Real Estate Fun!

So I’ve decided that selling one’s home is a special level of hell. Evidently the criteria for being sent to this hell is as simple as planting a “yard arm”  and a swinging sign beaming the smiling face of someone who is going to take your first-born, or the financial equivalent.

It’s like frickin’ musical chairs. Only the chair is my house, and I have to keep it white-glove spotless while keeping my children: a) fed, b) happy, c) on something faintly resembling a schedule, or d) all of the above and then some. 

Hey! I know a fun way to make this woman go completely off her rocker! Let’s  call her several times a day, at random times, and tell her we are dropping by in 20 minutes (or less)! We are bringing friends who might want to give her several hundred thousand dollars if they like how clean and neat her house is- and she can’t be there! Yes, she has three kids five and under, but no toys out, no hand-prints on the wall, no pee pee in the toilets, no face smears on the mirrors, not a pillow out of place, beds perfectly made, no dishes in the sink (EVER!), not a speck or stray sock of laundry to be seen. For even more fun, we are going to look in all her closets, the medicine chest, the built-in’s in the bedrooms, the kitchen cabinets, and even her refrigerator. Are you game?

Sometimes several people can show up at once. And sometimes, we will call and tell her we are on our way, she will pack her kids in the car and then frantically run back inside to vacuum and Clorox-wipe the counters, and then we won’t bother to show up at all. Other times, she will stay out for the requisite 1/2 hour while we look, but right as she comes home, gets the Monkeys unloaded and the baby asleep, we will call and do it all again. Then we do it again. And again.

Sound like fun yet?

Today, I spent over four hours in my car. With. All. Three. Kids. Not all four hours at once, but all four between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. You do the math. There was an open house, then several calls… I would return from one foray to have another message on my answering machine– they’re “on their way over!” so I have to slog my butt back to the car and tell the kids, once again, we can’t go home.

Right now, we don’t have a home. We’re homeless. We have two houses, neither of which is all the way ours… one, not anymore, and one, not quite yet.

19 thoughts on “Real Estate Fun!

  1. This makes me want to never sell a house. I think I’ll live in our small two bedroom town home just cause I never want to sell.

  2. We go to McDonald’s and play on the playland. Or we go to our neighbors and spy on the people coming to look at the house. The worst is when they make the appointment and then don’t come.

    Also, I keep a laundry basket handy. A big one. When that call comes about someone showing up in 15 minutes, I run through the house, throw everything in the laundry basket, and then throw the laundry basket in the car.

    And I keep Clorox wipes in every room of the house.

    If you have any tips for me, I’ll be glad to hear them. This is killing me, and not very slowly.

  3. Oh, honey. When we sold our first house, I had a 4 year old and a 1 year old. I made it pretty clear that I would NOT have last minute showings, and that I had to have at least 1-2 hours notice. Also, I turned people away or told them they could come AFTER naptime. I mean, if you can HANDLE doing it the way you’re doing it, then it MAY sell sooner… but it may not make any difference, either. And if you’re getting that many showings in a day, chances are, your house is pretty desirable. So you may be able to be more forceful in when people are allowed over. Like, not between 12-3 so naps can be taken, and the house cleaned!

    Take a deep breath. I hope it sells TODAY and that this is over for you all soon!

  4. Oh Wizzers, I wish wish wish I had some magic tricks to toss your way… I like the laundry basket idea very much, though. Maybe I could stop following my kids around telling the “No” on a constant loop, if I did that.

    I’m in hell.

    Thanks for the good wishes, everyone.

  5. I feel so bad for both you and the Wiz, I only had to do showings for a week, but I thought that I was going to kill someone. I agree the worst was when they made an apt and either didn’t show or showed up after you get home, that happened twice, once we stayed and tried to stay out of their way (I don’t suggest this, as my ds was very helpful in pointing out all the things that he had heard me and dh complain about) and the 2nd time we left and waited down the street from 45 min.!
    What worked best for me was to pack up us much of the kids toys before we put the house on the market so there was less stuff for them to drag out. And yes I became the beast of a mother, everytime they ate or pulled a toy out I yelled for them to clean up their crumbs or put the toy away the minute they were done with it.
    And I also agree with Tracey, tell your realtor that if they want to show a clean house, you need more notice.

  6. I do not envy you at all. The laundry basket idea is the best idea of all. I used it when the kids were small and they came to see it as part of the game called “sell your house”. As long as the kids knew there was an end result they would play along. Except of course when everyone got to be so tired. And that happened a lot.

    Tracy, and all who are on this roller coaster ride, I hope for your sakes, it’s an A ticket. Meaning, it won’t last long.

  7. I am so sorry for all the pain you are suffering! I sure hope this real estate circus ends soon! I don’t even know what I would do if I were in your place … maybe commit myself to an institution … with the kids, so at least the house would stay clean.

  8. What a nasty experience. I’ve got a friend here who’s going through a similar thing here and she’s just praying for the day the house sells.

    But it’s good to see you still checking in with the blog thing with all that chaos going on. THanks for keeping us posted.

  9. Is this why you couldn’t come to lunch yesterday? 😉

    I’m so sorry. This does not sound fun in the least and it would be great if there was some way to hurry the process along………

    May it end soon. In the meantime, you could always consider chucking the whole thing and just live in your car instead.

  10. Beleive me Millie, I thought for half a second about making the drive to Seattle~!

    Hmmmm…. living in my car. Or dealing with this…. really, it’s a close call!

  11. My mother had to sell her house when me and my twin sister were only 2. She has 4 other kids. She got a call for an morning appointment, so she packed us all up and took us to the park. She stayed there for what she thought was an appropriate amount of time, and then came back. One of us, she doesn’t remember, promptly took off our pants and pooped in the hallway while the other kids ran through the house.

    At that moment, the doorbell rang….

    Incidentally, they didn’t end up buying the house. Maybe the poop in the hallway turned them off?

    Take deep breaths–breathe, just breathe….

  12. WOW!!! I’m exhausted just reading about it! I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with all that right now! I hope you and your family don’t have to deal with that too much longer! I can see the selling-of-your-house celebration now- ONE BIG, LONG NAP!!! I’m not looking forward to the day when we have to sell our house, but I’m sure by then I’ll be able to get some good advice from the Super Dandelion Mama! Hang in there! You and your family are in my prayers!

  13. Currently living through the same hell. TOTALLY do the laundry basket thing and the wipes. One other suggestion that I learned after coming home after one showing was over to find a message that I had another one in 5 minutes (has happened 5 times), is to call and check my messages before I get home so that I have some idea if it is safe to go home. Good luck!

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