Monday, July 14, 2014

7 Things You Need to Know Before You Put Your House on the Market

Our house is on the market. What? You hadn't heard? I'll try to be more vocal in my complaining.

We are not those people who lucked out and sold our house the day it hit the market. It's fine. Really, it is. It's similar to how I feel about people who have babies who sleep through the night at two months. I'm simultaneously happy for them while also being insanely jealous. Yeah for you. Boo for me.

We are also not those people who lucked out and sold our house in the first week or the first month. Nope, we're just trucking along, cleaning our house like crazy people, and considering the wisdom of planting that Catholic saint somewhere in our yard.

Since we're kind of house on the market professionals by now, here's my list of things you need to know before you put your house on the market.

7 Things You Need to Know Before You 
Put Your House on the Market

1) The feedback will drive you straight-up nuts.

Sure, we get some valid and constructive feedback. We also hear things like, "We need a 3-car garage" or "We want to live on the lake." Hey, genius, you saw the pictures and you read the information about our house on the website. If you need those things, do not bother coming to my house. You just have your realtor send a showing request and then drive to my house. I spend a substantial amount of time preparing for your hallowed arrival. It ain't easy. And if you want to live in a five bedroom house on the lake then you might consider winning the lottery.
We'd offer you $250,000 for this, but we need an 8 car garage.
My new favorite is from this weekend. "They need to declutter. I know they have lots of kids, but they really need to clear out more stuff." My initial urge is to kick this particular realtor in the teeth. We spent days and weeks cleaning and clearing our house out. It is unrecognizable from its former self. I live in this house.  Actually, six of us do. We have to school and eat and sleep and bathe and LIVE here. We do all of that every day. We need a few things out. Sue me. No, instead buy a house with a three-car garage on a lake and never have stuff in it. Adios.

2) You will want to burn your house down.

You will get a showing request and you will look at your kitchen and laundry room and you will think that it'll just be easier to dump the kerosene and light the match. In the short term this sounds like a logical solution. Stifle the urge. Please. Don't do it.
good for s'mores. bad for your house.

3) There will come a day where you don't know where 1/3 of your belongings actually are.

Storage? Put away in its actual spot? Shoved in a random drawer during a crazy clean-up frenzy? Your guess is as good as mine. There was a time when Audrey and I were frantically looking for my running watch as I was getting ready to head out to coach Moms on the Run. She flung open the cupboard where we keep the pots and pans, then moved onto the lazy susan, all perfectly illogical spots for a watch, before exclaiming, "I'm looking everywhere because I know that watch could be absolutely anywhere by now." To prove her point I found my watch a few days later in the washcloth drawer in the kids' bathroom upstairs.
Hi. My name is Garmin. I hide in random cupboards.

4) You will troll the other houses for sale in your neighborhood like a psycho.

It's got fewer square feet, but it's got a deck. That purple bedroom is heinous, but they have a bar in the basement. The unfinished basement is a problem, but the master bath is gorgeous.

5) You'll get all judgy about it, too.

They think they'll get that price for a 3-bedroom? There's no way. But what if they do? Seriously. What if they do? If that house sells before ours I'll just freak. I mean, what's wrong with our house? There is absolutely nothing wrong with our house. Right? Right? RIGHT?? How did they do that? Do you think they buried that statue? We should have just buried the dang statue.
And my neighbor requests no fence and no dogs. Great. Thanks.
6) You'll second guess every decision you've ever made about your house.

From paint color to flooring to size of garage to landscaping. You'll forget that the house has worked wonderfully for you for as long as you've lived there. That is has tons of storage. That your baby learned to walk on these floors. That you know the creaks of the doors and can tell which child is about to come padding into your bedroom. That the bathroom floors have been baptized in baby splashes. Instead you'll focus on the few things that people point out, which will then make you see everything as flawed. It's messed up. It gets in your head.
boom. what Epictetus said.
7) It'll be okay.

Really, it will be. We have a house. Actually, a beautiful house (that someone should buy). It is on a fantastic street in a lovely neighborhood near my favorite friends. The people who live with me in my house are my home so I'm good so long as they're with me. It's going to happen. Go for a run. Read a book. Grab a mojito with a friend. Chill.

Alright, homeowners, what would you add to the list? Any words of wisdom?


  1. I know nothing about selling houses or buying houses. And I'm happy to continue living in the unknown. Good luck my friend!

    1. Thanks, Katie. It can be a stressful situation full of second guessing. I'm trying to keep positive and light-hearted.