A couple of months ago I saw the movie, “The Silver Linings Playbook.” It’s about a guy who is trying to get his life back in order after being in a mental institution after nearly beating to death a guy he caught in the shower with his wife. As part of this process (and I believe at the urging of his therapist) he tries to find the silver lining in everything, something he calls “excelsior” or “ever upward” in Latin. I thought the movie was good – meaning I was entertained (I’m not sure what makes a movie “good” or not, but I enjoyed it.) I really liked that he tried very hard to look on the bright side of things – something that I have a hard time doing for myself.
I have decided to undertake the difficult task of selling my house. What complicates matters is I have a three year old, so it’s not like I can make the house (Especially her room) “neutral”. What complicates things even more is that my wife is pregnant and due soon, so we want to have this house sold (or at least under contract) and a new one picked out by the time she delivers (We plan on moving 1.5 hours away). I also did a lot of the work on the house myself (she did what she could and without her we wouldn’t be at the point we are now). I realize I am not the first person to do this, but having a certain timeframe in which we want things done makes things difficult for me. At least in my mind. I’m trying to make this move as easy as possible on everyone, especially my daughter who will undoubtedly have the hardest time adjusting. At the time I am writing this my house has been on the market six days, and quite honestly to me it’s six days too long. I’m being tortured mentally. Up until today we’ve had a steady flow of traffic for the most part. We got spoiled the first day when we had a showing request within two hours of the listing going active and the feedback promising saying they liked the house and liked that they would stay in the same neighborhood and would know their final decision the next day, only to be completely stood up.
Everyone I’ve talked to besides my wife says to have patience. Well that’s not fair. She says to have patience too, but everyone says “It will sell. No problem.” I have none. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really had any. I want the house sold NOW. My realtor has the patience of a saint. So does my wife. My realtor gets constant questions from me asking all sorts of questions. She gives me her standard answer and depending what it is, sets me off. I’ve never gone off on her for anything, only occasionally whined/bitched to my wife. My wife has taken the brunt of the effects of the stress. I do feel as though our realtor has our best interests in mind. I just sometimes felt as though what we have isn’t good enough. Like if we made one or two more upgrades, we’d be golden. But we don’t have the money to be throwing into a house that we want to sell and we probably won’t get back. Then we got feedback, which made me have a little more positive outlook, while at the same time questioning my faith in humanity. The majority of the feedback was positive or neutral- just not what they wanted, he loved it she didn’t type thing. Then came the realtor from Annapolis. She nicknamed my house “The Princess house.” Look, my kid is girly. She likes princesses. Like her father (and like most three year olds) she dislikes change. So to take down the border and decals in the room is asking too much for her. DEAL. We already have all of her toys either a) in storage b) in a closet or c) in our cars. She has been an absolute trooper in this process and hasn’t really complained about not being able to play with her toys. Asking a three year old to alter their lifestyle while you try to sell the only place she’s called home is a lot. I (and I think most people) recognize this. Spending her days away from the house, sending her beloved dog to stay with a relative so the process can be smoother, it’s a lot for me let alone my daughter. We haven’t even really talked about a new daycare where she’ll have to make new friends (When she is just beginning to talk about people outside of daycare now). The one time I brought up a “new school” she cried and ever since whenever we talk about a new house she says she doesn’t want a new school. So we do what we can to keep her happy while at the same time do what we can to make the house look as nice as we can. For the past two months I stayed up literally almost every night working on something. Painting this, repairing that, cleaning that other thing. I wasn’t sleeping much and every little flaw in my house made me crazy. Every little spec of dirt that wasn’t coming up, any flaw, I over examined – multiple times. To my credit, I became somewhat handy and with some help from some friends, I think the house looks nice. For that vile human to call my house “The Princess House.” I want to find her and rip her a new one. Does she not realize that her criticism of it not being “De-kidified” enough can be (easily) fixed when you purchase the house? I mean really, take down the border and the decals and paint it. IT can be done over a weekend. I mean I know most people don’t want a “fix me upper” but seriously. My realtor for her part said the criticism wasn’t really a deal breaker for houses though, could she offer any more? Well the realtor let loose. Her remarks make me think that she hires a disabled tour guide to take her kids through Disneyworld so they don’t have to wait in line. Most of the complaints weren’t something that is a shock to the people when they arrive (it smelled funny, the grass was 14″ high). It was stuff like the closet doesn’t have a door, the kitchen cabinets are two-tone. So that makes me question humanity. Why come in the door? Just to look down on me? Just to make me feel like you’re better than me?
But I try to look on the bright side. There have been at least two and a half interested parties, that for whatever reason didn’t go through with it. (The first showing who said they liked it, another buyer said the basement smelled “musty” and that was the deal breaker, and another couple the guy loved it and the woman did not. It’s also somewhat disheartening to hear that the deal breaker was something that can be easily remedied. Like a smell in the basement. I got a dehumidifier. But even if I didn’t, if there is water damage the home inspection will find it and I’ll get it repaired. If that’s not the problem, buy a dehumidifier yourself. You’re spending over $300,000 to buy a house, spend a couple hundred more and fix it yourself! Seriously, you’ll pay more in closing costs! But at the same time, I’m trying to look at the bright side of things. There’s enough interest that people want to look. Just about everyone who I have talked to says the house will sell. I just want it done. The flaws I was worried about aren’t being brought up, so I can’t complain there. It hasn’t been a week and I believe that everything happens for a reason so I am trying to convince myself that I will get something soon and it will work out for me. It is just very hard.
I suppose there are worse things in life than worrying about why your house hasn’t sold in a week. I’ve been told that my emotions (wondering why the house hasn’t sold yet) are battling logic (understanding that it has not even been in a week and I need to give it more time) and that I need to let logic in or else I will go crazy (as if I haven’t already). While I recognize this and try (very) hard to overpower emotion with logic (Which I can do so very well to other people), I gotta say it’s a dead heat and emotions have runners in scoring position with their stud hitter coming to the plate. But logic does have that ace arming up in the bullpen, and the game could be called on a count of rain (i.e. the house being sold) at any time. I just need to not think so much and continue to look ever upward.