Five things your realtor won’t tell you

Home on the market? Here’s what to expect:

1.) Staging: You will be informed that no one wants to see your crap, so you need to put it all away. This means that your house is neater, but it also means that everything you want to use is in boxes up in the attic. You’re too lazy to pull them down, so you end up watching TV and buying takeout a lot.

2.) Showings: You will be given a one or two-hour window of time in which a home showing can take place. You are supposed to be gone from the house during that time, in order to make it a more comfortable experience for the buyer (not for you, who will be busy biting your nails at the nearby Starbucks).

Invariably, however, a sloppy realtor will “accidentally type the wrong time” into the automated appointment scheduler, and people will show up on your doorstep unannounced. Then you have 25 seconds to get your #%$^ together and rush to the front door to let them in (and yourself out).

If you’re really, really lucky, your house key will suddenly decide to break off in the front door, right in front of everyone. You will have to indicate in sign language through the glass that the realtor has to open it from her end. You hope that all parties will think it’s due to technology fail and not the fact that your key lock sucks.

3.) Maintenance: Since the house needs to be showing-ready, it must constantly stay neat and clean and tidy. This means that you will spend the day madly fighting the encroaches of entropy, and by the evening you will have nothing left to do. This is a unique experience. You will wander around the empty rooms looking for tumbleweed as you try to figure out what you’re supposed to do with your life since for once you’re not behind on cleaning. You can’t even enjoy yourself, because most of your stuff is up in the attic (see #1 above), and bubble baths are probably out of the question (see point #5 below).

4.) Unexpected company: In order to keep the house perfect, you will constantly be washing floors, windows, mirrors, cupboards, etc. Yet despite the cleanliness of your house, it will attract a giant bug, which will somehow cross the chemical barriers you had put down (against your better judgment) and die a spectacular, leg-waving death in the middle of the bathroom floor.

Naturally, said bug will make his debut (and exit) after you’ve stepped out of the house. You wonder what reaction he evinced from his audience. You hope they were open-minded, but the absence of forthcoming offers suggests otherwise.

5.) New lifestyle: Everything becomes a cost-benefit analysis, or a cost-mess analysis. Exhausted? Need a nice soak in a bubble bath? No thanks, because then you’ll have to clean the bathtub. Care for a gourmet dinner? Not if you have to scrub the pots immediately afterward instead of leaving them to “soak” for two days.

Heck, it’s tempting to just go on an extended vacation for the duration of the selling process so you no longer have to smooth out the bed or clean the shower.

So how to cope? Well, you try. You think positive thoughts about buyers. You get nervous and excited every time you get a call for a showing. You hover over your email in case realtor feedback comes in. You get annoyed and frustrated when it doesn’t. Your excitement degenerates into panic. You wonder why the heck these morons won’t just buy this $^#$*&#* house already.

You can’t handle it, so you write a blog post about it.

Then you sit back and wait for the next showing . . . and the next story.


5 responses to “Five things your realtor won’t tell you

  1. Hahaha! I was showing a 4-plex I had on the market a few years ago, and as I went into the “show” unit (the one tenant who kept her apartment clean) I saw a dead mouse under the table. Praying hard that it was dead, I kicked it into the corner and blocked the way. Her realtor saw it, and after she left offered to pick it up for me. He wanted that commission badly!

  2. thetwistingkaleidoscope

    Hahaha! I didn’t know you were a realtor–you must have plenty of stories 🙂

  3. Running from Hell with El

    Ugh ugh ugh!!! I do not miss these days–it has been several years since our last move, and as much as I dislike living 15 miles outside of DC, the entire moving process (not to mention selling the home process) stands out for its unique crazy-making ability (whew I will just let that long sentence stand lol).

    • thetwistingkaleidoscope

      Normally we move every two years because of the Man’s job, but this time we lucked out and have been here for four. Makes it much harder to uproot and leave, I think! I just want to settle in somewhere for good!

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