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Caro

Books in their place

Our newspaper on Saturday had an article about making your home attractive for selling.  It had dozens of points about this but the very first one, under decluttering your house, was to take all the books off your bookshelves.

People buying must be different from me and they made everyone sound very superficial with comments that "Yellow is a buying colour.  Plant yellow flower - marigolds are cheap."

I don't want my next home to be full of marigolds and the thought that people would feel obliged to take down their books is so odd to me - what is more fun than looking at other people's books.  But the people writing this did keep stressing the need to have your home free of much furniture or anything at all.  I would have thought it was easier to get a picture of a nice home by seeing how it worked, being lived in.  But I don't understand modern houses anyway - here in NZ couples build huge big four-bedroomed houses with three toilets, and triple garages and I can't understand why.  (Though recently I heard that it was a requirement of developers, presumably liking a look of homogenity. Huh.)

Cheers, Caro.
Mikeharvey

Well, if decluttering one's house of books is necessary to sell it, then I shall never be able to put mine on the market.  As Himadri will bear witness, this four-bedroomed house is beautifully chock-full of them.  I think I shall start Bookbuyers Anonymous.  M.
Apple

I can see why you don't want to have too much clutter and furniture and stuff everywhere as you are trying to show the potential buyer that the rooms are nice and well...roomy and comfortable not a pokey little rabbit hutch which if a room is full of clutter can give that perception. But I think books on a shelf is homely and welcoming (probably not the books on my shelf as they are all higgledy piggledy and crammed on where they fit (or don't as the case is) any way they can be pushed on.

As for colours and stuff its supposed to be psycological - like the smells if you have the smell of freshly ground coffee or baking its supposed to increase your chances of selling.
Green Jay

I go into lots of homes for my work (well, maybe not lots, but quite a few and all sorts of people, over the years) and I always notice when people have no books. Or if they have shelves crammed full of videos and DVDs. Or some have a short line of airport-type books and that's all. Though I'm not buying or selling property, that is just my sub-conscious noticing that they are not great readers - of course, they might have a whole library upstairs, but I think you get a feel for that sort of thing.

There seems to be a fetish for presenting your house when selling it these days - making it look like a show house that no one actually lives in. Not only no books, but no history, no hand-me-downs, or gifts from relations with less than perfect taste, only very new stylish furniture and soft furnishings, and generic ornaments. NZ sounds the same as the UK. It's called "dressing" your house, as if you are a stylist, not a real home-dweller. I think the rash of TV programmes on house buying in the last decade or more have partly created this expectation, and certainly estate agents go along with the idea.  I can see that you should make your house or flat look as attractive and spacious as poss to maximise chances of selling, but to take out everything that makes it you seems too much. (I know, I've watched those house programmes, and those B & B and hotel ones too, where people genuinely believe their own quirkiness is delightful when in fact it is off-the-scale bizarre, but those are extremes: that's why they make watchable telly.) I have a friend who has been trying to sell her house for a year now, with various setbacks. If I had to hide my books for a year I would give up on the whole thing.

Though I suppose now we could just have one slim drawer which could be shut and which holds a Kindle!
Sandraseahorse

Quote:
There seems to be a fetish for presenting your house when selling it these days - making it look like a show house that no one actually lives in. Not only no books, but no history, no hand-me-downs, or gifts from relations with less than perfect taste, only very new stylish furniture and soft furnishings, and generic ornaments


In the last few months both the house where I lived with my parents in Surrey and the flat I used to live in in Fulham have been up for sale.  Doing a tour around the house and the flat on the internet, in both cases I found it hard to believe that I ever lived there.

Everything was top of the range, everything was oh-so tasteful - but they were so sterile and bland.  There was none of the character left .
TheRejectAmidHair

Mikeharvey wrote:
Well, if decluttering one's house of books is necessary to sell it, then I shall never be able to put mine on the market.  As Himadri will bear witness, this four-bedroomed house is beautifully chock-full of them.  I think I shall start Bookbuyers Anonymous.  M.


Mike - can I buy your house (plus contents)?
county_lady

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
Mikeharvey wrote:
Well, if decluttering one's house of books is necessary to sell it, then I shall never be able to put mine on the market.  As Himadri will bear witness, this four-bedroomed house is beautifully chock-full of them.  I think I shall start Bookbuyers Anonymous.  M.


Mike - can I buy your house (plus contents)?



And I'll join Bookbuyers Anonymous. Smile
Evie

I am wondering about getting rid of all my books.  Not to sell my house - I only rent it anyway!  But sometimes feel the need to get rid of everything.
chris-l

In order to join Bookbuyers Anonymous, I assume that I would have to really want to break the habit - and I don't Smile
county_lady

I imagine it more as keeping the habit to a managed level than giving up completely. Wink
Caro

Forgot to mention that a little further down the list of making your house buyer-attractive, it said, "Take out the book cases.  Now they don't have any books in them they are not needed."  Something of a circular argument.

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