I had a new mantra today. “I love my chaos!” Getting a house ready to list is a unique experience unto itself.
Today I realized that I have never sold a house using a Realtor. Now the interesting part is that I have helped hundreds, if not close to a thousand people, buy and sell houses all over North America but I’ve never done this with my house while using a “professional”. It’s almost like an Obstetrician who has never had a child of their own. When (assuming we are talking about a female doctor) they get pregnant themselves…everything can be perceived differently.
For someone who once led a group of relocation real estate counselors in various locations around North America…this is a new experience – always a good thing even if it does involve some chaos (I’ll circle back to that shortly). I’ve only owned 2 homes. The first I purchased in my late 20s with my mom as our real estate agent. When I sold that house I did it privately as by that point I had 5 years of real estate counselling under my belt and figured I knew enough. Ha!!
Then I purchased this house from my brother – privately – and my brother purchased our mom’s house – privately – and she built (I got to help with the architectural design changes!). By then my mom was mostly retired from real estate but between us we got all the paperwork done the way it needed to be be done.
So…now we’re selling and we’ve selected this very experienced team who are well versed in the area, know what the market is currently doing and have counselled us accordingly. I’m doing my utmost to be a reasonable person and avoid being one of ‘those’ people. You know the type…they are experienced in the field so think they know everything and don’t really listen using their experience because now it’s THEIR house we’re talking about and…well, they become an agents worst nightmare.
Hence the CHAOS!
I’m not complaining in any way nor am I implying the team told us we had to do any of these things. They did however explain (again logic and totally understood factors based upon my experience) that if we wish to maximize the market appeal, and therefore increase the value of our home, there were things we could do.
We knew we needed to “declutter” (one of those fun real estate buzz words which means get rid of all your personal crap). BUT removing 50% of the furniture in the house was a bit unexpected. I get it though. Their phrase “less is more” is true. You do NOT need to have a piece of furniture on every wall. Unfortunately we did!
We knew we may need to “neutralize” the decor (again another buzz word for paint rooms something which does not stand out – allowing most people to like what you have). HOWEVER I did not anticipate painting the entire house. Totally our choice as there were a few rooms we had originally agreed did not need to be painted but they did warn us that they may stick out – which they did. So to coin another phrase “in for a penny, in for a pound”. It makes the entire house fresh, bright and neutral and will maximize buyer appeal.
We now have a crawl space full of furniture and stuff; mostly not sorted as timing is now and sorting to move with only a small amount of stuff takes time. We have some of our rooms starting to take shape but it’s still a bit upside down and 2 more rooms to paint before we can start finalizing the furniture placement. My office was my kitchen table today…which on the positive side allowed for a change of scenery and first dibs on the banana bread when it came out of the oven. There is ALWAYS a positive side!