I do like hearing back from the realtors with info on how it went. Apparently, the first people liked our place a lot, but just listed their own place and need to sell it first. I checked out their place, and was a little weirded out to see that it's almost identical to ours in finishes and the like -- just a two-bedroom instead of a three-bedroom. Same cherry cabinets, same granite counters, etc. and so on. I guess that's not so surprising, given fads in realty/design, but still a little strange. I'm looking forward to living someplace at least a little different next time around, but I guess some people just figure they know what they like, and want more of it.
The second set liked our place a lot too, but were disappointed that it didn't have a bike room, since they're big into biking around town. Which, admittedly, has frustrated us too -- we talked with the building about putting in a secure bike area when we moved in, but most residents seem to prefer keeping their bikes in their apartments for added security. Ours end up on our balcony, which is a bit of a nuisance, or in the fourth floor hallway, which we're not really supposed to do. I don't know if this is important enough to these buyers to make it a deal-breaker on the place. (I'd kind of think that if it was, they might have asked about that before setting up the showing, but maybe not.) They could also store in the fourth floor foyer, where we currently have a treadmill; that'd be a good place for bikes, not intrusive.
Sadly we're going to have grey, rainy weather for our open house today, which is not ideal. Our place looks so pretty in afternoon sunshine, when the light really makes the Brazilian cherry floors glow. At least the heavy thunderstorms are supposed to hold off until tomorrow, so hopefully it won't be raining enough to keep people home. We're going to drop off Kavi and Ellie at Jarmila's and use this time to look at those houses in Oak Park.
I'm wondering if there's anything else I'm supposed to do for this open house. I'm trying not to get too invested, since evidence seems to suggest that open houses very rarely sell homes. And "a National Association of Realtors study found that their success rate is a mere 2%" (although another article said 7%, so I'm confused). But at the same time, there are questions like this one from a realtor: "Finally, has the advent of the information age (e.g., access to all sorts of property data online) improved your opportunities for actually sales resulting from open houses because more people (Gen Xers and Yers) are doing research themselves and showing up at open houses unrepresented? " Kevin and I are certainly seriously interested in the homes we've been seeing through Oak Park open houses; we're hoping we can buy without using a realtor, so open houses are a huge help to us. They must be to at least some other people too, right? Lovely people who would like to buy our condo!
So, I ought to make an effort, right? Fresh flowers are in all the rooms, although now I'm regretting a bit my choice for the kitchen island -- a very elegant branch of eucalyptus pods, which is looking a little grey now on this day -- wish I had gone with an exuberant bunch of lilacs or cheerful tulips or some such instead. Although the eucalyptus should last for weeks, which is the very sensible reason I picked it. Should I bake cookies? Light candles? Lord knows I have enough tea lights and tea light holders to scatter around the place, but would that actually be a good thing? Set the gas fireplace going? Do I set the dining table? We have a lovely runner on it right now, but I hadn't planned to put out placemats, linens, or tableware.
And then there's emotional staging. How about setting out a bottle of wine and two wineglasses, to suggest to the buyers that if they move in here, they'll get sloshed a lot? Our eight-dollar shiraz should make them feel casually elegant, right? Would our 'Menage a Trois' label be too suggestive? :-) (I actually do like this wine, so if you're not a wine snob, you might want to try it.)
Do I really need to hide the valuables? Not that we have so much of that...
Addendum: E-mailed Mitch to ask about staging questions; he said candles/fire would be nice, and re cookies: "Cookies -- your agent will eat them all, thanks, so make them."