I have discovered that selling a home is not for the faint of heart. Clearly I had a unique experience when I sold my last home, which had been my first. It happened so quickly and smoothly that I was barely inconvenienced and I even left a cheery letter on the kitchen counter for the new owners, telling them the varieties of the roses and their provenance and that I was sorry I hadn't had a chance to give the garage one last vacuuming, but the movers had taken the vacuum away. I'm sure they got a good laugh at my sincerity before they tossed the letter and started digging the roses out.
The overall circumstances of my life after the purchase of the home I now own have been challenging to say the least. When the home finally went on the market, I was relieved and expected a quick and satisfying sale, with several offers from lovely people who were more than happy to outbid each other in order to be the successful buyer. After all, that's what happens on HGTV! (But then I read this.)
It didn't happen that way. It has taken months (thankfully not years) of keeping the house "showing" ready and enduring strangers in my space relatively unsupervised, worrying about the doors being kept closed so my cats don't escape, keeping my bathrooms looking serene and spa-like and not wanting to use the stove because I can't bear to scrub grease off of it one more time.
My beautiful hardwood floors took a beating. In the summer lookers left dirt and dust, in the winter they left wet footprints and grit. I came home to closets and cupboards ajar and clothing moved. I was aghast when I came home one day after a showing and found a closet door open...the closet where I had my 2012 vision board hanging proudly on a hanger facing out. Its most prominent feature was a good sized photo of George Clooney with "A new man!" written across it in sparkly marker. Wah waaaah.
I had to take action.
I censored the contents of my pantry and refrigerator. I decided quinoa, wheat germ and Marcona almonds from Whole Foods in the pantry would please the kind of buyer I thought would love the house, and I hid the boxes of Pasta Roni and bags of Halloween candy I had hoarded. I reorganized my refrigerator and keep lovely bottles of flavored water and elegant cheeses front and center. The messy leftovers are hidden below fresh heads of romaine and beautiful crisp spears of asparagus. Don't even get me started on the bathroom...there is no evidence that my toilets are ever used, and certainly no one has ever shaved their legs in this place.
So after what seemed like an eternity, an offer was made and an agreement reached and I am now facing the dreaded HOME INSPECTION. This will take place tomorrow. For FOUR hours. While I am confident all will be fine, I know from experience to be prepared that it might not. The buyers will be here, again relatively unsupervised, to observe, while I'll be whiling away the time on the couch at my friends house, pulling out my eyebrows.
I'll be leaving out a plate of cheese and crackers for the buyers in case they get peckish while they're here. The hibiscus water is chilled. If they want some Marcona almonds, I'm pretty sure they know where to find them.