House hunting sure has changed since our last go-around. Just tidying up your home and rearranging some furniture? PLEASE. Prospective buyers are so used to viewing staged homes now that failure to stage would be real estate suicide. And if you think you have to hire someone to do it for you, think again. I’m my own stager. (Post on how to kick ass at DIY staging forthcoming.)
And when you’re a buyer in a hyper-competitive market like the San Francisco Bay Area, just backing up the money truck isn’t going to do it; sellers want personal letters and family pictures so they can feel good about who are going to be the next caretakers of their home. Here’s what I have to say to the current owners of our dream home:
First, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to become acquainted with your charming home. I knew it was a special place from the moment I walked in the front door, and during the past few weeks I have become enamored with its bright, cheerful spaces and easy elegance.
I can only imagine the emotion you must be feeling upon parting from this home. After fifty years, it must feel like a member of the family. It’s only natural, then, that you’d like to know a little something about the people who wish to become the next part of this home’s history.
My husband grew up on an idyllic, tree-lined street in suburban New York not unlike your own street. He spent summer days running from house to house with neighborhood friends and walked to elementary school every day. His neighbors became (and continue to be) his family’s most cherished friends. He had thought that falling in love with California had meant imagining a different kind of childhood for his own children.
But through our extended family and friends, he had the good fortune to become acquainted with your town and his dream for our children’s future was renewed. Now he envisions our daughter holding her little brother’s hand on the walk to elementary school, our son strolling home with teammates from football practice at your local high school, and me baking fresh plum crumbles for neighborhood block parties.
I, for my part, grew up in the East Bay but spent most of my adult life as a San Franciscan. There were times I thought I might stay happily in the city forever, but motherhood has given way to a longing for community, someplace to settle in, grow roots and join in. I can’t quite explain it (my husband has certainly asked!), but your town has just always felt right.
It is with great fondness that I leave San Francisco and the century-old Edwardian my husband and I have called home for our entire marriage. The house was in need of a little love when we first purchased it, and during our ownership we carefully restored it with an eye toward honoring its history. My husband and I first crossed the threshold as newlyweds and now we will close the front door for the final time as a family of four, eager to begin the next chapter of our life together.
Thank you for considering our offer. My husband and I love your home and would be honored to call it ours.
The Priss & Vinegar Family