Style and a Neighbor's Open House

When your neighbors have an open house, what do you do?

 You go.

My next-door neighbors recently had an open house and I couldn't keep myself from it. I didn't want to look too eager thus did not show up the minute the open house signs were erected, however I was somewhat punctual. 

I liked being the neighbor at the open house. The realtor asked me about my interest in the property, and as soon as I said, "I'm a neighbor." The realtor moved on to other house hunters and I perused in peace. My viewing was so peaceful, that I may use the "I'm a neighbor" refrain more frequently.

Source: Wikipedia
After numerous open houses over the past two years, I can say my neighbors were absolutely ready for an open house. They had cleaned, de-cluttered and staged somewhat. The one thing that troubled me with the open house, however, was the home's interior style.

Because of catalogs like Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and websites like Pinterest, modern homes all start to look the same. For better or for worse the sameness quality immediately draws one to a house, because what you are seeing is familiar.  

My neighbors house wasn't picture-perfect. They had remodeled the kitchen and had bought new furniture, but it wasn't what is in fashion today. This oddity of style impacted my impression of the home and I am sure many other visitors as well. Other homes in my neighborhood have gone into contract within a week of being on the market this home did not and I can only blame it on style or taste, because everything else about the house was right.

I recently talked to a realtor about putting my home on the market. He immediately talked about having a professional stager come in and stage our house while all of our belongings went into storage. I was dumbfounded by such a comment. The realtor obviously didn't know about my open house past-time, but beyond that I couldn't imagine putting everything I own in storage and then living with borrowed furniture while I waited for my home to be sold. Is this the price to pay for selling real estate or is it only the price to pay if you want to sell real estate fast?

My neighbors home finally went into contract. It sat on the market three times longer than other homes in the neighborhood. So, does style matter? Only if you want to sell your home lightning fast.