The “Ball Is In Your Park” decision; the BIIYP, as you may recall, ended quickly with a request for a showing. Geezzzzzz!!!! So SOON??!?? This was supposed to take awhile! I just got used to seeing the sign for Pete’s sake. I was quite comfy in BIIYP and was not ready to have strangers (otherwise known as BUYERS to regular people who list their homes) coming into my home! No! I didn’t want to show it! But the PIA voice started nagging. I could clearly hear her lecturing me about wasting Marilyn’s time if I wasn’t serious. About having wasted MY time too. “Alright ALRIGHT!!! I’ll show it! Shutup already!” I hollered to the PIA voice.
So you might think that with my half-hearted attitude about selling, that I would give showing the house a half-hearted effort, but that is just not me. Nope. Everything had to be perfect. Each showing was akin to preparing for a visit by heads of state. Every tiny speck of dust removed, every pillow karate-chopped just the right way. Did I mention that I am a Certified Professional Home Stager and HGTV addict? Well, I may not have really wanted to sell my house, but darn it! It was going to look like it jumped out of Better Homes and Gardens for every showing no matter how I felt inside!! Probably the funniest incident happened when I was in such a pre-showing rush and panic, I whipped myself around and accidentally stuck the running vacuum cleaner hose into dog’s water dish and it started sucking up water!! So that showing wasn’t quite perfect of course since I had to have the vacuum upside down in the basement sink draining out the water. Lesson learned. “Budget your time a little better” the voice said……. At another showing, the PIA voice nagged about giving more attention to detail. “Maybe next time, you can remember to take down the bra hanging from the clothes line in the basement.”
I met each prospective buyer at the door, at least momentarily. Yeah, yeah….I know you aren’t supposed to. I cleared out quickly enough, but I wanted to get a read on the people who might buy “my baby”. All told, I had a crew that came in and toured 3 times and each time they came, the entourage grew (should I set up a polling station??). Another couple who came twice and spent at least an hour both times (The house is all of 1,176 square feet. Seriously??? I don’t take that long to view some of the mansions at Newport). Then they gave me an insulting offer. Obviously, after all the time they took to look, they gave not a second’s thought to the problem with ticking off an emotional seller. They found out quickly enough…… Then there was the couple who said the yard was too big (that would be why there is a lot size and lots of pictures in the listing (sigh…). The single lady who had a big house and was trying to downsize. A former colleague who told my agent that she knew my house was perfect because that’s how I did everything at work. I decided to take that as a compliment and ignore the PIA voice reminding me about my tendency to nit-pick. Each time, I did NOT want to show the house. Each time, I ran myself ragged making everything perfect. And each time someone didn’t want it, I felt myself indignantly asking “And just why the heck NOT??? HMPH!!!”. Most importantly, with each “No”, I was able to stick with the satisfaction of the BIIYP. Hey, I had no control over these folks, right? I was doing my best to make the house look great. It wasn’t my fault that no one was buying (or forcing me into changing). So basically, I’d put in a good faith effort to make it look great, and feel a bit put-off when someone said no. But if truth be told, there was that feeling of “Whew…I dodged THAT bullet!”. There is probably some technical name for this in the psychology books under general weirdness or wishy-washiness or something along those lines, but I think the term “scared of change” would be most appropriate.
And then THEY came. I liked them. They loved my home, but decided it was too small (dodged another bullet HA!HA!). But then they came back for a second look on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. And apparently, they REALLY loved my house. Ut-oh…….
Marilyn called me the following Thursday evening chirping “Well, we are going to have an offer tomorrow”. My response was “Oh yeah? Hmmm. What made them change their minds?” So after all the staging and yard saleing and furniture listing on Craig’s List and Letgo and Facebook and just general angst, my response to her was “Oh yeah? Hmmm. What made them change their minds?” Well, that’s what she heard anyway. But what I was actually saying, with wild-eyed, screaming anxiety was “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I CAN’T DO THIS!!!!!” I felt the tears behind my eyes, just waiting to explode onto my cheeks as I struggled to keep my stomach from flipping. Instead of jumping for joy, I was terrified! Scarlett came to my rescue. I didn’t know what the offer would be, Scarlett decided. It could be as bad as that first one. So Scarlett wrapped her arms around me and decided “I can’t think about that now. I’ll think about it tomorrow”. I love Scarlett.
By morning, I had gotten hold of myself and was OK with the idea of selling my beautiful little house. Still not jumping for joy, but OK as lukewarm as my OK’s usually are. And so there I was…. waiting for the offer. And waiting. And waiting. And then doing what I normally do when I’m stressed – I find something to do. I took the dogs to the park even though it was 88 degrees. I don’t have a problem with heat as long as I stay in the shade. Perhaps wearing fur coats, however, is what made the dogs less-than-enthused. They sniffed a bit here and there and then looked at me, tongues hanging out of their mouths, as if to say “Seriously???? What is your problem woman??”. OK. Home we went. Since they were hot, I took that as a good time for baths. Of course, that also means washing their beds. And what the heck, while we’re at it, I might as well strip my bed and wash my sheets too. Having completed my “torture” of the dogs, there were a couple of plant stands that I had intended to sand and spray paint. That kept me occupied for a few hours even though I found myself checking the time regularly and wondering……WHERE…..IS……THE…..OFFER???? Sigh. The personification of cool am I (not). Moving on, I cleaned all the windows on my car – interior and exterior. Finally around 8 pm, I couldn’t take it anymore and texted Marilyn with “Well….Did they change their minds?” As it turned out, the offer had come in late and she hadn’t had a chance to look at it yet. I wanted her to see it first. Silly? Well, maybe, but I know how I am. Just in case it was another insulting offer, I wanted to give Marilyn time to come up with her calming words of wisdom.
As it turned out, their offer came in with great financing and a fairly decent first offer. More hemming and hawing ensued, but not even Scarlett could save me this time. I had to make a decision. I HAD to embrace this change. The price wasn’t quite there, so I countered.
And so the DANCE begins……