I never deny the fact that I have a love/hate relationship with HGTV stemming from a love of the show 'Househunters' but with the concern that the very same show is raising potential buyers' expectations to impossible heights. Yes, you guessed it, we are trying to sell our house and we are definitely running into buyers who are clearly not only watching the show, but taking copious notes as well. This weekend, I stumbled across the HGTV magazine and an article on what a seller should do to prep his home for a quick sale. I read the article and I think I passed out from the shock of it, but once I came to, I realized for certain that we may never sell our home.
The article was filled with little tidbits like removing 50% of the contents of your closets so that the potential buyer thinks you have ample closet space. Okay, where do we put the 50% we just removed? We can certainly not put it in a spare room (if we had one) because then we would take up valuable floor space thus making that room seem smaller than it already is--a realtor no-no. Shall we then rent storage space? Who is paying for that monthly bill and what happens if the seasons change while we are trying to sell and we need those items back in our now half-empty closets? Frustrating, yup? I also read where sellers should replace soap with fresh bars or bottles before each showing. Seriously? Likewise, neutralizing paint colors--i.e. repainting those designer colors you fell in love with for those with a tone more appealing to the masses. Quite frankly, we don't have the money nor the time for this foolishness and buyers need to have some vision when traipsing through the homes of others.
I have always taken great pride in the way I keep my home with clutter to a minimum, daily vacuuming and colorizing my closets--yes, all of them. If a potential buyer cannot look beyond the fact that we are still living here without the disposable income to reduce our closet contents by half, repaint and top off our soap bottles before every showing, maybe he should stick to looking at new construction exclusively. That way someone else's life will not be in the way of the buyer's 'visualizing himself in the space' (that is realtor-speak for a buyer trying to decide if he likes your house or not).