A quick update. Our house officially hit the market Monday afternoon. Since then it has been a flurry of appointment calls, showings and vacating the house. We are lucky, while our house is quirky (which is realtor speak for lack of flow) we live on a desirable street in a desirable town. The more showings the better and I am not complaining.
BUT–this whole exercise has been a learning experience.
The staging process is a whole new world. While my stager (who I loved!) made the house look lovely, she also made the house soul-less. A blank canvas for potential buyers to picture themselves in. Since we watch a lot of HGTV, we knew to expect this–but when it is your house, it is quite unnerving.
Everything is placed perfectly. All photographs and personal items are removed. Sparse furnishings. Very little wall art. It is made to look like a model home. Only not really, because our house is more than fifty years old.
Every morning when my girls go to school I scurry to their rooms and remove their bedding. I replace said bedding with beautiful, crisp, fluffy white comforters. The kind of comforter that no mother in her right mind would ever have in their kids room because it would be ruined in a New York minute. But in staged land, this is all normal and natural.
Same for the bathrooms. Beautiful, untouched, fluffy white towels. Toilet lids down, curtains open. New bar of pristine white soap.
What do people think when they walk through? Does it register that this can’t possibly be the way people live in the house? Or are they painting the blank canvas in their heads?
And then there is the kitchen. I love to cook and my kitchen is normally the most active room in my house. But now? Only three decorative items on the counters. Gone are my toaster, Cuisinart, Blendtec and other cooking tools and assorted seasonings that I always leave out.
I get that this is so the kitchen looks as big and clean as possible. But having to go up and down to the basement for the toaster every day makes me laugh. And what about people who don’t have a basement? Where do they put all their appliances when they are selling their houses?
Oh my gosh, and then there are the lights! In our house, we are always turning off lights and unplugging gadgets. We are conscious of the environment and like to do our part. So putting every single light on in the house for every single showing really goes against the grain. I have to actively hold my hands back from switching them off as I leave the house.
After the lights, it is time to leave. I grab our dog Toby (poor thing–he can’t figure out what the heck is going on) and we jump in the car to go kill the 30 or 60 minutes. There are not many places to go when it is cold and you have a dog with you. We basically hang out together in the car.
When we come inside after the showing we go back through each room turning all the lights off again. I haven’t timed myself or counted lights, but there are a lot!
We continue to live in this strange stark landscape of a house. It feels sterile and not much like home. It has been an unsettled week in a new and unknown land. Fingers crossed that this is a very short term exercise.
To be continued…..
I loved all your advice and words of comfort last week. It is so nice to know that I am not alone and that people have survived this process! If you have any more words of wisdom, please leave a comment below. It means more than you know.