Since I’m selling my house, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a collection of pictures as promotional material.
I started out by selecting a few photos of the beautiful skies; sunrises, sunsets, storms, rainbows. I have a lovely view of the vast Alberta sky and I’ve been taking pictures for seven years. At one point I thought I was taking too many sky pictures, but still I take them. Anyway, I sent my choices to the local photo lab and they said that I could, at no extra charge, have a booklet which would hold twenty-five. I kept back about ten in order to fit the right number into the free cover.
I put the little booklet on top of my kitchen counter when there are viewings, and I hope that the pictures somehow give a sense of the things that potential buyers cannot see. They can’t see the sunsets, or the geese, or the birds in the wetlands, or the autumn leaves, or the couples walking along the public footpath in the evenings. So much of what is lovely about my house cannot be seen in a brief visit.
Then it occurred to me that visitors have no idea of how the house has evolved. I have owned it since it was first built, and I had some say in how it was laid out and finished. Showing the house’s development from a hole in the ground to today required more than a booklet of twenty-five pictures, so I put them all together on a flash drive. It’s a lot of pictures.
Once, when I knew there was to be a showing of the house, I put the flash drive into the TV and had it run with a slide show. I really enjoyed watching the display, seeing the hole in the ground, the framing, the finishing, the landscaping, the guys building the fence. I left it running when I left the house.
When I got home, I saw that someone had turned off the slide show and closed the booklet of pictures. When I saw that, it occurred to me that perhaps showing the pictures was a bit “over the top” for selling a house. It’s not staging like setting the table or plumping the cushions. It’s something else. What is it?
Buyers want to imagine themselves in the rooms, living in the spaces. If it hasn’t had any major structural or mechanical problems, no one cares. They don’t want to know how it began or how it developed. They want to start fresh and create their own memories. For them, this is day one.
What happened before is mine, not theirs. So, showing my pictures was probably too personal. They don’t want to know the way it was. That’s just the way it is.