How is it that I feel ready to sell our house until I meet with realtors? Mike and I met with two of them today. After the first one left, we were ready to put new carpet in, move a bunch of furniture out, and sell this house. We felt optimistic.
Then we met with the second one. I have a blue car, a blue front door, and blue in almost every room of the house. I don’t think this realtor likes blue. She’d like us to paint everything off-white and gave us a list of things she thought we should update, replace, clean or paint that was so long, I was ready to refinance the house, get a roommate, and go back to work.
I have stayed in that funk all day. It didn’t help that when I was helping Cavanaugh get ready for bed, he said, “I don’t want to selled this house Mama. Let’s stay here.” Oh, if it were only that simple.
Who knows how to make it uber-complicated? Me, and my worst case scenario thinking. I found myself spinning all the possibilities, a list of what ifs that are totally out of my control, and getting progressively overwhelmed.
Then Mike and I got on the phone tonight. It’s amazing how saying things out loud lets me hear myself. I was imagining myself back at work, Mike in an apartment with Cavanaugh during the day, working some job at night, me with a roommate, a huge amount of debt because we’d taken out a zero% interest delayed payment financing to replace the carpet in that house that we’d never sold. Then I’d paid thousands more for closing costs on a refi.
It used to be that I would have stayed in those swirling thoughts for hours or days. I would have lain in bed unable to sleep as I tried to imagine all the (un)likely outcomes. Tonight though, I stopped myself. I told Mike (and myself) that we didn’t need to worry about what might happen eventually. All we need to do is decide what the next right thing is. So we did it.
We chose the realtor who we both liked and who seemed most optimistic about selling the house. We talked through her recommendations, how she’ll market, and what questions we’ll ask her. We’ll even get the number of her carpet person and figure out how much it would cost us to finance replacement carpeting.
If the house doesn’t sell, or sell in the time we hope it will, we’ll deal with that when it happens. For now, we’ve got a realtor, a target date to get the house on the market, and a longer list of things to change than I’d hoped. Still, what we need to do feels doable.
It also helped to remind myself that I’ve never had a house to sell before. I don’t know how to do this. It’s okay to be intimidated and a little anxious. Rather than going to get ice cream to try to comfort myself, I remembered that pushing the feelings away doesn’t take away the basis for them. So I just sat with the uncomfortable feelings. Being with them and listening to all the fears reminded what I do and don’t have power over.
Making a choice and picking a course of action is a relief.
For those of you who have sold houses, tell me the good stories: how easy it was, how buyers didn’t notice the missing doorstop in your upstairs bathroom, how the powerwasher didn’t bust a whole through your kitchen window.
For those of you who may or may not have sold a house, I’d love to hear how you deal with big decisions. Is it a swarming mass of fear, a logically laid our pros and cons list, or something else altogether?