Have You Ever Tried Living on a Stage?
I 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.
The 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.
Now 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.