# 5 – Getting a house ready for sale (make that scrambling!)

Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) I took a pile of stuff from my house out to my new listing(these were pieces of art, small tables, and lamps that Micheline Masson, the home stager I’m working with selected for staging) with help from fellow realtor, John Bennett.

While Cedric Poon of Archipelago Contracting grouted the kitchen tiles, and I cleaned the carpets  (see Episode #4), John hung a new chandalier in the living/dining room and replaced burned out lightbulbs in the English pub in the basement. (You really have to see this pub to believe it– fantastic wood panelling, a wet bar –it’s incredible. And even better with better lighting :-)).

When it came to hanging the new chandalier in the dining area, however, we ran into problems. We had to figure out what to do with a chain that wasn’t quite as long as it should have been. It was also hard to figure out how high the fixture should hang above a non-existent table.

I called National Rent to Own (the company that will be loaning us the furniture for staging) to find out how high the table was going to be. Turns out it’s a standard 28″ but at the time, John and I found that hard to believe. You should have seen us pretending to sit at a table when we had neither table nor chairs; I’m glad Cedric didn’t take any pictures.

Thanks to Smartphones and the Internet, we were able to determine that the proper distance for a chandalier to hang above a table is about 30-36.” John finally got the new light up and it looks great.

The new light fixture in the foyer, however, proved a challenge. The mounting fixtures included with it  simply weren’t long enough. After at least an hour of trying to put a square peg in a round hole. John finally gave up in frustration.

Meanwhile, the smoke alarm in the hallway kept going off and on for no particular reason. It made the most goddawful sound you could imagine, like an electronic pteradactyl.

Cedric finally disconnected it (I’m surprised he didn’t take a sledgehammer to it), so if you happen to make an offer on this property and have a home inspection done, the smoke detector actually does work but it’s gone quite insane.

John left, and it was getting dark out when I finally packed up, leaving Cedric to finish grouting. He emailed me this morning to say he’d put up all the remaining light fixtures but ran out of lightbulbs; another thing to add to my “to do” list.

Today, Micheline arrived with her trailer just as I was leaving for the Kingston Writer’s Festival to  load up my patio furniture to stage the sunroom. (That woman’s impressive, I tell you: I usually need help with the glass top for the table. She hoisted it up like it was a down pillow. A former personal trainer, I discovered. Believe me, it shows.)

Later in the day, I had a voicemail message from Dave Smart (our painter) saying he and Jeff  (his son) had popped by to do some touchups but since Cedric hadn’t yet had a chance to reinstall the baseboards in the kitchen they would come back. Those two are so great: I can’t tell you how many extras they did on this job for us. As has Cedric: he fixed a hanging mount for the exhaust fan for me and his quote for work didn’t include hanging light fixtures either, but he did those too. He has been patient and helpful all the way along. Great to work with, these men: highly recommended.

When I got back from Kingston, there was an email from Micheline saying she finished  staging the property at 7:30 PM and would pop by tomorrow morning to take another look.

She would like to see another hanging plant (there are two in front of the garage already) and some fresh mulch, but at this point, we’ve run out of money and I’ve run out of time. I’ll be at the bungalow at 10:30 AM to see what Micheline’s done and put up my For Sale sign. Cedric will be there to finish the baseboards, do the final touches, and get the fridge and stove back where they belong.

The photographer, Pat Blake, should arrive around noon to take photos. When he’s done, I’ll head to my office to activate the listing and load the photographs. Then I’m off to Rogers TV for a taped interview with Mark Sutcliffe at 3 PM on Talk Ottawa about the  effect a new dump in Osgoode Township could have on property values. (His show will air on Tuesday at 5:30 PM; the first episode of mine — Ottawa Experts: Real Estate– will be live on Monday at 9 PM, both on cable 22.)

Can’t wait to see how it all looks staged! Stay tuned for photographs!

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