It's always great to get that call - the house sold and we need to schedule the de-staging. This was especially satisfying as the house had been on the market for 7 months without a sale (see this link to my Blog posting) and received an offer only 6 weeks after staging. The owners were going to let the staging go after only one month, but fortunately opted to keep it for just one more. That was all it took! We were scheduled to de-stage on 12/22 although the house was closing on 12/31/08.
Did I mention we live in Oregon and had no idea the worst weather conditions and snow storm since 1950 was approaching? Of course, how were we to know?
We then got an update that the escrow was being pushed sooner to 12/24/08 which made this about a 3 week escrow. At this point there was still no real concern. Then we got hammered and hammered with snow. Snowed in on 12/19, 12/20, 12/21. I called the agent to let him know our truck was snowed in and the roads were not safe to navigate. He let me know the new owners were moving in on Christmas Eve (picking jaw off ground) and if the staging wasn't removed the house couldn't close! Okay then!
We couldn't go anywhere on Monday, 12/22, but the weather was supposed to get a bit better on Tuesday, and worse case scenario we could de-stage on Wednesday morning, the day of the closing. Well, mother nature did not feel like cooperating! Since our truck was completely snowed in, we wanted to do what we could, so we thought we could rent a truck to get the furnishings.
Our Truck snowed in!
Plan A - I called U-Haul and asked if they had chains for their trucks - they said no, but we could rent it anyway. Seemed odd, but we were willing to try. We carefullly navigated to U-Haul - 20 minutes to go 3 miles. As we pulled into the driveway I got a call from them saying - "did we mention that you have to provide your own chains in order to take the truck off the lot?" Well - no - and now we're here. Darn U-Haul call centers!!!
Plan B - Go to our warehouse where they also rent trucks. 1 hour drive to go 7 miles to the warehouse. We hadn't been here since the storm and wondered why the main phone line wasn't being answered. It was more than obvious when we pulled up - the entire property was snowed in with about 1 1/2 feet of snow throughout the whole facility. So now, even if we somehow managed to get our furnishings - we had no where to bring them. Good thing we didn't hide any Christmas presents there as there was absolutely no access. As a side note - Oregon is just not prepared for this type of weather. There must be 4 plows for the entire city so almost nothing is plowed.
Plan C - After now driving around for over 1 1/2 hours and seeing cars and trucks spinning and stuck in snow everywhere - we realized this was a terrible idea. We would not be driving a truck anywhere. So I called the agent and let him know he had two options - everything had to stay in the house - or we would be willing to drive to the property in our CR-V and de-stage everything into the garage. That was it. We got a call back 1/2 hour later and the buyers were agreeable. So we had to load 10 bins, pillow bags, shovel (for snow), swiffer, moving pads, and tool kit into our CR-V so we could get it done.
Our snowy road on the way to de-staging
The property was 25 miles away which would normally be a 30 minute drive - pretty average for the area we cover. Not on December 23! 2 hours to get to the house - but we made it and the snow wasn't as bad in this neighborhood. We only had to shovel the front step so we could get the couch and two large chairs out the front door. Everything else made it through the garage door.
We left everything at the property except our art as it can't be stored in freezing temperatures and we navigated our way back home in the dark - which was what we wanted to avoid. 3 hours to get home with a stop for dinner.
We hope to go pick up our furniture and decor early next week once it is safe to travel and our truck is unburied.
Just when you think you've seen it all something like this happens - this was another one of those things that seems to happen to stagers. There was no reason to be angry or frustrated - just go with the flow. We were proud that our staging sold the house. We were happy for the sellers that they got ther money on Christmas Eve. We were excited for the first time home buyers that they could move in before Christmas. We were thrilled that we made it home in one piece.
This is the season of giving and receiving. No matter your specific job - if you are part of Active Rain you are most likely a service provider. Be thankful for the career you have - for the people you can help - for the friends that you meet - and the life that is provided by all of that. It's a wonderful time of year and we wish you a happy and warm holiday season.
Let Synergy Staging make your property irresistible. Please call us at (503) 557-2244 for a free no obligation quote.