Friday, September 28, 2012

So You're Selling Your House? A Guide to Not Actually Living in It

Congratulations on making the first step down a long road of insanity.  After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a “for sale” sign in your front yard.  If you’re reading this, then you have obviously made the absolutely crazy decision to sell your house.  Yay!  Allow me to let you in on a few secrets that will ease this transition from a fairly sane, functional human being into a screaming, crazy shell of humanity.

  1. Firstly, you’ll want to stage your house.  Staging is a Latin term that means “your taste sucks.”  A good stager will begin by telling you that all of your stuff is ugly.  You will then be encouraged to relocate said stuff into a facility where no one, ever, will be exposed to it (storage facility or large dumpster.  Take your pick.)  After this step is complete, you will be forced to hang art from Ikea over your fireplace and have a fake bowl of fruit on your kitchen table at all times.  Apparently fake pears are a necessary evil in the quest to sell your house. 
  2. You will also be forced to make your bed.  Every. Single. Morning.  And not only will you need to make your bed, but you’ll need to hide the pillows that are actually used for sleeping and replace them with large, uncomfortable “pretty” pillows.  Random props will also be placed on your bed that will give your bedroom the feeling of living in a Pottery Barn showroom.  These, of course, need to be taken off at night and replaced in the morning because normal people don’t live like this.  But normal people don’t sell houses.
  3. You’re going to want to utilize the idea of a “morning checklist” when your house is on the market.  This will help you to know that your house will look perfect in the off chance that you will get an impromptu showing during the day.  An example of mine:
    1. Throw any dirty towels, socks, or ascots into the washing machine before walking out the door.  You wouldn’t want people to be grossed out by your ascot.  And heaven forbid they think you wear socks.
    2. I also throw in any dirty dishes that I haven’t washed yet.  I do this because my dishwasher is still full of clean clothes that I haven’t had time to unload due to the fact that I recently ran my nonstick sauté pan through the delicate cycle and broke my washing machine. 
    3. Take a look around.  If anything is out that would look out of place at a Williams & Sonoma photo shoot, hide it.  I’ve utilized my refrigerator as a place to hide tennis shoes, remote controls, and the occasional feather boa.  I try to keep electronics in the low humidity crisper and I’ve found I’ve actually gotten better reception to the TV because of it. 
  4. A fun game to play to take your mind off of the fact that you’re living in a catalog is the “Where Did I Hurriedly Stuff (Whatever Item You’re Searching For) This Morning?”  Get the kids involved as you scramble to figure out where you threw your sunglasses, cell phone charger, or yard rake before a showing.  Popular hiding places in our house include the fireplace, under the couch, and the trunk of my car.  You would be surprised how many yard implements can be stuffed in the trunk of a Honda Civic.  

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