[gardeners] Rosemary's house

asidv@fbg.net (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sat, 3 Oct 1998 16:01:11 +0000

It is an old formula, but having sold houses using it -- and for my 
price -- consider doing the following -- keeping in mind that you 
are making a "stage setting" for a lifestyle the buyer hopes to 
duplicate. (AND that in love, war and real estate, image is often 
more important than full disclosure.)

a. Buy a bunch of freezer bread dough. Divide into small hunks.
b. When a shopper is coming, pop one of those hunks in the oven to 
create the scent of "home."
c. Never draw attention to your garden. If asked about it, say, "Oh, 
that? I do have a junior high school boy who comes by once in a while 
to mow. Actually, it takes care of itself." 
d. Have a pot or two (NO MORE) of a somewhat exotic something 
by the front door. Say to shopper, "Wasn't it nice of the last person 
who came by to send those?" 
e. Have a fire laid in the fireplace. Put herb cuttings on top. When 
the shopper gets out of the car, light the fire. The scent and the 
welcoming sight of a fire says "HOME." 
f. Rearrange the furniture a bit to set a generous size table to one 
side of the fireplace. On it place your grandmother's lace 
tablecloth, a silver tray, 2 or 3 of your finest teacups, and a 
pretty container (covered) of cookies. When the shopper arrives, say, 
"I was just having a cup of tea. Do sit down and have one with me." 
g. Keep Mozart. deBussy or Sibelius (no Wagner) playing at all times. 
It will keep shoppers soothed and will muffle any mysterious pipe or 
plumbing sounds. It will also contribute to your mental ease.
h. On days when shoppers may arrive, all meals are to be prepared and 
eaten in secrecy! One's kitchen must be pristine at all times. It is 
essential, however, that a perfect vegetable or two (or perhaps the 
meticulously posed ingredients for a gourmet omelet) be posed in the 
kitchen. Make it an artistic presentation: bowl, pan, basket, 
utensils -- all must be in harmonious balance. 
i. Refer to "h" for clues for arranging bathrooms. They must always 
look like they are used only by two-dimensional models from Country 
j. If storage is a problem, and your house is cluttered, rent 
off premises storage. Closets and garages should echo with emptiness. 
In one house, I totally emptied one closet and "forgot" to point it 
out until late in the tour, with a "Oh, I'd forgotten about this 
closet! There ARE so many of them in this house, you know."

Tips "a" through "j"  have served me well. Indeed, the last house we 
sold went for more than our asking price. Two buyers arrived 
simultaneously - each wanted the house and they entered into an 
immoderate bidding war, each upping the other's offer. Person A "won" 
out over Person B. I have been told that subsequently Person A 
went on to grander and greater quarters, and he first called 
Person B who then bought it from him! 

And, if you promise never to tell them, it wasn't all that great a 
house! Good luck on selling, and don't let the shoppers get you down. 
If you can find it, Robert Benchley (the grandfather of the Benchley 
who wrote "Jaws" etc) has a wonderful essay on selling a house and 
the sense of violation one feels when others go through your