Sunday, March 4, 2007

Positive Sign

We had big plans to go through files and other stored items this weekend, but the house took precedence and almost nothing else was accomplished. The daily routine is to get up, shower, shave, etc, and once ready for the day personally, it’s time to get the house ready to show. Getting the house ready means we’ve got to hide or get rid of any incriminating evidence that actual real people are living here. Every loose hair on the floor, every water drop in the sink, every odor (in the morning, odors can be a problem), every foot-print in the carpet, every dirty dish… it’s all got to go. I feel like an ax murderer getting rid of the evidence… trying to mop up the blood, get rid of all the stained clothes, and stuffing the body in a trunk under my bed! If the prospective buyer even suspects that a real person lived here, they’ll walk. These are all important real estate sales techniques that I didn’t know before this.
So, once the place is ready, and as you’re backing out the door, dusting everything on the way out, you realize you’ve forgotten the keys to the car — I think I saw them in my office. Damn! That means we back up to T minus 5 minutes, take shoes off, grab the swiffer-sweeper thingy, retrieve the keys, and back out the door sweeping all evidence away, once again, as you go. Finally, out!. Now the hoard of potential buyers can walk through the house with the confidence that, if they buy this place, they’ll be the first people who ever lived here.
And so it went for two days, Saturday and Sunday. The showings were done by 3pm Sunday, and we headed back to the house. There was enough time yet to enjoy a quiet afternoon, spend some quality time with our son who stopped down for a visit, and try to be normal for a few hours. It felt good to unwind, share a bottle of good cheap wine (the only kind I’m drinking these days), and prepare dinner.
We had just sat down to dinner, when the phone rang. It was our real estate agent: “one couple that came through earlier in the day want to come through again… in 10 minutes! Can you be ready?” “No, we’re eating… we just sat down!” “They were from out of town and had to leave tonight… so there was no putting them off… unless, of course, we weren’t interested in selling the house to them.” So 15 minutes of panicky activity later, we were out the door again, cast out of our own house into the wintry night. The good news was that someone was coming through for the second time… at the very least, a positive sign that we’re doing something right.
As for those files and boxes, the ones we planned to cull through this weekend? Maybe next weekend?