Maybe it's time for a trip to Grandma's House

Home Stager with Janice Ankrett Home Staging

It's not easy keeping your house in 'show' condition.

You've had a Staging Consult and found out how to prepare your home for sale. You may have done the work yourself or you may have had the Stager do the work for you. Now you have to keep it that way. You want buyers that visit your home to be wowed by it's features.

The trouble is you have to live in the house. You may have a dog or cat as well as children to cope with. They need their space to play, eat, sleep etc.

Those first couple of weeks will be when the heaviest 'traffic' of buyers through your home will happen.

One alternative some of my clients have taken is to go on a trip. They plan their vacation for this time leaving the house staged.

Some clients have decided they will go and stay with Grandma for a couple of weeks. This usually involves Mom and kids and pets leaving Dad behind. I find it is families with very young children that choose this option.

I have had clients send their pet cat or dog to stay at a relatives so there will be less pet hair, dishes, toys, beds etc to deal with each day. It is also less stressful for the pet than having to deal with strangers entering their 'turf' while everyone is at work.

Not everyone has a relative close by so they create a routine to cope:

  • create a to do list to follow before you go to work or have a viewing
  • place a small basket or decorative box where you usually drop your keys etc.
  • keep show towels in the bathroom so you can quickly replace the daily towels
  • do as much preparation as you can just before you go to bed so there is less to do before you go to work
  • have bins designated for toys so they can be cleaned up quickly
  • keep your shampoos, razors, toothbrushes, used soaps etc in containers that will easily fit inside the vanity
  • arrange day care for your dog so it is not home loose in the house while you are at work - buyers don't want to meet him
  • make sure your Realtor knows how long you will need to do last minute touch ups before a viewing

There are ways to cope and your Stager or Realtor can help you find the ones that will work for you.


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Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Love it!   Good ideas today, thanks for sharing with us on AR.

Have bookmarked this for future reference.


Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Feb 20, 2011 10:20 AM #27
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

That's very true Margaret. Clients expect it from us.

That's great Roberta.

Thanks Joy, good luck.

Thank you Angela.

Thanks Shar! I'm doing a happy dance ;). I have enough trouble keeping track of 2 15lb dogs LOL.

Patricia, thanks. Have a great 2011.


Feb 20, 2011 10:59 AM #28
Jeanne Kozak
RE/MAX In Action - Martinsburg, WV
REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA

I just hope I never sell my home...those lists are tiring even to read! But very good and wll help keep everyone on track for a successful sale.

Feb 20, 2011 11:14 AM #29
Heather Cook
Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design Inc. - Kitchener, ON
Quality Home Staging

Love all the ideas Janice - great tips for home owners going through the very stressful time of selling their homes!

Feb 20, 2011 11:19 AM #30
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Your slide show to the right has some great photos. Good points on your post!

Feb 20, 2011 01:25 PM #31
Traci Ferguson
San Luis Obispo Realtor & ecoBroker with Patterson Realty - San Luis Obispo, CA
Realtor, EcoBroker, LEED AP

Great ideas for listings. I will pass this on to my sellers to keep them in the mode to keep their homes perfect.:)

Feb 20, 2011 01:35 PM #32
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Janice -- Very practical yet very effective advice. Home staging is a key element to help sellers maximize their investment.

Feb 20, 2011 01:40 PM #33
Anthony Daniels
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
SF Bay Area REO Specialist

You can always stay at your Realtor's place for a few months, especially if you are a good cook.

Good stuff, thanks for sharing it.

Feb 20, 2011 02:06 PM #34
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Jeanne, none of us live staged.

Thanks Heather!

Cheryl, I'm glad you like the photos and ideas.

Traci, I hope they help your clients.

Yes it is Chris. Thanks.

Just how many clients have taken you up on this Anthony? LOL.

Feb 20, 2011 02:15 PM #35
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Those are some excellent ideas.  Living in a fishbowl is so difficult.

Feb 20, 2011 03:27 PM #36
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

Janet, love most of your tips.  Now if only we could get most of our sellers to visit grandma.  Actually, I'd settle for just sending the dog there.

Feb 20, 2011 03:56 PM #37
Gail Fabiani
Right at Home Realty Inc., Brokerage - Burlington, ON

Great tips.  It is really difficult to sell with children.  You have to make sure the toilet is flushed, get rid of fingerprints etc.  Just not fun.  Good reason to price properly so it sells fast.

Feb 20, 2011 04:29 PM #38
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


I wish all pets could go visit Grandma when the home is listed!

Feb 21, 2011 01:11 AM #39
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Janice, this is one way to keep the home staged properly at all times. Good suggestion.

Feb 21, 2011 01:23 AM #40
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


Congratulations on the featured post. And, Grandmas' House might make a great new franchised business.


Feb 21, 2011 02:07 AM #41
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Yes it is Ruthmarie ;) and it has to be a very clean fish bowl.

Leah, so true! Even if just Fido goes to grandma's there will be far less vacumming etc.

Gail, realistic pricing is very important. I know what you mean about the toilets LOL, that's one reason why we tell sellers to keep the lids down.

I hear you Irene! ;).

Thanks Michael!

Thanks Brian! Hmm ... franchised 'Grandma's Houses' ... interesting. ;).

Feb 21, 2011 02:29 AM #42
Linda D. Pufford
Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging - Novato, CA
ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager


Congratulations on the feature!!!  This is such a great post.  You have just been on fire.... one great post after another.  What a great idea to go to Grandma's house.... who would have thought!!!  Keep them coming Janice!!!

Feb 21, 2011 03:06 AM #43
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Thanks Linda! I will ;).

Feb 21, 2011 04:43 AM #44
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

The first 30 days are crucial. If you don't get a rush of showings the first few weeks, that means you are probably priced too high. 

Feb 21, 2011 05:19 AM #45
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Erica, that is an important time. Pricing realistically is so important ,as is a good presentation.

Feb 21, 2011 08:21 AM #46
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