House hunting is more avaricious than it was during the times my husband and I bought and sold our homes, the last experience about a decade ago. Now uncluttered, neutral, staged houses define “move-in ready.”
We bought places that had been lived in and we marketed our lived-in homes. We bought one house blanketed in avocado shag, wallpaper salvaged from a circus fun house, and panelled walls the hue of wet mud. It didn’t suit our taste but it suited us. We were ready to move in.
I suspect our buyers had similar head-scratching reactions to the homes we sold. In one instance, I will concede that pink wall–to-wall, indoor pond and basement mural of a giant ocean wave might not be for everyone. But they were ready and moved right in.
A house that looks like it was never lived in offers refreshed space, suggests new beginnings, but doesn’t answer the more important buyer question : Are THEY move-in ready?