Are You Really Ready To Sell?

Dinner conversation centers around homes of all issues and predicaments for Buddy and I. From the new listings coming on board to anxious client closings pushed off. We dine over all the in between – lack of showings, heartless feedback on many showings, delivering due diligence news regarding repairs, contracts coming in and contracts falling apart.

I felt an urge of divine proportions and posed the idea to my realtor.  “Let’s put the house up for sale.  “Really? You’re sure?”   Of course I was sure. I know it ALL. This is our world!

Marriage to a REALTOR© has advantages.  A pet peeve of any real estate broker (at least mine) is an unkempt home. (Let me clarify unkempt: lawn overgrown, faulty air conditioning units, paint peeling, floor boards cracked. NOT: the hot mess of children and animals in the living areas.) We’d breeze through due diligence after having our choice of the many buyers. 

Sign, lockbox, let’s go. Sure, I can pack the dogs in the car with me for the showings we will endure. Easy peasy…

Buddy scheduled pictures to be taken by a professional company, measurements and floor plan to be sketched and we cleaned! Our garbage cans were overflowing!  A shredding truck along with drop off after drop off to Habitat for Humanity enabled a pathway for buyers to walk through when in garage and storage area.  

Practice for a showing, I straightened and gathered everyone to head out while Buddy met with the photographer. Hours later we returned home, quarantined to our playroom as they finished “shooting” upstairs. I never spend too much time in the playroom if I don’t have to, could stand to be organized a bit. Also, the idea of keeping the dogs in the car during showings needed to be revamped. I felt like their dog stench was in my hair. One of them wouldn’t give up the effort of digging out through the floor board.

The pictures returned looking unbelievable; uncluttered and spacious!  Apparently after I left the house, Buddy got busy stripping all surfaces of mom clutter and children tchotchkes. My trained feet simply step over dog toys and random Barbies on the floor, my eyes don’t register them. What a difference once they disappeared!

Wait, is this what the house had to look like each time I walked out the door?

Barbies, dog toys, American Girl doll horse etc., are common in our home/middle of floor.  If my casual eye is missing THOSE, what else could I be overlooking? I reigned in my carefree focus and decided to see everything.

A leak in our bathroom ceiling, hmmm. Stepping out of the bathroom, my new eye caught the chewed molding from our sweet dog who can’t stand to be on the lone side of a closed door. Ceiling, molding, ceiling, molding.  What is this water spot on the sun room ceiling? The molding in the laundry room is completely chewed through… to the drywall. What is wrong with her?

The wallpaper is beginning to fall in the master bathroom. When did the wood begin to swell around the corners of my cabinets? Was someone wearing heels up the stairs and cracked the wood on third and fifth step? What is that line in the ceiling?

I have no idea what was going through Buddy’s mind. He just had a distant look continually muttering, “I can’t believe my sellers have to do this.”  I gave him a daily list of eyeball items to be handled.

We chose to put our home on the market during the least fertile time in Wilmington, North Carolina. The time of year when everything alive turns a grayish brown. I believe our landscaper blocked my number and I was forced to send lengthy emails on exactly how to make the outside dead look more plush.

I continually locked out my handyman and my ears rang form the constant sound of pressure washing. I could not think straight. But my eyes were focused on every flaw in our previously perfect home.  How have I lived here so long with this home falling to shambles before my very eyes?

Buddy came to his senses first, being the professional and all. He placed his hands on my shoulders and shook out the hysteria. “The house is what it is. It’s got good bones. We can only do so much. You are making me crazy.”

Weeks after our decision we put the sign up and lockbox on the door! We were ready and Buddy had a bit of an eye twitch…   

And after a few showings and extremely unprofessional agents not giving any feedback, even horrible comments, we realized it was not our time.  But, in this season I am certain Buddy gained a bit more respect of what he, and his profession, put people through every day.   And I learned how there are so many "realtors" that simply took the class but have no idea of the life altering challenges they are putting people through day in and day out.  I learned, quite simply how amazing my REALTOR who failed to sell his own house is.   Life is about living not about one season of sellling or buying.  And if people do not get that, well, they will one day as they will walk in our very shoes.

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