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Monday, July 28, 2008

Stage-struck

This will not be a normal week on this blog. Since half the world is away at RWA in San Francisco, I think we'll do without markets and writing news this week in lieu of life in general.

So I interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to bring you the latest on how to prepare a house for sale.

I've discovered there is a whole other subculture when it comes to buying and selling houses. Last week, I learned about staging, how to decorate a house to make it ready to sell.

I am a pretty fair decorator, in as much that when people walk into my home I get the usual ahhs and oohs. But last week, my friend Mel, taught me about staging.

We walked room by room and she rattled off a list of things I needed to move out, move around or change. Gar, my precious gargoyle, which we've had in one home or another for our entire married life--GONE. A huge old English oak sideboard--GONE.

My paintings were in the wrong rooms. And an enormous Chinese enameled bowl got a new address. Even my studio was rearranged to showcase a painting "in progress" next to a meticulously staged still life of paintbrushes and palette.

What we couldn't change right away, I took down as notes.

My dear, dear friend is taking an entire day off from work just so she can help me "dress" the house this coming Friday. Is that a true friend, or what?

Even though the house wasn't ready, the realtor already had people interested in seeing it. I hope that's a good sign.

My next door neighbor is also selling his house. I think his has prettier landscaping, but we have more elegant touches inside our home. The bathroom is entirely custom with marble walls, a spa tub and his and hers vanities. The kitchen is gorgeous, with brand new cabinets and a marble and tumbled stone backsplash. It too was specially customized.

It pays to sleep with a really handy guy. :o)

I'll try to post some pictures by Saturday so I can show off some of the things Greg has built for me.

In the coming weeks I'll post a few updates, especially if I learn anything useful that you can use too.

Buying a house: We've bought quite a few homes in our lifetime, but this last one has to be very special. Greg and I have agreed that we do not want to settle for "okay". We want a home that will be comfortable, a town that is friendly and city services that are dependable.

We found one. We're not ready to put a bid on it yet because it's only been on the market a couple of weeks. But it definitely rates at the top of our search.

The one thing I've learned about shopping for homes is that you have to visit quite a few in order to establish a feel for what you like, and what you don't like. And then of course, you have to think about your significant other. How do his desires fit in?

It's been a very long and hard week when it comes to house hunting and selling. But we're definitely in the ballpark of goals.

More house updates (and pictures) by Saturday for sure!

4 comments:

Heather B. Moore said...

I look forward to seeing the pictures. We are looking to sell our house too. But I'm waiting till school starts for the kids--it's impossible to keep it clean with them hanging around all day :)

J.K. Coi said...

Maria, good luck! I went through that process two years ago and I never want to do it again.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi JK!
I'll try to make it to your chat tonight if I can get home in time.

My hubby is not too crazy about the disruptions, but he's been a good sport.

What's really going to be hard is the actual moving. Oy, my aching back! LOL!

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Heather!
I will definitely post pictures. Someone ought to see all the work we've done. LOL!

Keeping the house clean is the hard part for me too--and I don't even have kids. I like to have stuff on my counters, but nooooo, every surface has to be free of clutter.

I am learning a lot about staging though. I feel like I'm on one of those home and garden shows on tv. I'm lucky my friend is so good at this stuff.