We spent both Saturday and Sunday visiting homes with our realtor. Saturday we saw eight homes – much of it during heavy rain. Asha was a real trooper and despite getting lugged in and out of the car seat so many times, she held it together pretty well! Anyway, it was an eye opening experience in terms of how competitive the market currently is – both of the houses we were somewhat to very interested in received multiple offers. The house we really loved was given such a solid offer on Saturday (it’s first full day on the market) the sellers accepted, even canceling its open house on Sunday. In any case, it was also a HUGE lesson in the power of color along with the power of staging.
House #1. The house we liked was very large with great flow throughout. However, it was very dated and the colors were soooo tired. It was only my insistence on its potential that made Raj consider it. In the end, not even describing my glorious visions in detail could win out over the lack of ready appeal… not to mention the obvious cost of implementing all of these changes.
House #2. Was lovely. Raj and I both fell in love with the decor and backyard. However, it was a bit on the small side for us with little room for expansion. Ultimately that is why we decided against pursuing it but I can tell you how powerful the effect of the staging was – especially the soft, inviting, modern paint colors.
As evidence, take a look at these pictures of the same house when it was on the market in 2008 and it’s current owners bought it for $579k. It looks perfectly nice, right? Nothing that you can’t easily make your own with furnishings and such.
Now, look at the house that the current owners sold this weekend for at least $719k (yes we live in a ridiculous market). I’m sure that in addition to the above, the bathrooms were remodeled by the current owners as they were modern and fabulous. In any case, when you walk into the updated and furnished space, you feel that you can move right in and start enjoying immediately. Two strong feelings that it evoked for Raj were that it would be somewhere that he would feel good waking up and starting his day and also, somewhere that we could have friends and family over right away. Very powerful feelings!
However much I agreed with him, the space was a bit small and I kept emphasizing how we could make instant and glorious improvements to the larger home with some paint and some minor updates. If the perceived or actual value this house could go up so dramatically with few structural changes, then we should welcome the room for improvement in the larger home. In the end we couldn’t commit to a space that would be outgrown almost immediately but we also couldn’t commit to a space that required as much work as this one did…
Our realtor was helping us see past minor inconveniences and see big ones and remarked how over the last two to three years it has become important for sellers to NOT move until their house has sold as buyers need to see a house staged. She said that buyers are turned off by certain elements, often not even realizing what it is that is so unappealing to them. (This she used to help us see the beauty in a home that is currently inhabited by an older generation that embraces the style of an earlier era.)
In any case, given the love we had for the smaller house, I am on board with grays in our next home, wherever that may be. I particularly love the simplicity of the low VOC paint line from Restoration Hardware. So pretty!