Selling your house has to be one of the most stressful events in one's life. We started the process about six weeks ago, and I swear, I have aged 10 years (feel free to disagree in the comments. Lies are encouraged).
Last Friday night we signed the papers that state that we have sold our place, which felt both unreal and incredibly freeing. While it could still go wrong (we have to wait for the buyer's financing to be approved), there is now a legal contract that says someone else owns our place. Like I said, it's unreal.
This entire process is a new experience for me, since I have never before sold or bought a house. I noticed that there are several stages to go through, and I documented them for you.
Stage 1: Fear
At some point you decided to sell your place. It felt like a good idea at the time, because you were dreaming about your wonderful new life that was about to begin. But now you see the 'For sale'-sign for the first time, and you feel like you just got hit in the gut. What were you thinking? This is your home! You can't do this! This is insane. You have to stop yourself from pulling the sign out of the ground and throwing it into the bushes. You go straight to bed and pull the covers over your head, hiding from the world.
Stage 2: Excitement
It's the next day (or a few days after that, if change is hard for you). You have gotten used to seeing the sign when you pull out of your driveway, and it's starting to feel like it belongs there. And guess what: Your agent just called, she has a showing! Omg, this is amazing: Someone actually wants to look at your place. You might be rich before you know it! Excitement washes over you, and you mentally choose the kind of champagne you will buy to celebrate.
Stage 3: Impatience
Hrumph. People have looked, but nothing has happened yet. Who knew that there is so much waiting involved? You have to wait for showings, you have to wait for their decisions, you have to wait for them when they reschedule, and then you have to wait for the next round. The waiting is driving you up the wall. But what's even worse is the sudden dry spell, when nobody comes to look at your place. After a week you call the agent to make sure she hasn't lost your number, which she hasn't. She assures you that you will sell, that you just have to have - wait for it - some patience. Aaahhh! What if you ran out of it??
Stage 4: Annoyance
You have to clean the house yet again. Never in your life have you cleaned so much. You just got home from work, and you got a call that there is another showing tomorrow. While you are happy about it, now you have to tidy, clean, and hide all evidence of your messiness and general human existence. You snap at the dogs for leaving nose prints all over the sliding glass doors, you curse the dust for accumulating so fast, you yell at your husband for not putting his glass in the dishwasher right away. You have turned into a crazy person, and there is nothing you can do about it. Your nerves are frayed, and the smallest thing can set you off. Yesterday you burst into tears because you ran out of Windex and you had to go to the store to buy more and you're so exhausted and nobody will ever buy your house if the mirror has toothpaste specks on it and this is ALL YOUR HUSBAND'S FAULT BECAUSE HE MAKES THE MIRROR DIRTY WITH HIS STUPID ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH AND WHY CAN'T HE BE MORE CAREFUL.
Stage 5: Resignation
This is your life now: A neverending circle of frenzied activity followed by waiting. Will it ever end? Probably not. You resigned yourself to the nightmares, the cleaning crazes, the feeling of being judged and then discarded for not being good enough. This is your teenagehood all over again. You feel like a wallflower, being the last one sitting on the bench, waiting in anguish to be asked to dance. Will you wait forever?
Stage 6: Elation
It has finally happened! Someone made an offer!! You feel on top of the world, invincible, giddy and relieved. This is fantastic! You tell all your friends, keep hugging your husband, and make up songs for the dogs that tell the story of how you sold a house.
Stage 7: SuspenseOh. You have to wait for financing. You thought the whole ordeal is finally over, but as it turns out, it's not. Hrumph. The wait continues. At times you feel like you can't stand it, and you're gonna snap. You mutter under your breath that "this is a lesson, this is good for me, I have to learn patience", but then you scream for a while to release the tension. You are the worst yogi ever, but you can't help it. Or can you? How many downward facing dogs does it take to calm down?
Many, my friends. I will let you know when I have reached the number ...
We are currently in stage 7. The waiting game continues, but as I keep reminding myself, we can/should use the time wisely by organizing and decluttering. I actually enjoy decluttering, so this isn't so bad. Right? RIGHT???