The Photo Shoot

12177874_10154306969062067_369814167_nMy home had its very own professional photo shoot!  By the time that day arrived I was exhausted and wiped out. I stuck around for a bit while my realtor did the intro for the video then headed over to my moms for a much needed nap.

The photographer was amazing! He spent five hours in my home taking pictures and video and the results are just fabulous. I’m so happy I’ll have this video to remind me of how my house looked that one time it was staged like a model home.

 

Here are some of the pictures he took that are being used in the MLS listing.

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The Smoke and Mirrors of Staging a Home

Selling a home in 2015 is very different then selling a condo in 2002. I wanted to do a ‘for sale by owner’ and was ready to go that route. A neighbor and friend of mine listed their home in August and it sold in two days, they moved in September and I had an eye on her moving boxes! In our first conversation she told me how fabulous her realtors were and went on and on about what they did to get her house sold quickly. In our quick conversations over the next few weeks she would briefly bring them up, making a quick comment about some ‘little thing’ they did. After about the third or fourth comment I decided to give them a call and just talk to them.

I met with the father and daughter team and was blown away! In chatting with the father I learned that he grew up in Southern California. Having lived in California until I was almost 40 I always ask for specifics when I learn someone is from the area. To my surprise, he was from the same town as I! We lived off the same main street but about 6-8 miles apart, went to the same High School about 10 years apart and reminisced about the neighborhood parks and other hangouts. He also dabbles in selling on eBay. We had an instant connection…twice!

After the small talk we got down to business and discussed what they would do to help me sell my home. The list of action items they do before the home is listed is amazing, but I focused in on the staging part.  They arranged for a stager to come to my home, take pictures and give me a report suggesting changes to make my home more presentable to potential buyers…that report was TEN pages long.

At first glance I was impressed. The report was broken down by area of my house followed by three columns; one for must dos, one for should dos and one for can dos. The next day I took the list and started checking off items area by area. It was work and I was exhausted. In the end I learned a few things and the result is my home now looks like a model home, ready for pictures and hopefully a buyer.

Here’s a list, in no particular order, of what I learned from having a professional stager stage my home.

  • Less is more.
  • I don’t have enough mirrors in my home.
  • With as much red as I have, I don’t have any solid red pillows.
  • The eBay decor in my office won’t help sell my home and needs to be removed.
  • I have a beautiful office and desk, something I’ve never known because for all of its life its been covered in ‘stuff’.
  • Less is more.
  • There should be nothing on the floors.
  • Wastebaskets, toilet brushes and plungers don’t belong in bathrooms.
  • The top of a bookcase is not another shelf.
  • Welcome mats actually make people feel welcome.
  • Less is always more.
  • Solid red pillows do look better on my couch than the checked ones that came with it.
  • The lamps in my master bedroom are not the right scale.
  • The couch and love seat in the living room look much better facing each other and make the room look bigger.
  • When you think you have less, remove more.
  • In order for people to see how a home will be when they move in it needs to look magical…pictures are cropped, minimized and photoshopped…just like magazine people.

For Sale – When Things Get Real!

As anyone who has sold their home knows, once that post goes up, it becomes real….I’m selling my home and I’m moving. It has been an interesting few days as more and more people find out. I told a few of my neighbors earlier in the week and a handful of friends and family before that. I texted a group of people and waited a day before I posted the news on Facebook, where you get to make life changing announcements in one easy post then sit back and wait for questions and comments. Most have been supportive after they Coming Soonunderstand what my plan is, some have asked why and wondered if something was wrong, several have encouraged and cheered me on and some have shown real concern for this “lifestyle change” I’m about to make.

What is interesting to me is when I moved into my home with its six bedrooms and three baths 12 years ago the number one question people asked was “Why did you buy such a big house?” People quizzed me on this so much that I began to have a complex about it. How do you answer that question? “Because I can?” Now that I’m doing what most would think is more reasonable and selling this ridiculously big house, people are asking “Why?” and “What’s wrong?” “Where are you moving?” There’s nothing wrong and it’s not a long story, I’m just downsizing. I’m moving about three hours north to Williams, AZ (about 20 miles west of Flagstaff) to an investment property my mom and I own. We are in the process of finishing it and I will live there until it sells….after that, who knows where I’ll go. You can do these kinds of things when you are single with no kids and retirement is on your mind. I do know I’m done with the 9-5 grind and am ready to live a simpler, semi-retired life. I’m not going to swear I’ll never go back to a 9-5 job, but it would have to be one I was really excited about. Something like working at eBay, because that’s on my bucket list. The right job there would be so much fun, I don’t think I could call it work.

I’m excited to experience “winter” and look forward to spending time in front of the wood burning stove in the great room. I’m not looking forward to figuring out how well water and septic tanks work or if drying my clothes will take longer in propane run dryer, but I’ll learn what I need to learn, figure things out, manage and enjoy a much slower pace while doing what I love….selling on eBay!

Christmas Under the Stairs

Christmas in the Family Room

Christmas in the Family Room

When I first moved into my home I decorated it like no other! I had parties and invited friends over and enjoyed the festive season. I would start wrapping lights around the trees in the backyard in early October and move to the front of the house Thanksgiving weekend, putting up two sets of lights on the house, adding big, lighted, Christmas themed sculptures to the front and working very hard to have the outside done before the weekend was over.

Under Stair Christmas Storage

Under Stair Christmas Storage

Then one year I decided it was too much work. I worked long hours and was getting home between 9-10pm each night, just in time to grab a bite and unwind for about an hour. I wasn’t sitting in the living room enjoying the train traveling around the room, under the tree, behind the couches and back again. I didn’t even turn on the Christmas tree lights in the family room. I wasn’t enjoying any of the work I put in turning my home into a magical place.

But I hung on to all my little (and not so little) Christmas treasures.

Gemmy Singing and Dancing Santa - SOLD $274.99

Gemmy Singing and Dancing Santa – SOLD $274.99

I kept them tucked away in cabinets and closets, in the garage rafters and under the stairs, just in case one year I got the bug and decided to take the time to decorate again. That never happened and now when I look at my Christmas treasures I just see dollar signs!  I decided to tackle the storage space under the stairs this week, pulled out the larger items and got them listed on eBay yesterday. I listed a 40″ decorator pine tree and three 50″ decorator pine trees, a set of lighted boxes I used on the living room loft, six large 22″ poinsettia plants and three small 15″ poinsettia’s that lined the stair case, one of my favorite Santa Figurines, a German Father Christmas,  a

beautiful, red robed 24″ St. Nicholas, a 34″ Woodland Father Christmas and a 5′ singing and dancing Santa that stood on the front porch and greeted guests as they arrived at my home.

34" Father Christmas

34″ Father Christmas

These Christmas decorations are special and were fun to collect. I’ve loved and enjoyed them and am happy to see them go to new homes where they will be released from the dungeon under the stairs and proudly displayed each holiday season.

I’m a Tshirt Girl!

I learned two things this week…One, I’m a tshirt girl and two, I’m never going to make that tshirt quilt I’ve been saving my favorite shirts all these years for. The first lesson was a surprise to me.

Proof that I am a tshirt girl!

Proof that I am a tshirt girl!

How could I live this long and never identify as a tshirt girl? I pulled a stack of shirts out of my closet and still didn’t give myself that label. But when you have close to 100 tshirts piled in the closet waiting to be memorialized in a quilt, “You Are A Tshirt Kind Of Girl”.

I sorted my treasures into groups: Baseball, Broadway musicals, Disney, fun red ones, hobbies, universities, places I’ve been and things I’ve done, etc. The biggest stack is from universities….most from universities and colleges where I’ve worked. The Disney pile is fun, but they are probably the most worn. I decided I’m going to list these and see how many of them I can sell. With the exception of the Disney and Musical shirts, maybe one or two of the others, these are not anything special in the eBay world. But I’m going to guess that I can average $15 each and see if I can make about $1300 on them. That’s a ton of money for some old memories!

John Denver Songs of the Future Songs of the Past Concert - 1988

John Denver Songs of the Future Songs of the Past Concert – 1988

I did pull out a John Denver Concert tshirt from 1988 and listed it ‘pie-in-the-sky’ high on October 12th, the anniversary of his death.

I’ll keep it priced high for a bit and then lower it to a normal, (but probably still overpriced), number and wait for a fan to come along that went to the concert and has some life changing memory because of it.

I decided to set aside my eBay tshirts. If I do get around to making a quilt this one will be much easier to manage since I only have about 20-30 shirts at this point. I’ve got several in my current rotation that I will retire and bought a new one last week that I just had to have. I love it and will wear it, but I really wanted it for the quilt that may never be.

A Sampling for the eBay Quilt

A Sampling for the eBay Quilt

Here is a sampling of my eBay tshirts. Some are printed front and back which is awesome for the quilt project. My two favorite from this selection are below. I bought the “Win a Date” off eBay specifically for the quilt and would love to know the back story of the shirt!  I like the graphics on the red one so much that I bought two…one to wear out and one to add to the quilt!  It’s also double sided which makes me love it even more.

Win a Date with Me on eBay

Win a Date with Me
on eBay

 

One of my favorite eBay shirts....I love the graphics!

One of my favorite eBay shirts….I love the graphics!

 

 

It Doesn’t Take Long

Media Shelf

Media Shelf

I was weeding out the shelves in my office last month, decluttering as I prepare to put my house up for sale. I decided to tackle what I refer to as the media shelf in my office. It contains dozens of music CDs, some VHS Videos and a handful of DVDs. Probably 90% of the items on this shelf haven’t been touched in 5+ years…many haven’t been touched since I put this in my office in 2003.

I created 15 listings from that media shelf last month. One audio CD and 14 VHS Lots. In just about a month I’ve sold two of the items for $100. Not bad for stuff sitting on a shelf doing nothing but collecting dust.

Here’s my John Denver Autobiography sale. Many would have looked at this, thought it was old and out dated and dropped it off

Take Me Home: The Autobiography of John Denver Audio Book - $74.99

Take Me Home: The Autobiography of John Denver Audio Book – $74.99

at the thrift store. Instead, I took about 10-15 minutes to research, photograph and list it and sold it about a month later. I decided to take the time and list it right then because as a John Denver Fan I knew the anniversary of his death was October 12th and wanted to get it listed before then.

It’s going to the UK so the buyer paid another $15 for shipping. eBay and PayPal fees were $12.81, actual shipping was $14.40, net profit is $62.77. Well worth the time and effort to list it!

Big Things Start Small

Big Things Start Small

Big Things Start Small

 

I’m super excited to be part of eBay’s Big Things Start Small campaign this Fall! I chatted with the eBay Advertising Team while in San Jose, CA last month for eBay’s We Are 20 Seller Summit. I learned this new campaign was going to feature seller content, a sweepstakes and stories on unique or prominent eBay sellers with shoppable items.

I was contacted by the eBay advertising team after I returned home. Brad Hadfield and I had a 20-30 minute conversation about how I got started selling on the platform back in the early days,. He asked a variety of questions then took that conversation and wrote about me! I’m sure it’s no surprise to those who know me, but my favorite part is the “Meet the Seller” blurb on the home page. I was seller 04 to be featured, so you’ll have to scroll back to the beginning to see what it says.

Big Things

To learn more about me as an eBay seller you can read Brad’s conversation with me and about ClubRed97 here.