I hope I never have to sell a house again.
Today our real estate agent came by to give us feedback and direction in prepping our house to go on the market. Everybody say "Painful!" I've been packing for about six months now. I've decluttered, tossed, and Goodwilled till I was blue in the face. For the last two weeks we've diligently cleaned and sorted and reorganized because we knew this day was coming.
And she still used the words 'declutter' and 'clean'! Talk about feeling a bit defeated! Having toured many a house over the last six months, I honestly thought we looked pretty good. And I guess we do. But it could be better. And it should. Nevertheless, have you ever invited someone into your master bedroom and said, "Have a look around, and tell me what you think." It's not easy.
Every time she said, "Wash these curtains" or "Scrub this till it sparkles" or "You'll want to clean this" or "Clean that", I just wanted to duck out of the room. I honestly thought we had cleaned. But here's where I really struggle - we have to take this "home" and make it a "house". Ten years I've spent making our house a home, and now I have to undo it all. It's honestly painful. The walls are bare. My closets are just barely full. Things I had displayed are now in boxes. Things that bring me joy, like sewing and baking ... those supplies have been boxed or mostly boxed. We have to make the house look bigger and that means trying to fool the buyer into thinking a family of five functions with just about nothing. Even my rocking chair, which I affectionately call my "mama's chair" has to go. It's too big for our room and obstructs a doorway. I understand the logic, it's just that .... I rock my kids in that chair. We read stories in that chair. I relax in that chair. I do puzzles and Bible study in that chair. I love that chair! But I know it has to go. It takes up too much space.
I made a master list of all the things that need to be done in preparation for staging. Most of them are small and quick, like 'Move Carrie's toy baskets' and 'Take everything off the refrigerator'. But a few, like 'Dig up the front flower bed, put down plastic, and remulch' are much bigger.
As difficult as this process is for me, I'm grateful for an agent who is honest and willing to help us put our best foot forward. In a market like the one we're in, selling is tough and often takes a long time. Toss that in with the fact that we're essentially selling ourselves homeless and you have a nice concoction of uncertainty and stress. Christy's confidence and thorough assessment brings a much needed counterbalance.
So tonight, having absorbed the frustrating news of the morning and begun work on the master list, we're calling it a day. It's Chinese food for dinner and games or movies afterward. Cleaning and decluttering can commence tomorrow.