Selling real estate is not my cup of tea

June 14, 2014

by Chelsea Hooper

My husband and I put our house on the market last week, and it’s the first time that either of us have been through this process.

When our agent (who is a friend of ours) came over, she said we need to de-clutter, de-personalize and clean.

All of those things are hard for me to do, but I was very hesitant with the de-personalize part.

There are photographs all over our house, and it was hard for me to imagine taking them down. She explained that potential buyers need to be able to see themselves living in our house and not us living in our house.

Okay, okay, I got it.

So down came the pictures. Well, most of them. I left some of them up because I feel like the potential buyers need to see how happy we are.

Can’t the photographs scream, “Hey! Look how happy we are! If you live here, you’ll be happy, too!”?

Thursday was only a week that it’s been on the market, and I find myself thinking about it all day long. It’s really tough work to keep your house ready to be shown at any given moment of the day. ESPECIALLY when you have 3 dogs, a cat and 2 kiddos.

It’s very hard for me not to be in control of something. And to imagine people walking through my house, without me being able to answer their questions (read: argue with their negative opinions), or explain all of the great things about the house, is really difficult for me.

When I was 6 and my brother was 9, our across-the-street neighbors moved, and a new family moved in. The first day that the new family (who actually turned out to be some of our greatest family friends) moved in, my brother and I went over to their house and introduced ourselves.

Instead of shyly welcoming them to the neighborhood and heading back home, apparently we told them how the previous family had their furniture arranged. We actually told them that they had it set up wrong, and they needed to move things around to make it right.

I feel like that same little girl right now, and like I want to tell all of the potential buyers how things should be. The very first time we had a showing I left a sticky note on a door handle that was broken, telling them it’d be fixed that night. The next showing, we left a note with lemonade and cookies. Then we left out muffins and coffee, and then cookies and coffee.

I just can’t stand to think of strangers coming in my house and me not being able to talk to them! It’s so weird! I have to at least leave some sort of note.

If I could have it my way, I’d take them all on a tour myself. But then they’d all think I was psychotic and nobody would ever buy my house.

My second choice would be to leave sticky notes all over the house telling them the pros of each little detail. But then I suppose I’d be in the same boat as if I gave them all tours. So instead, I just leave them snacks and beverages and little welcoming messages, resisting the urge to do all of the above.

I keep reminding myself that it has only been one week. ONE WEEK.

In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a house, and you come to one and find some delicious pastries and see some cute family photos on the wall of a bearded man, a tall blonde and two adorable kids, just know that it is killing me not to be there while you look.

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