It’s been four days – is it time to call in The Unsellables yet?

by DaniGirl on September 1, 2010 · 14 comments

in Happy @ home, Life, the Universe and Everything

This whole house-selling thing? Is way too much work. Way, way too much work. I haven’t been this tired since there was a newborn in the house.

I’d thought that getting the place up to standard would be the hard part, and that simply keeping it clean for the showings would be challenging but not impossible. Ha! No such luck.

(Oh yes, I am going to whine in this post. Consider yourself warned. No doubt there are people with far larger problems in their lives than selling a quarter-million dollars worth of townhouse but right now? Oh yes, there be whining ahead. And maybe a little whinging, too.)

The good news is that after what seemed like a slow start, there’s been a fair bit of interest in the house. We had two showings on Sunday afternoon, another one Monday evening, three on Tuesday evening, and another two scheduled for 4 – 5 pm and 6:15 to 7:15 this evening. I mean, we can’t sell it if we don’t have people coming through, right? But do they have to cluster their visits around nap time and dinner time, the two most disruptive times of the day? I can’t believe we’re actually sick of eating out!

Plus, it’s a pain in the arse to come home from work and spend a frantic 90 minutes wiping down every surface in the house, and vacuuming, and swiffering, and mopping, and hiding the kids’ toys, and remembering to move the bowl full of fancy raffia balls back on to the dining room table while making sure that Lucas doesn’t launch any (more) of them, and flushing all the toilets (you can never take that chance, I learned) and hiding the dish towel and the dog bowls and the waste cans and all other signs of life while also remembering to place the feature sheets in an artful and welcoming fan on the table… well, you get the picture. And then we have to go somewhere else and do something for an hour or three, and by the time they’re done it’s past the boys’ bedtimes. Has it really not even been a week yet? I can’t keep this up for much longer!

One of the most annoying things is that there is simply nowhere to hide anything. The closets, the cupboards, the basement, the garage — anywhere where we might have stashed a little clutter has to be kept tidy and orderly. Even the laundry has to be folded and put away the moment it gets removed from the dryer. We are lazy people, simply not accustomed to having to work this hard for such a sustained period of time.

Even living an austere life makes a certain amount of mess, and now that it’s been four days and six showings without an offer, I can’t possibly relax in the house if there is something more I can clean. I’m down to the kind of cleaning that would be scoffed at by even the most obsessive neat freak; I just finished polishing the pipes behind the toilet for god’s sake. But, says the voice in my head when I’m thinking of — say — pausing to write a blog post or something, “Don’t stop now! What if that little bit of grime in the back corner of the cupboard under the sink is what turns them off? What if they would have bought the place if only the garden were more fully weeded?” Gah!

There are probably bigger jobs I could do to make the place more appealing (the ugly blue carpets come to mind, as does the deck in need of repainting) but I simply don’t have any more money to throw at the problem. Instead, I will obsess over the most minuscule amounts of dirt and disorder and wonder if *that’s* what has prevented people from making an offer.

Oh, I know this is nothing to whine about. It will all be worth it in the end. But today I’m tired and cranky and resentful that I’ve spent so much of the last week cleaning and so little of it enjoying this last spectacular week of summer with the boys. And I miss my camera like crazy — I haven’t taken a picture in two weeks. What the hell is up with that?

Speaking of which, it’s been about 30 minutes since I’ve cleaned something, and we have to be out of here in another hour and a half for tonight’s round of showings, so I have to go. Wish us luck; I’m not sure how long we can keep this up!


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kerry September 1, 2010 at 1:15 pm

You know I love you, but you’re totally insane. Relax. The average house takes over 30 days to sell now, you know. And you can schedule viewings so that they’re only on a couple of evenings a week and then on the weekends. Talk to your real estate agent. It doesn’t have to wreck you. honest!

2 Paula September 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I know it is a very stressful time but hang in there. The house will sell and soon I’m sure. Kerry is right. You can schedule your showings to suit your needs. We refused to show our home in Ottawa after 6:00 p.m. and we sold it after being listed for only three weeks (and we got the price we wanted for it!)
Things will happen, just remember to breath.

3 Valerie September 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Ours took a month to sell, and there were a lot of showings – I could hardly believe it took so long (felt like forever). We took the chance and moved into the new place before listing so we could skip the supper/bedtime showings and the early morning cleaning binge – I don’t suppose that’s an option for you now?

4 Valerie September 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm

sorry – I didn’t mean that to be depressing but I’m guessing it might be. Just remember that the new house is worth it and like the newborn you referred to, this will soon all be a distant memory!

5 Annika September 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Stay strong, Dani. I remember how much work it was, and I didn’t have the compounding factor of three beautiful boys living and playing in the house that I was trying to sell. One thing I recommend for that “last minute decluttering on our way out the door” that you mentioned in the above post, and which I thought was both brilliant and hilarious when we did it = we used to put it all in the trunk of our car before the showing! No one could see it and it wasn’t messing up the closets, garage or basement that were on display. So that’s my tip of the day!

Also…even though you are losing out on some of the last week of summer with your boys this year, just think of the summer memories you will make in that new home and new backyard next year!

6 freemommiestuff September 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm

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7 Chantal September 1, 2010 at 7:24 pm

One of my best friends, who IS a neat freak, bless her soul, had a terrible time with the whole showing thing. The same stress that you are suffering from. It is hard, really hard. I understand and I would be whining right along with you. Hugs. It will all be over soon.

8 Jen September 1, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Stay strong Dani, it will all be over before you know it! I agree with Annika above – when we sold our last house we had two rubbermaid bins by the front door. Everything that was hanging around on the counters, tables, floors (oh, the never ending toys!) were thrown into the bins, and we carted the bins into the trunk of the car as we were leaving the house for a showing. I loved those bins, lol

9 Lara September 1, 2010 at 9:41 pm

When we sold our house we were really lucky and it sold after an open house. We priced low though, because I could not deal with keeping it show ready otherwise.

As stressful as it sounds it sounds like you’re doing a good job though. And I think asking your agent not to schedule at bad times is a good idea too.

Good luck, I’m keeping my fingers are crossed this all ends soon!

10 Ingrid September 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm

One thing we did when we were selling our house: during mealtime showings bring your meal ( and kids and dog) to a nice park. That way you can have a picnic,enjoy the outdoors, and the nice weather. The kids can also run around, and it’s cheaper than eating in a restaurant. As well, we went to the car wash ( fun to do and never have time for it) and the ballroom at IKEA. The library is a possibility, but you’d have to pretend you had a guide dog, or wait for cooler weather to leave the dog in the car.
Just some suggestions on making the best of the situation. It WILL be over one day – short term pain for long term gain is what it’s all about.

11 Vanessa September 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Try burying St. Joseph ( a statue of him…) in your garden, feet up, facing your house. Apparently works like a charm!

12 Finola September 3, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Ugh, I can’t imagine selling a home with young kids. It must be so hard.
Crossing my fingers for you that it sells quickly. The comments above have given you some great advice. Best of luck!

And, um, your spam checky thing below wants me to type letters upside down?!

13 Pearl September 4, 2010 at 8:17 am

guess the market is cooling. eating out is great when it’s a treat. everyday is a chore more than cooking.

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