  I then say "I know because I am doing it myself."

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

We are very, very slowly working toward getting our "too big now" house ready to put on the market too - and it sure does make you have a LOT of empathy for sellers!  Yours looks amazing tho - I bet you will soon be posting about moving to your next house!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 7 years ago

Great Article.  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Matthew Desaulniers, Phoenix Real Estate - 602-845-9440 (Welcome Home Realty) over 7 years ago

I haven't had the pleasure of living in a staged house.I don't know how these families with kids and pets do it! 

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) over 7 years ago

I cant move for a while because I dont think I could keep the house clean.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) over 7 years ago

Gosh, it's so hard to live like the people on T.V. Some times you just gotta do it, Good luck, happy moving.

Posted by Janine Boulay-Seibert, NC & GA Real Estate Broker (Remax Town & Country) over 7 years ago

Chris, we started a home tending business in May of last year. We decided to "work for ourselves" in November by becoming home tenders ourselves. We're in our second home since then and it's become second nature. As per our agreement, the showing service only has to give our home tenders a 15 minute courtesy call. The same rule applies to us...no exemptions or special treatment. :-)

My 12 year old daughter is only with us two weeks of the month. I've decided that we will tell her we're home tending until she's 18 even if we're not because her room is always spotless. Her dad "claims" he has the same rules at his house so she's becoming quite the little "tidy-upper." It works well for us and has given us first hand experience. We are able to better screen and prepare our home tenders for the "life on a stage" lifestyle. Great post!

Posted by Toni Hogan (ToniHogan.com) over 7 years ago

Nice home. I had to sell a house that way a year ago.  It was tough.

Posted by Steven Wright, CRS - Home Real Estate - 720-989-5283 (Home Real Estate) over 7 years ago
Easy ad slogan for you...If anyone can, Chris Can sell your home or field...Chris Canfield.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) over 7 years ago

Good morning Chris.

That is a great post...You did everything "by the book"...

From my own experience I must tell you, that within a few years the kids get married and than, the grand children are

born...They always come back...I too have a big house, and when they all come back for a visit...The house is no large...

Best of luck.

Posted by Joshua Zargari, MJ Decorators Workshop (MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating) over 7 years ago
I did live in my staged home with 2 children under 6 - no fun! Good luck on the sale.
Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) over 7 years ago

Chris, with all the preparation and daily routine to keep your home looking good, I'm sure it will sell soon. Best of luck!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 7 years ago

Congratulations on the Feature!  I just had to reblog and share this.  It's always good to know that professionals take their own advice!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 7 years ago

Hi Nancy - One of the biggest tasks to get ready to sell is to get rid of most of your belongings (packed, sold, or donated).  The funny thing is that once you get started, you find that it is easier and easier to say "I don't really NEED this!"  Good luck!!

Hi Rosalie - Kids and pets add a whole new dimension!  My biggest thing was getting the not-so-little kids to part with their unused stuff.  However, they too found it easier and easier as they got into the task.

 

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Chuck - That is just too true for most people!!  : )

Hi Janine - Good point--how do those folks on TV keep their houses so clean?  I love how on HGTV it is all about the "open house."  In other words, they don't even expect people to keep it up for the everyday (and real buyer) showings!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Toni - I am afraid I would not be able to live like that on a regular basis.  Sometimes you just don't feel like doing the dishes!  : )

Hi Steven - And now you can tell your sellers "yes, I do understand" and MEAN it!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Cheryl - I will have to give that one some serious thought! 

Hi Joshua - I guess I will have to face the grandchild issue when it comes along.  Hopefully that won't be for a few years yet . . . I am too young to be a grandfather!  : )  (Not really.)

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Stacey-Ann - The house that I listed today has the same problem.  Sat the kids down to explain that the house is on the market and we have to keep everything in order.  Everyone agreed.  The mom said "they went off to school this morning, and left the same disaster as always."  NOT easy!

Hi Michael - Lots of interest, but homes to sell on the other side.  Hopefully they will pick up staging tips from me!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Sharon - Thanks for the reblog!  It is hard taking our own advice, but if we won't listen to ourselves how can we expect others to listen to us!?

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

hahaha! My husband thinks he's mastered the art of separating the clean and dirty dishes in the dishwasher if we only have a few minutes to prepare for a showing. I just smile and turn the dishwasher on when we get back before he tries to take the "clean" ones out. :-)

Posted by Toni Hogan (ToniHogan.com) over 7 years ago

Chris, great post! Good to have the ability to say'I've been there' to people and you have handy tips for your sellers then too! Thanx to Sharon for the re-blog, I missed it the first time 'round.

Posted by Peg Barcelo, The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC (Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369) over 7 years ago

Hi Toni - Well we slip some of the non-dishwasher coffee cups into the dishwasher when we only have a few minute's warning, so I hope you don't stop by and turn it on!  : )

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

It's really difficult living on a stage as you say. That's another great reason to price the house so that it sells quickly.

Posted by Retired Notworking over 7 years ago

Hi Peg - It is great to be able to say I've been there, but being there recently is even more telling!  : )

Hi Colleen - Yes, pricing right is still key, especially if you don't want to live on that stage forever!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Hi Chris - what great insight you offer your clients!  Julie

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) over 7 years ago

Hi Julie - Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to live it to have that insight!?

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I love this post, Chris.  I just finished staging a home, and made a point of telling the sellers "remember, don't use the decorative towels"!  Those poor people.  I bet every time they reach for those towels, they can hear me nag!  I wish you a speedy sale!

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) over 7 years ago

Hi Sally - Ah yes, the towels.  : )  Can't imagine having little ones trying to remember not to touch the towels!

Hi Valerie - Thanks!  Well, at least I have gotten a number of reblogs out of living in a staged home!

Posted by Chris Canfield, Homes for Sale in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

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