Friday, March 1, 2013

The Viewing

There are several less than desirable features that go along with attempting to sell one's house. At the top of the list is "The Viewing." When I was a kid it was still very common to have viewings before a funeral. You would go to the funeral parlour and the dead person would be stretched out in a coffin, wearing much nicer clothes than they ever did when they were alive. Also, the mortician's wife, whose make-up applying skills were a bit sketchy, would have had a go at the person. The end result left you feeling like you were looking at a complete stranger.

In some ways getting our house ready to be viewed has the same feel to it. We rush around cleaning and tidying up. I purchased some plastic bins to throw in things like the dog toys, excess junk on the kitchen counters, my current knitting projects spread out over the kitchen table, and, well, anything else that doesn't look like a selling feature. Thanks to the suggestion of a couple of you I have purchased white towels, and they are stored in one of the bins. When the house is being shown I quickly take down the real life towels hanging in our bathrooms and exchange them for the pristine white ones.




Right before The Viewing we round up the animals and drive away, leaving behind us a house that, just like those corpses from my childhood, I barely recognize. I suppose that is the goal though. Potential buyers want to be able to picture themselves and their own stuff in the home they are looking at, which is easier to do if bits of the current owners' lives aren't front and center.

However, there is a slight problem. All of our stuff can't be crammed into those three blue bins. Fortunately some of our possessions are hidden from view. An example of this would be the Halifax Bomber. Due to the fact it was shot down and blew up on impact, the pieces Jay recovered are small enough to fit nicely in the dozen or so boxes on our garage shelves. This saves the buyer from what might be a confusing encounter with a chunk of fuselage or part of an instrument panel.

David's box of outgrown legs isn't completely hidden from view like the bomber, but it's shoved far enough back in the storage room to not be noticeable. This is good, because I'm thinking a box of legs might not shout "Home Sweet Home" to anyone other than a Hammond.

More problematic are our books. We definitely need to sort through our numerous bookshelves and do some downsizing, but until we do there is no way to keep them out of view. Here's a sample of some of the bookshelves scattered throughout our house. Note, I said sample.




And then there is my yarn stash. All I can say is I hope any prospective buyers are knitters.

18 comments:

  1. What? No photos of the yarn stash?

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  2. Ha! Ha! I remember those old viewings? Where are you moving to?
    Linda McG.

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    1. Weren't they creepy? They definitely left an impression on me, and not a good one. We aren't exactly sure where we are moving to, and as slow as the housing market is right now we might not be moving at all! How is life on the Island?

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  3. Oh, Kristie, you've got some spare shelf space! Wealth beyond the dreams of avarice!

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    1. Ha! If that is wealth, then we need to grow even richer. Some of those books need to go, the problem is deciding which ones. We also need to stop adding to the shelves. Jay came home from the bookstore last week with five new books. And I have my eye on a couple knitting books I would like to add to my collection. Having the Kindle and iPad have helped, but still...

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  4. Maybe you should list your house on your Ravelry stash-for-sale page!
    -- stashdragon

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    1. The problem with that is the house comes with the appliances, but not the stash. :-)

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  5. Ruth (no longer in Ottawa)March 2, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    A Halifax bomber?? For real?? For my husband, that would be a selling feature (he's a retired CF pilot)! BTW, I love your new header - where does that teapot live? And that lovely spinning wheel?

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    1. For real! Well, not the whole thing, but quite a few of the bits. The rest of what they recovered was used in the roof of the Bomber Command Memorial that was unveiled last summer in London. It's a lonnngggg story. :-)

      The teapot was a birthday gift from Alexandra. Isn't it great? And the grandfather clock and antique spinning wheel live in our house. Along with way too many other things! (That isn't to say we are getting rid of those two items, but some of the other stuff needs to be sorted through.)

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  6. We have contemplated moving....but with no particular driving reason ( like moving closer to children...) ....it just seems like too much trouble :). Good luck with the viewings...hope your house sells soon...and you find jus what you are looking for!

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    1. I think you are right - without a driving reason it is way too much trouble to move. Some people enjoy the process, but not me. :-)

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  7. Ah, a woman after my own heart -- those crammed full bookshelves are awesome. I feel your pain about having to weed some books though, that's always so hard.

    Question though: You say those creepy funeral viewings were when you were a kid...? Is it that uncommon in Canada now? The last funeral I attended (in the US) had the body laid out like that. I agree though, I absolutely hate that tradition of viewing the dead body. Very disturbing to me.

    I hope those white towels do their jobs for you very soon!

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    1. I think the viewings might still happen, but i don't think they are as common as they used to be. And I agree, they are very disturbing. Thanks for the good thoughts about the white towels. :-)

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  8. We still call "viewings" viewings here. I'm just glad they're at funeral homes and not actual homes. My wife remembers visiting relatives for a funeral in the VA/TN mountains--the cousin was "laid out" in the living room.

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    1. Wow. I thought that stopped about a hundred years ago!

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  9. I keep dreaming about the day that my yarn stash grows bigger than my book collection... ;-)

    When we went through selling our house in Ohio to move south, I remember putting a lot of time and work into making the house look good for prospective buyers. One unintended consequence was that the house looked so good, I was kind of sad to leave it. Well, until I looked outside again and remembered our snowy, ice-covered, driving reason for moving...

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    1. We have done this before too. Little things that have needed attention, or some minor upgrades that perk the place up finally get done so the house looks more appealing to buyers. And I end up wondering why we didn't do those same things for ourselves while we were living in the house.

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