Real Estate Lessons
I've learned that houses sell best in June. There's a big drop off in September when the kids go back to school. December is pretty dead. (I already knew that, but I sold the last house in December.)
I have read lots of articles about 'staging' the house. So my house is staged. The rugs on the first floor have been rolled up, professionally cleaned and stored, exposing the hardwood, which is in great shape because it was protected by area rugs. We've painted the master bath and the laundry room, replaced all the carpet upstairs, boxed up all the knicknacks, thrown out some old chairs and an old couch...the place has a bit of an echo, but it looks 'spacious' and 'uncluttered.' This weekend we cleaned all the windows. My realtor keeps saying the house is 'light and airy'. This is real estate speak for 'you can see out the windows and the walls aren't navy and burgundy.'
Living in a house that's for sale is a little like living in a museum of your life. An idealized version, so to speak. For example, in order to make sure that the bathrooms look 'crisp' (that's a term from staging) we never actually use the towels in the bathroom. Those are the 'for show' towels. We use towels and then every evening we wash them.
When someone is coming to look at the house, I bake cookies. Then when they walk in, the house smells like cookies. Realtors say buyers are 'buying a home, not a house.' Cookies are 'homey.' Some people put a little vanilla in the microwave. Some people use a bread machine. Because I think this is a real tease, I put some of the cookies out on a plate for people looking at the house.
Tomorrow, my real estate agent (who I think is doing a very good job, by the way) is having a broker's open house. I will be gone, with the dogs, from 11:30 to 3:00. It's hard to figure out where to take a couple of dogs for three hours, but luckily, Twinsburg has a dog park. It's fenced in so you can let the dogs run. I'll take my folding chair and an advance copy of Paul Park's The White Tyger (HAH!) and sit in the park for a couple of hours. If it gets too hot, we'll all pile back in the car and go to a drive thru. Smith really understands the concept of drive thrus. They are among her favorite things in the world. Usually because of the french fries.
Tomorrow is Day 4 on the market. I imagine that in a month I'll be unlivable.