So I just realized I haven’t told you about our house selling experience. By now we will have already went through the process of moving into our new home, but you will have to wait a little longer to hear about that I’m afraid.
If you’ve ever sold your house while living in it I applaud you. If you’ve ever sold your house while living in it with two small children I’d like to give you a standing ovation.
When we decided to put our home on the market I definitely underestimated the process of selling. It didn’t occur to me that the staging and appearance of the place would be such a big deal. I didn’t realize how emotional it would be for our family. And I certainly did not foresee myself becoming a raving lunatic over it all.
I’ve decided to compile a record of exactly how we got through this tentative real estate adventure; for your reading enjoyment of course.
First of all I had to learn to keep my expectations in check. Ones imagination can most certainly get the better of them in this situation.
At times I found myself daydreaming of completely unrealistic situations.
This later resulted in massive melancholy when realizing that all of my hopes and dreams were completely inflated.
No the house will not sell the first day on the market.
And no there will probably not be a real estate war over my humble abode allowing us to receive thousands of dollars more than what was expected. These sentences eventually became my daily mantra to assure I didn’t get carried away when thinking about the sale of the house.
Once all of the unrealistic expectations were out of the way I prepared the troops for what was next.
The pressure was on and for what was to be an undetermined amount of time our entire world revolved around these three words, “staging the house”.
There were many times (in reality it was twice) when the real estate agent called asking if we could swing a showing in an hour.
And of course we said, “Let’s do it!” Complete with fake smiles and desperate hopefulness in the pit of our stomachs.
So there I was forcing the children to sit in the middle of the kitchen floor assuring their grubby hands were not in arms reach of soiling anything important while I frantically spit shined everything in sight.
I was actually spitting on stuff to shine it up.
I had reached a new low.
Once, I forgot to tell Jamie we had a showing which left my poor husband thrown for a complete loop when he walked in the door after work and I began madly screaming a cleaning list in his general direction.
Meanwhile the kids once again were plopped on the floor and not moving a muscle—perhaps in fear I may actually eat them during my seemingly psychotic breakdown. Then came the emotional rollercoaster (as if I hadn’t already been riding it).
Ultimately I found myself in a near depression because it had been five whole days and no one had shown any interest in the house. Then BAM just like that our real estate agent called with an offer.
I was elated! Ecstatic! Overjoyed at our unbelievably good fortune! In the next breath however she told us it was under the asking price. Here we go again with the unrealistic expectations.
I felt as though I plummeted into a crater of self pity and repugnance for the real estate game.
However then she mentioned that we would begin negotiating the price and for a mere moment I felt uplifted…
But then came the negotiating.
Let me just tell you negotiating is a “B with an itch”. I’m not going to lie; I wanted to take the first offer that got thrown our way. It felt like every instinctual bone in my body was telling me to.
But in the corner of my logical intellect I knew this was the wrong thing to do. So instead Jamie and I countered.
Then we waited.
It was the longest drawn out misery of my life and I broke down into a heap of emotion more than once.
Nevertheless just as fast as it began, it was over.
Much like childbirth I feel that I must chose to mentally block the odious experience of selling our home. One day (hopefully in the far far future) we will once again need to undergo this venture and to do so I ought to put these last few months as far from mind as possible.
And that my friend’s is how we made it out alive when selling our home. I think about where we are today and how much we have already accomplished in this new place and it makes me swell with pride that we did it. It was difficult and at times almost agonizing, but in the end so definitely worth it.
Lindsay Brown is an Alberta mother of two and freelance columnist.