I’m selling my house. I’ve been told, perhaps I read it as I rarely speak to people, that selling a house is one of the most stressful things a person can do. I believe that. I’m stressed.
The decision making that is necessary to sell a house has been eye-opening and the number of questions I’ve been asked, ones I have no answer to, has been unreasonable. Mind you I rarely talk to people so I don’t know what a reasonable amount is.
First, I needed to engage an agent to sell my house. You need to shop around was the advice my husband gave me. Husband is in another state by the way, giving me this advice over the phone. The same husband who is far better at all these things that I am. Did I mention I read for a living? Engaging agents to sell our home doesn’t come up often as a plot line in a book so I had zero life experience to go on.
One of the agencies I called – a pretty big one here in Canberra – couldn’t get the call to go through the sales department no matter how often I called back. She said “transferring you” and promptly hung up four times. I didn’t go for try five, fearing she’d have a nervous breakdown at hearing my voice again. That left two, the one my son recommended and another major name. I won’t mention them because Canberra is a small town where seven degrees of separation really exists but at the time he was due to arrive he called me to say he was knocking on my front door, had I forgotten our appointment? Not being home would require me leaving the house. He obviously doesn’t know me. I poked my head out and found him knocking on my neighbour’s door. Needless to say, he didn’t get the job.
Attrition left the lady whom my son had recommended. She found the house. It wasn’t a test I meant to put in place but serendipity works that way sometimes. When I told my husband that was my method of choosing he said there are probably worse ways.
I figure she knows how to sell a house so I wasn’t worried, after all, she managed to find it. She’s been excellent. She seemed to understand that decision making isn’t my forte and kept the question asking to a minimum, instead gave me options rather than a long list of possibilities. I was happy for this. I like intuitive people who can guess your level of willingness to interact with other earthlings and she guessed mine at a very low zero. She probably goes home to her husband each night to tell him about the oddball client with a book in her hand every time she answers the door.
Our house goes up for auction tomorrow. Whether it sells or not is anyone’s guess. It’s an odd market but that’s not the stressful part. What is stressful is the expectation that other people place on getting the best possible price. Since my husband’s close call, our priorities are very different. Profits come in many forms, not just financial. This house owns us nothing. It gave us a cosy place to raise three lovely boys who turned into lovely men. It was a place they were always happy to come home to after a day of school or whatever they might be doing. It was a place they were happy to gather and talk with us about all kinds of things. Just now I had a long conversation with son #3 about bacteria. (Son #2 has been bitten by a white tail spider and the antibiotics aren’t doing it but that’s another post.) The kitchen has given me so many conversations with my boys. It was the place they opened up n and felt comfortable as I pottered around.
This house was witness to a really good marriage and two people who love each other. I like to think that love seeped into the walls and floor. I’m pretty sure it did.
People want us to hold out for the very best price, but what is the very best price and is that the best thing for this house? Wouldn’t it profit from another family talking about bacteria in the kitchen? Is the stress of waiting for a better offer really worth it? How does anyone know what might happen tomorrow or the day after.
I can’t speak for the people who decided that selling a house was one of the most stressful things a person can do, but I can say based on my personal experience, it’s not the selling as much as the expectation that wears me down. It’s been an experience for this anti-social oddball but experiences make us better writers so I grateful for it.
I will get around to telling you what I read. I have spiders to talk about first.