Seventeen years ago you put a sign in your yard and advertised a front yard picture to sell your home. It worked then. Today it’s all about the pictures. Pictures of every room from every angle. You can see them all on the internet without leaving your home. There are drone shots for aerials. All this to entice someone to buy my house.
We had the photographer here this week. Sounds straight forward but it’s not. Each shot is strategically set up to look like it was ripped from the pages of House Beautiful. I learned a lot about what not to include in a pictures.
Bathroom pictures had no soap dispensers and very few towels. Absolutely no toothbrushes drying out on the counter or cups or66 hand lotion. We were allowed a box of tissues and a glass container of cotton balls. Clean, sleek and it looks like no one lives there because no one could.
We moved cat trees out of rooms. No throws no matter how pretty and no hassocks or ottomans unless part of a chair set. Less is more. Always.
The picture taking took the better part of two hours. My only regret is the timing of the sale. My house looks like a private park with all the vegetation during the spring-summer-fall time frame. Now it looks just as bleak as a dessert with tones of gray. Potential buyers will miss the outdoor beauty.
As the photographer was moving this or that to make the family room look nicer, bigger or more elegant, I asked if he wanted me to remove the cat. Gracie was snoozing on the loveseat totally oblivious to the commotion. A big gray blob in the middle of a camel colored loveseat. He did a double take as he hadn’t seen her at all. No pets or pet parts (water dishes, toys, etc.) allowed in pictures so certainly no pets!
When I was house hunting, I made it a game to figure out if a house had pets. People with dogs take them along to wherever they go so the lookers have privacy. Cats mostly snooze under the beds and don’t come out.
Some people have the water and food bowls in the laundry room or near the back door – dead giveaway. Some people are more stealth and sneak them into closets. There is even a cabinet pullout for the dishes. During one showing I came upon a cat snoozing in the basement, banished there for the duration of our showing. I gave her some words of comfort. She rolled over and went back to sleep.
After all was done and I could breathe again, I started to put things back. I need soap by the sinks and the cats wanted their toys. Remembering where I had stashed things was a challenge. Cat beds were under people beds mostly. The cat trees had to be repositioned by a window.
Later in the day the beloved husband said, “Where’s my toothbrush and why are my towels thrown in a corner?” Well, oops. The house goes on the market next week. After every showing there will be a scavenger hunt to look for the essentials that people won’t think we use. We don’t want anyone thinking we are normal people with normal needs like brushing our teeth. Our friends already know just how normal we are!