Moving – Party of One

As a stager, I really have never given a lot of thought to the “whys” that people are moving. They usually tell me the reasons, but I don’t put that much stock in it. It’s not that I am missing a sensitivity chip, it is just that my concerns are always about the demographics of the neighborhood and the psychographics of the projected buyer, and the best way for Bella Casa to market this home to get the best price for the seller and the home sold fast.

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In my defense, at Bella Casa, since we own our inventory and can react immediately to our client’s needs, we specialize in Vacant Stagings, and I don’t really need to get into the “whys” for the move.

Recently, I have made the hard decision to put my own house on the market. My husband passed away two years ago, and it’s time for me to move forward. The house is too big and too much for me to handle alone. Every time something breaks down; so do I. If you notice, I use the word “house”, not home, because that is all it is to me now. I’ve acknowledged this and made peace with this decision. I haven’t decided where I am going, but that will come in time.

As a designer my house is…well let’s just say unique! Certainly not everyone’s taste (no, my 7 foot wizard in my dining room is not included in the sale!) As a Stager, I know what needs to be done, and it really should be easy for me, but quite the opposite is true. Everything holds a memory that immobilizes me, and makes what should be a very simple process for me, hard.

My best friend Wendy also lost her husband unexpectedly a little over seven months ago, and while she has already listed; the house is not market ready. Wendy and Bill’s home is also exquisite, a feast for the eyes…like walking into a fine gallery, but quite taste specific, and much too distracting for a prospective buyer to understand the beauty and value of the house itself. We have decided, with her Realtor’s blessing, she will TOM – temporarily off the market, while we edit and stage.

Why TOM? Once you list a home, the clock is ticking. The longer a house is on the market; the prospective buyer will assume you are either desperate to sell, or there is something wrong with the house. Never list until your house is MLS photo and market ready.

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Bella Casa will be doing our first “pajama party stage” with Wendy’s house. She has invited her closest girlfriends, there will be wine, food and loud music involved, and we will start tagging the items that will be sold in an estate sale, and packing items not needed for staging purposes that she will take to her new “home”.

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Within a month, she will re-list, and be market ready.

So what is the purpose of this musing? Twofold: First and foremost, whether the house is a vacant or an occupied, I will never see with only clinical eyes again. Every house was once a home and as Wendy and I both know “home” was a beautiful word. Secondly: This may sound strange, especially since Staging is my profession, and that I have seen the power of home staging…selling my house and Wendy’s house has reinforced my commitment and belief in Home staging BEFORE you list. However you do it, just do it…call your friends for help, or better yet, call Bella Casa!

Well, off to the mall…who knew that new pajamas would be part of my staging tools!

In Loving Memory of Lenny and Bill

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