Moving house can throw up a lot of strange and unusual experiences. I have written already about visiting other people’s homes to view their space, to decide whether to buy it. It is odd, but exciting at the same time.
Now, we find ourselves on the receiving end, coming close to putting our house on sale, at which point people will be able to wander through our lives and judge the world we have created over the last five years.
One of the important parts of selling a house, so I am told, is getting people through the front door. The main way to do this, a good set of photos on all the usual house buying websites. Our estate agent is coming tomorrow with a photographer to capture the house at its best, so this evening we have been doing our best to tidy and spruce the place up.
Our house is by no stretch of the imagination cluttered, but we do have scope to hide a few of our trinkets away to make the house look more sellable. You can probably imagine the idea, packing away books and ornaments and the like. What you are probably not imagining is watching your wife carrying the toaster to the car ‘until tomorrow night’.
But that is exactly what I saw. Yes, our kitchen workspace is small, and it can look cluttered if too much is left out on the side. But the toaster…
Apparently the kettle is fine, but the red, four slice toaster (yes, we are a four slice family!) is too much.
I have to admit, the space looks tidier, and importantly looks roomier as well. I am sure on the pictures the kitchen will look great, and as kitchens and gardens seem to be the main differentiating points when viewing houses, this will be important. What I am left with though is a strange sense of trying to guess what potential buyers are thinking. I have wandered around the house asking myself whether they would want to see photos on the walls, or a houseplant by the door. Should the side table angle left or right, or should it be there at all. I love my house and the way we have furnished it, but for tonight at least I need to guess what someone else, a potential buyer someone-else, is looking for in their new home.
We have visited houses which are furnished and ones where people have moved out, and even if you do not have the same taste as the current owners, a furnished house is much more inviting than a bare space. What we have to find is the balance between homely and cluttered, and for tonight at least, with the toaster safely locked in the boot of the car, we are leaning firmly away from the latter.