Selling a House

Preparing to sell a house is an emotional project. Whether you are selling a house that you dreamed and designed and built, a house that you have loved but outgrown, or a house that you hate and cannot wait to shut the door to for the last time. Preparing a house to sell is emotional.

It has been 25 years since we last called a realtor. 25 years ago we were selling the house where we started our family, that welcomed me at the time of our marriage, and was the first home that Gary had purchased. We had outgrown the yard, and were excited to be moving into the home that we had dreamed and designed for the previous five years. We were ready, the house was ready. The new home was almost ready.

Fast forward to this past Monday, when we spent the afternoon with our realtor discussing the sale of that home we were so looking forward to moving into 25 years ago. By the time the meeting was over, I was emotionally spent. Seeing our home with new eyes makes for a tired spirit. 

I thought I would take you along with us as we prepare our home for sale. The first floor is for the most part camera ready, but we have been slowly working on that the past three or so years. Paint is a wonderful, cheap upgrade. Our basement is still full of boxes and files from the move out of our office at the end of March. But it will be ready. 

It was when she walked into our master bedroom/suite, that she was noticeably underwhelmed. It is a room that we retire to at the end of a busy day. The blinds are closed when we leave it in the morning, and are closed when we return at the end of the day. Opening up the blinds and letting the amazing light that we get in that room flow through, emphasized all the warts and complacent feelings we have had about the room. The things that we just never got around to, such as drapes in the windows. Realizing that the room needed to be painted. And that the bathroom screams 1993. 

We then heard what all homeowners hate to hear from their realtor – upgrade the bathroom and paint the bedroom before we put it on the market. It hits you in the pocket book. Hard. 

The decision to sell our home comes at a time when our children have not only left the “nest,” but have left the state. They are making their way on the East coast. When we built this home we hosted holidays filled with people, many times 20+ people settled into the dining room, overflow in the adjoining front hall, and celebrated Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays. But those times have changed, and holidays echo with silence. It is time to downsize. 

Downsizing comes at a cost. Our home is too young to be a classic, but too old to be considered by many people who fear “old” homes. It has to be camera ready. I appreciate that. We have spent the last five months poring over the images posted on Zillow, Trulia and Realtor-dot-com, of homes for sale in Rhode Island. Our son is buying his first home. We know first hand how quickly a judgement is made about a home, based on those posted pictures. We have to be ready. She gave us till the end of the May. I am starting in the toilet room.