Our House in Real Life Versus Set up For Showings
The alternate title is: "How we sold our house while living in it with three kids, two dogs and a partridge in a pear tree" I just have to say, thank GD I don't have a pear tree. Or a Partridge. But we might get a mini pig. Or a parrot. So...
You guys! I can't even believe I'm writing this, but everything came together for us. Our house is in escrow, we're in escrow on a beautiful home on almost an acre of land in Austin, and we have a move date and a going-away-party coming up this weekend. The surreal is rapidly becoming reality.
I've lived in Los Angeles for almost 12 years and Matt has been here his whole life. It's not easy to leave, even knowing that we want the lifestyle that's waiting for us on the other end of this. I came across a quote today: "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." Winnie The Pooh. Such a great little philosopher.
Anyway, this week I'm writing about what it was like showing our house while living in it with all the babies -- human, and fur -- plus my tips on those extra touches to make your house sparkle. Let me know in the comments if you have any tricks or tips to add!
I honestly thought it was going to be a lot more painful to show our house than it actually was. That being said, we only did one open house, just for brokers, and most of the scheduled showings were during the day while the kids were at school, and then summer camp.
I have to admit, I actually really like setting up my house for showings. On an average day, I probably spend about 60-90 minutes on the house and laundry anyway (when Shep goes down for his nap), and when we have a showing, I'd guess I put in an extra 15 minutes or so.
I don't mind putting in this work for two reasons:
1). With a family our size with young children, if I don't take the time to "set things back to base" AKA 'everything in its place', the stuff would literally never get put back where it belongs. I've worked so hard to become organized and it feels so good to know where everything is when you need it.
2) I use the time as sort of a walking meditation. I always have. I sort of zone out and just process whatever's going on in my day or in my head. Recently, I've been throwing on my headphones and listening to Oprah's Super Soul Podcasts on Spotify, or I'll throw on the Think Up App or listen to my favorite playlist.
Here are some photos of what our house looks like in the morning after the kids leave versus how I set it up for a showing. A before and after, of sorts:
Before (Real Life) After (Staged Life)
My motto through this was 'grace, not perfection'. I think a home can look well loved, lived in, and put together at the same time. Unless Shepherd is around. Then it's more 'lived in' than 'put together'.
Here are a few other tips that feel like finishing touches to me:
1). Trader Joe's flowers. They're beautiful. They last a week. They're $6.99. I buy them every week anyway, cause I love that hygge, but it doesn't hurt while sellin' a house. I also lit my favorite candles.
3. Our dogs are 11-years-old. It wasn't practical for me to leave each and every time with whichever kids were home and Chai and Coco, so our realtor, who is also our neighbor, would come in, give our toy poodle and sheltie a "good girl treat" and then put them in our garage for a few minutes. Most of the potential sellers were happy to let our grandma doggies come walk through the house with them.
It's about give-and-take. Yes, we wanted to sell the house, but no, we weren't going to break our backs to make it over-the-top perfect for a showing, or schedule walk through's over Shepherd's nap time (most of the time). On to the next chapter!