Friday, February 26, 2010

Hi, my name is Working Wife and I have a house for sale. Would you like to come and judge me?

Yesterday I received a call from a realtor’s office giving me a courtesy heads-up that someone will come see my house today from 2-4 pm. Perfect. That gave me some time to get things ready, right? Not when you have two young kids…

This morning I got the kids ready for school and sat them down in front of the TV, telling them something most mothers don’t tell their kids when it comes to television: Don’t. Move. I am pretty sure that after their initial moment of shock over the instructions, the kids were paralyzed over having to deal with this stranger that looks like their mother who just ordered them to go ahead and watch TV… on a weekday morning.

I had an ulterior motive: Cleaning. Yes, I had picked up the house the day before, but there are very few things more stressful than having your house on the market. I know. This is my second time going through this exercise in patience, self-control and self-confidence.

I can walk into a house and see its potential, but I have also watched enough HGTV shows to know that most people can’t do that. So, armed with Clorox wipes, paper towels, a gallon of Windex and my Swiffer Jet, I ran around the house like a crazy lady. I opened curtains, cleaned mirrors, made sure that all the towels in the bathrooms were PERFECTLY straight, that the pillows on the beds were just right and that anyone walking around the house would just want to take off their shoes and love it as much as I have.

Sunshine has been taking stuff down to the new townhome so we are pretty de-cluttered and I have mentally “moved” from the house. This is not my home anymore: this is a house I live in while it gets sold.

We usually keep a very neat home, and since Sunshine is not around, the boys and I are so busy that we don’t have a lot of time to make a mess. I leave every morning after I’ve made sure that a surprise showing wouldn’t embarrass me, but something about knowing that people were coming completely made me a mess. Will this people reject my home because the kitchen counter is not sterile? Will they refuse to buy my house because there are finger prints on our stainless steel appliances?  What will people think when they open the closet doors? Will they open drawers? Will they make judgment on who we are based on the color of my sheets or the food in my pantry or freezer? Should I make a little triangle on the end of the toilet paper?!? (Maybe some of these:

Selling a home is the pits. You invite people to come into your home and judge it and therefore you. You’ve seen it in the shows: Buyers are brutal. You are trying to find the good soul that will see past the tiny burnt hole in the carpet where the cinder landed after popping out of the fireplace. This morning, I was having a heart attack at the sight of this crater. Your home is undeniably an extension of who you are. It is your sanctuary, your castle. As of two weeks ago, I have opened this sacred place and invited ANYONE who has a realtor to come and see it. And judge it. A rejection is a personal affront that you cannot explain. This is our first showing. I know it will only get worse as the showings come and go and things do not happen. Even if there is nothing really “wrong” with the house, it is hard to take it as it comes.

It is 3:15 pm and I think I might have to start looking for my secret stash of dark chocolate…


Confessions From A Working Mom said...

It's so funny that you wrote this post, because just this morning, I was looking at my house and thinking, "Gosh, if we EVER need to sell, we're going to need to get a cleaning crew in here for at least a week first".

I feel your pain, and my house isn't even on the market!

Confessions From A Working Mom

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

Boy, do I feel your pain! We just went through this last year when we sold our house! I don't think there's ANYTHING more stressful!! You'll get through it, I promise! I did!

Loving Wife, Working Mom said...

The best thing about the move is that we will move into the townhome that Sunshine is currently living in. That will give us time to get our financial footing again and when we are ready, we just pack and move!

Much More Than Mommy said...

Good luck to you! We've only ever rented until about 6 months ago, so we were always on the other end of things! I can tell you that I never noticed the way the toilet paper was folded!! ;-)

Theta Mom said...

I think it's so funny you are thinking about the TP!