Friday Farm Functionals: Unloading the Town House
I know we need to sell the town house. I just have questions about the methodology. Specifically, I wonder, do you think one needs to rent a few choice pieces of nice furniture and tasteful artwork to "stage" a house for sale? I know that, five years ago, the answer would have been, "Hell, no! Just vacuum real well and put a sign out front." The times, though, they are a changin'.
We've hired this real estate agent. She's really hard core. She does everything in the world to make a sale. Also, I like her. That goes a ways, too, I think.
So, she suggested this "stager".
"You don't have to go with her, necessarily, but I think it would be in your best interest to at least have her go in and take a look, see what suggestions she might have." Well, okay.
We met at the house this morning. Oh my god. I have the worst taste in the world, I've found. At least, I have the least generic taste possible. Non-salable taste in home furnishings. That's me. About halfway through our hour and a half walk through our home, as The Stager was giving more hints and tips, I just wanted to crawl into a little ball and rock a bit, you know? Or maybe deal with thirty or so really belligerent teens or participate in a car wreck or, you know, something more pleasant that discussing drape colors. The thing that really blew my mind was that, somehow, at some point in time, I just became so completely out of it. Apparently, for instance, wallpaper went out of fashion when I was still in college.
Anyway, this lady, "The Stager," doesn't do the remodeling work herself, but she has a son-in-law who does. And, also, she rents out the furniture and tasteful art, buys the paint colors oh-so-carefully, etc. And our wonderful real estate agent thinks The Stager is a miracle worker.
The Miracle Worker and the Wonderful Real Estate Agent left me in front of the house with a list of twenty or more things, feeling terribly overwhelmed.
I don't like the Miracle Worker. It's probably just my "shoot the messenger" instinct, but I don't like her. She wears so much make-up. I'm suspicious of women who wear too much make-up (but not men who do). What are they trying to hide? (Men who wear too much make-up are clearly hiding that they are men, right? So I can trust them.)
So, I went to my dear friend and neighbor who, conveniently, loves to remodel. (Dear Friend does not wear make-up, but he should! He would look so hot.) I vented a little, I asked him to help me, and he said,
"I could be a stager. I should be a stager." Truthfully, I had only called on him to beg him to remodel my kitchen. Yet I was intrigued.
"Okay. Let's go over and tell me what you would do."
He then walked through our house and, amazingly, said pretty much all of the exact same twenty odd things- the painting, the new light fixtures, the cabinets, that wall that nobody can stand- that the Miracle Worker had said, and then he added a few. But then, here's the kicker: he offered to do all of the work himself for an absurdly low price. I've seen his work, and he is every bit as good as a professional, and best of all, he apparently has taste that's really in style right now. He knew all about the horrors of wallpaper, for instance.
Wow. Friends are great, aren't they? We've hired Dear Friend to do the "updates" as people so fashionably call them in the twenty-first century. (I live in the nineteenth century, I think. You can tell from my blog.)
The only real difference between Dear Friend's ideas and Miracle Worker's ideas is that Dear Friend does not at all believe in putting pretty furniture and drapes, etc. into the house. He thinks you should leave it empty (but beautiful) and the buyers can then picture their belongings in the house easier. (I should note here that Dear Friend does have a little experience in selling homes, though not a lot.) The Miracle Worker, on the other hand, believes people can't picture themselves living there without a few "hints," as she calls them: art, furniture, flowers, drapes, etc. She offers these things for rent. She also charges for other services, which I can't quite figure out- because she seems to have given us all of her advice for free. What else is there? She charges for a written estimate, but I'm not sure what she's estimating ... it's awkward, this money issue with the Miracle Worker.
Dear readers, who is correct? Is a house better empty or a little bit full? Is the Miracle Worker just trying to rent out furniture, or is it really necessary? Is Dear Friend just being "a guy," as they say, and casting away flowers because they are flowers? I just don't know. I just don't know. Help!