Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Real Estate Staging: FSBO: Cozy house, no plumbing

Sold my house today. Yea, that's right, even in this market. Got multiple offers, too.

And it was a pretty small house, say 6 square feet, tops.

Ok...actually it was a Little Tikes firehouse, bought two years ago for my son, Jude. It had all sorts of cool features, a basketball hoop, soccer net, gas hose, cell phone. But, mostly what I liked about it: It was a house. It was something to Halloween, a haunted house; at Christmas, with a wreath; in the summer, with a little flower garden.

My husband had his doubts from the start:

"Think he'll play with it?"
"Of course I will! I mean, he will."

So we plunked down cold hard credit card and brought it home.

Jude liked throwing mud at it. And climbing on the roof. (A recent exchange: "Off the roof, you'll break your neck." Jude: "Can I do it when you aren't looking?")

So I sold it, to make way for a swing set. No problem. Woman with twin 20-month-old boys is going to pick it up. She said the kids need fresh air. But I saw that look in her eye...

As you can tell, I'm an expert at selling homes (OK, I also stage real homes for a living), so here's a tip for making your house seem bigger.

Expand your living space by creating outdoor rooms. If you’ve got a deck, add a table and chairs, pillows, lemonade and glasses. If you’ve got a garden, tuck in a bench with a throw blanket on it.

If you’ve got a patio, add a few chaise lounges and magazines.

The message: Come on in. Have a seat. There’s plenty of room.

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