When the last child leaves home, for some parents there is no question whether or not to keep the "empty nest." They stay where they are and remodel a room (or two). Maybe there are - or will be - grandchildren. Perhaps there are close ties to the community, or it is an heirloom home that has been passed down from a previous generation. There are myriad reasons not to move, and it is a very personal choice made for very personal reasons.
But what about the parents who don't want to stay? The parents who want to downsize, travel, or relocate closer to other family members or interests? Letting go of your family home can be an emotional process, whether you've lived there for 5, 10, or 20 years. But you want to move on to the next phase of your life.
Often when I list a home, I consult with the Sellers regarding staging and preparing their home for the market. I give them a plan for packing and purging, and removing personal belongings like photographs and memorabilia. We pare down decor items and sometimes bring in new linens, shower curtains, and occasionally small rugs and sometimes window treatments. I will come in and complete the finishing touches, and sometimes move a couple of last-minute items before the photographer arrives.
When the listing photos are finished, I send them over to the Sellers to preview. And the Sellers almost always comment that they hardly recognize the place or that it doesn't even look like their house. And that's what I like to hear. Letting go can be complicated, even when change is the desired result. For some Sellers, the process of transforming their house can be cathartic, as they start to see it less as their house, and more as potentially somebody else's. For some Sellers, a well-executed staging strategy can be the first big step towards stepping away from their old home, and into their new life.
If you're one of those Sellers, give me a call. I'd be happy to have a conversation with you about transforming your house into someone else's home, so you, too, can spread your wings and fly!