A Tale of A Grandma House


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The door opened with a creak, like the beginning of the Michael Jackson song Thriller, and daylight crept over the darkened room. A layer of dust was settled atop the yellowed pictures of once bright flowers hanging on the wall. Random pieces of old furniture and mismatched antiques rest on outdated carpet. The faint smell of mothballs mixed with the slight odor of an old household pet lingered in the air.

I fumbled around the large, thick switch plates to flip on some light switches. Light flooded the room revealing cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling. The dusty rose walls were nicked and stained, as they hadn’t been painted in years. A greasy hand print was smeared down the doorway to the hall as if someone unsteady had grabbed there.

I opened the shades to let in more light as I moved slowly from room to room. Each room revealed more of the same. I stopped in my tracks when I reached the kitchen. The lighting had taken on a yellow hue, and I understood why when I saw it reflecting off of the harvest gold-colored refrigerator. Mismatched towels and decorative plates hung here and there.

It was terrifying. scary-room

Everywhere I looked knickknacks and collectibles filled the space gathering dust. The bookshelves were packed and items from a lifetime of living filled every available corner. Old family photos set on every surface, hinting at a long life filled with family and love. But the person in this home was no longer there, they had moved on to a better place…

a retirement home.

This scene is one viewed by many visiting homes for sale. Sometimes I’ve overheard other REALTORs refer to this type of property as “a Grandma house”. These properties are often characterized by collections of old items and a lack of home updates due to low energy by the aging owner or by lack of funds by those living on a fixed income.

It may be hard for homebuyers to see the potential in such properties, as on the surface they can appear a bit unkempt. But once the old items are moved out, the home gets a good cleaning, a new coat of paint and different furniture moved in, the home will become a lovely property again. These changes are not that expensive but can make a huge impact. However most homebuyers have an emotional response when viewing a home and cannot visualize how a few inexpensive changes will impact the beauty of the property.

I’ve been able to use my experience in digital imaging to help sell a home by giving homebuyers a view of the potential in a property. Help selling “a Grandma house” is here. By digitally removing the old items in the room and putting in more updated items, one can better see the full potential of an outdated home. I then post the digitally updated pictures in the rooms so that homebuyers viewing the house can really visualize the impact that a few changes will make to the property.  

Are you looking to sell an outdated property? Or are you an agent who currently has a home for sale that needs some updates? I can help you sell an outdated home faster without moving furniture or paying for expensive staging services. Below are some samples of digital staging that show how a few changes can enhance a property.

Dining Room_Digitially StagedKitchen_digitally stagedBath_digitally stagedAttic Room_Digitally StagedJana Rice