We've had our house on the market for longer than Zillow would like to even mention now. but I'm pretty sure its been almost a month (I know its not that bad but it is for someone with no patience like myself). If there is one thing I've learned through the process of selling, it's that it is a lot like dating. Here me out and keep in mind, this isn't some deep meaningful blog post with 90's Full House music playing in the background at the end, but rather my way of staying sane through the hell of selling a house. Also side note: I'm happily married to my ride or die for going on 6 years now. I do remember the dating years all too well. When we started the selling process, all the PTSD of dating came rushing back. So here are my thoughts on this crazy theory.
Deciding to Sell (or Date)
When you make the decision to sell, even the thought alone is daunting. Where do I start? Are we ready to sell. Why do you want to sell? What are we looking to get out of selling? For us it was easy. We decided to sell our 2700 sq ft house to prepare our move into a 300 sq ft RV. All of which the same when deciding to get in the dating market. What am I looking for? Something meaningful? Quick? What am I looking for in someone?
Getting All Prettied Up
After we decided to sell our house, we stood inside looking around, going over what we needed to fix up, repaint, declutter, and move. What was going to make this place sell? Should we repaint the study? Let's clear out all the DVDs from the built ins. Declutter all the toys in the playroom, which by the way, was never used. But you basically turn your once, family sanctuary, into the after scene of an HGTV fix up show. Not to mention treat it as such. I can't even count anymore how many time I've told my kids to "act like the house isn't ours" How does this relate to dating? When you decide to go out, weather its a girls night or a blind date, you spend hours and money on getting all dolled up. Put on the shoes you never wear, that outfit that really makes your _____ pop, and give yourself that extra TLC. Manis, pedis, brow shape, whatever it is that, makes you feel a little extra sexy. It's a pain in the ass but you do it because you know it's the first thing someone is going to notice. First impressions are key, in both housing and dating.
Here Come the Questions.
I never realized how many questions there were going to be when selling a house. What year was it built? Whats the square footage? Finished basement? Are the hardwood floors original? Any flood damage? Are all the windows in functioning order? (Insert hair pull screaming GIF) I get it. Someone wants to know what they're buying before they sign on the dotted line, but damn. Why does it feeling like that uncomfortable yearly exam given by your special lady doctor? Much like the dating scene: So you start vibing with someone at the bar, maybe the questions start there or maybe they're saved for the real first date. Either way, here they come. What do you do for a living? Do you have any siblings? What do you like to do for fun? Where did you grow up? In either situation, the questions start the initial interest or "spark".
Is There A Connection?
So you've seen the outside and learned a little about the inside. Now comes the real question to yourself; is there a connection? Can I see myself living here? Can I see my family growing old here? Does it cover everything or enough on my checklist? While I prepped our house for the market, I continuously made sure to ask MYSELF this question to better help someone make a connection with the house. It's much like the dating world. Usually after the first date you have to ask yourself these kind of questions. Did we mesh? Was there chemistry? Do I want to see them again?
Getting Stood Up.
Ok, so full discloser, this has never happened to me until our house was on the market. Wait, what? Yes when we listed our house, we agreed to random showings and not just open houses. Simply because statistically speaking, its gives you higher chance of selling. When I first agreed to do showings, I had no idea what a pain they would be. I actually dread the call that someone was interested in looking at the house. Why? Because it means not only make sure that the house looks impeccable, but also I have to load up the kids and the pets and go hide out somewhere for an hour at the drop of a hat.
Our first showing, I was prepared mentally, or so I thought. After the walkthrough, when we came back home, there was just a odd sense in the house. I knew complete stranger were in my house looking at it. I saw the realtor business card on the counter. It was weird. I didn't expect to feel that way. But I went about our business, making dinner and hanging out together. Then the review came in. I won't go into too much detail but let me just say if you're going to go through this part of the process, get some thick skin because people can be harsh. It was like a blow to the gut that I just had to brush off and understand that our house was not going to be for everyone. Needless to say after that, the showings became easier emotionally, until I got stood up.
Yes you heard right. I got stood up. When it was time, I packed us all up, animals and all, and we left to go drive around. For some reason my curiosity kicked in and I thought I would go drive by and see if they were still looking, to my surprise, no one was there. When we got home, there was no business card on the counter, The spec sheet I left out was still there, the key box code was still where I left it, and we didn't get any reviews... we got stood up, and I was pissed! How dare they waste my time. I busted my ass cleaning, packing up the whole family to drive around doing nothing for an hour with the dog making the cat mad in the back and the girls yelling how they were hungry. I couldn't believe it. I was pacing around the freshly mopped house bottling up my emotions about how hard I worked and for nothing. That's when I realized just how nonchalant you really have to be about showings.
Now, I don't get my hopes up anymore and I've learned to make it fun when we have to rush out of the house. We'll go get a treat somewhere or go to the park to play. I've also learned that its just going to take the right person to fall in love with our 1935 farmhouse, like we did. I also felt what it's like to be stood up in a date. The crushing feeling that there was something about yourself that someone didn't like enough to not even show up. But also how important it is to let it go and move on.
Open House = Speed Dating
We have our first open house this week and when I decided to write this blog post, all I could think was how this open house to me, feels like speed dating. What are the requirements to and open house? Make sure the house is in tip top shape and bring everyone with you for three hours. All so that complete strangers can come in and out of your house as they please. Looking at everything and anything. Making snap judgments on your decorating, paint choices, furniture, landscape, whatever. All for hopes that someone will "fall in love" with it. If that doesn't sound like speed dating, I don't know what does.
If after the open house no one throws out an offer, back to the showings and the market it goes. And the longer it sits on the market, the longer people start to question why it hasn't sold yet, much like people who are single for a long time. Am I right?
Hoping To Find A Forever
The dating game and the housing market both have the equal end result. To find your forever. Why does anyone date? To find a connection with someone you can spend your life with. Why do people buy houses? To find a place to spend the rest of your life in with the people you love. The end game is both the same. Make a connection with something that sparks your interest. I'm still in the game. The house selling game that is. I found my forever mate and he is my rock. I can't help but fell like I'm dating this house though and it and I are just waiting for that special someone to fall in love with it.