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Monday, July 28, 2008


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!


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.