Ed Note – Maria De Guzman is a licensed real estate agent by day and wants to share her real estate knowledge and stories with you.
Maria, through her stories, will take you through the intricacies of staging, timing, buying and selling properties from a realtor’s perspective. As Maria writes this series for Stittsville Central, we hope you enjoy and find her tips, tricks and client lessons learned to be helpful when you purchase or sell your home.
In the life of a realtor, contracts, price agreements and conditions more or less come after intriguing stories. Sometimes home owners have repairs to be made before they move; some, life issues to resolve and the home unfortunately has to be sold.
This is what happened to Frank and Elizabeth, a couple who decided to move in together at Frank’s Barrhaven house — a freehold town home filled with two household’s worth of furniture.
After a few years of living together, they decided to sell and find a bigger house in Kanata, closer to Frank’s work.
After finding the right realtor, they were advised to hire a ‘Stager’. They followed this advice and after a two-hour house consultation, the ‘Stager’ suggested: they move half of the furniture out; only have the minimal of clothes and shoes in the closets; paint their walls with two light tones so the rooms appeared brighter; add a bowl of fresh fruit to their dining room table; place new kitchen towels and a cozy plant in the kitchen; clean the windows inside and out; and finally, remove the curtains to show the view. They were so pleased with the Stager’s advice, who not only showed them how to present the house in a way to sell faster and for more money, but made them adapt to life with less furniture. The removal of personal pictures and religious objects is integral for the sale of any home. To place stored items in uniform boxes showing they were organized and the fact they were moving was a necessity. The couple started to work on this project to present a house that was spacious and bright for weekend showings — not stopping until this task was completed.
However, in the meantime, as they were packing and sorting, they started to find small, ugly creatures coming from the laundry room located in the basement — Frank trapped and killed 13 mice. This new situation made them not only upset, but nervous on how to present these visitors to the realtor and future buyers.
The realtor advised the couple to call an extermination company which they did. The exterminator discovered that the mice were entering the home from a hole he found in the laundry room that was connected to the sewer. The problem was quickly solved.
And that wasn’t all. A tornado hit the area eight days before their first open house removing the shingles on the front side of the roof. What sort of warm welcome would this present when trying to sell your home? Thankfully, the couple’s insurance policy covered this unwelcome cost.
All of the hard work was well worth Frank and Elizabeth’s efforts. The house sold in four days!
To complete this drama, the moving company they had hired quit moving their belongings at 4:00 pm leaving them stranded without finishing the job. Frank and Elizabeth quickly put a plan into action and rented a truck. They eventually finished the move by 2:00 am. Knowing the new buyers would be arriving with their “menage” at 9:00 AM to the couple’s old residence and being exhausted at this point, Frank and Elizabeth still had to return to the old house to clean it again. It was on this return trip, with Elizabeth driving, that the truck ran out of gas. What could happen next?
From this comedy of disasters, as a Realtor, I strongly advise that you choose a reputable moving company to ensure that moving day goes smoothly. Moving is a big business that we cannot risk.
It is always helpful to hire a professional to ‘stage’ your home – they see things that you don’t as you are accustomed to your surroundings and overlook many details.
(This true story was modified to protect the privacy of the clients. Any coincidence is just happenstance.)
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