Minimalism: a real estate agent's view
You must have heard one of these buzzwords or phrases over the past year or so. In today’s consumer-focused society, people are acquiring more and more stuff. And we’re assigning that stuff a lot of importance in our lives, which makes it hard to get rid of. So we need more space to fit our stuff, and more storage, and the cycle continues. Which sounds pretty good for the real estate business, right? “Buy a bigger home! Move all your stuff into it!” Not always.
Liz and I like to think about real estate differently: We want to find people the home that fits their lifestyle, not just their stuff.
Minimalism, as defined by the popular two-man blogging, podcasting, movie-making team known as (drum roll, please) The Minimalists, is “is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”* Last Saturday we went to see The Minimalists themselves, Ryan and Josh, speak in Boston. They each shared their personal story of how they arrived at the concept of minimalism, then they recorded a podcast featuring live questions from the audience. From big life transitions to relationships, Ryan and Josh spoke earnestly and passionately about how minimalism clears the clutter out of the way so you can focus on your life. Over and over they intoned their mantra: "It's not necessarily the key to an EASY life; it's the key to a simple life."
A simple life sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? Here's why Liz and I embrace minimalism as Real Estate agents:
Because we've seen how so many of us live, we know what you have to go through to get your home ready to sell. This is one of the most stressful situations a person can experience in life. When Liz and I first meet with a client who wants to sell their home, we talk to them about their timeline. There are certain steps we must take to sell the house. If you have a house filled with stuff, you will need a lot of time to get through just the first steps. To get the house on the market, we have to showcase the house in a way that shows its full potential. We have to take away all the personal touches, all the extras, and show a home in its purest form. That means we have to tap into minimalism.
A well-staged home for sale:
Shows how each room is best used
Contains only the bare minimum of furniture and decor
Looks inviting, clean, and clear
Has no personal photos
They don’t have the time or energy to go through everything and sort through it, and are afraid they might need this stuff someday. And guess what they do after they sell their home and buy a new one? Yup, you got it: they keep paying for the storage unit, or they move all the boxes from storage into the attic or basement of their new home without ever opening them. (Read our companion blog about storage here).
Imagine you’re selling your home. Now, imagine how little work you’d need to do if you had only useful items that enrich your life. As real estate agents, we LOVE this idea! This would significantly ease the stress of selling your home, and it would open up many options when searching for your new home.
The Minimalists teach us to slow down, to value relationships over stuff, and to truly love or need each item in our lives. What can you get rid of today so tomorrow will be simpler for you?
If you're selling or buying soon, contact us and we'll help you every step of the way.