After 3 weeks, over a dozen showings, and one offer, our house is still on the market. I eagerly read articles titled "How to Sell Your Home" and listen to the real estate show on the radio for secrets in this slow market. Last week the gal on the radio said that what every home needs is outside sprucing up so the warm weather found me weeding and sweeping the street in front of the house. Yesterday I got a new magazine that featured an article about staging a home for sale, promising a speedy and lucrative closing.
Staging is a step beyond cleaning and de-cluttering a home- it is de-personalizing it so it resembles a model. Apparently if a buyer sees pristine, sparse, and neutral decor then they are more likely to purchase. The suggestions include taking down personal items, taking out toys and photos, keeping garbage cans out of sight, removing everything from the front of the fridge, putting away small appliances from the counter, and removing rugs. So I immediately got to work, even though I really needed to do a bit of school with the kids, make dinner, and visit my mother in the hospital. I did clean out the hall closet, then reality hit. There are 7 people living in this house and we aren't gone all day at work or school- we live here, this staging thing is impossible. Where am I supposed to put the trash can? Do I want the children to think I am ashamed of our Catholic faith by taking down icons and statues? Do I want to fight with everyone else every day about having games and stuffed animals on their beds rather than hidden in the attic? Why should I take down photos of family and friends? Do I want to have to lug the toaster out every time I want to make toast?
The house itself is beautiful and is clean and tidy. It will sell and I don't need to stage it or bury St. Joseph in the yard to have it happen.