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Selling Your House With Kids

Selling a house can be a quick, painless experience for many. This has not been our experience. No, not even a little bit. How do I put this... hmmm... Well, let's talk about "some people" that don't sell their house quickly. Yes, those unlucky souls. Let's talk about them. Because I hear that for some this experience can be like.
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Selling a house can be a quick, painless experience for many. This has not been our experience. No, not even a little bit. How do I put this... hmmm... Well, let's talk about "some people" that don't sell their house quickly. Yes, those unlucky souls. Let's talk about them. Because I hear that for some this experience can be like:

Six months earlier, look around and realize, "Hey, there's a child busting out of each of these seams! Some more room would be really helpful in raising our large family. Let's sell our house and buy a bigger one!" Sounds so easy. Deceptively easy. Safely-wrestle-a-bear-to-the-ground-while-covered-in-honey easy.

So 6 months are spent pouring every dollar ever earned in the WORLD as well as every minute from every day into fixing up a house that has been neglected for too long because you can't figure out how these babies keep appearing???? And that keeps you pretty busy.

After the 6 months of hard, hard work are over, you wipe the sweat off your brow, beg/borrow/steal a pair of clothes that doesn't have paint splattered them all over, and you list your house. You are nervous because you imagine the ENTIRE WORLD running to BUY your house and OH MY WORD can we handle the traffic???? LOOK how FANTASTIC it looks after we put one BILLION dollars into it!!! (sorry for the all caps. Selling my house makes me want to use all caps... errr I mean the story of "those unlucky souls" makes me want to use all caps.)

The first 10 showings are all the same. "We like it, but we just can't get over that ginormous stone statue of Abraham Lincoln attached to the floor in the front hallway." (Or some big glaring thing about the house that you didn't think was that big a deal... because you LIKE Abraham Lincoln.)

You throw some pretty flowers on ol' Abe, but still hear fifty more times the exact same thing, "Yeah, we don't like that big statue. The rest of the house is GREAT!"

Um. OK. The people have spoken!

So then you pay another BILLION dollars to remove the statue.

The next dozen showings: "Wow. LOVE the house! What an awesome, gorgeous, amazing, did we say awesome? house!!!! But the volcano in the yard makes us a bit nervous." (or some big glaring thing #2 that is completely out of your control and you haven't thought of since day 1 when you first moved in as you realized it wasn't an issue.)

Um. ok.

So you lower the price a touch to make up for that volcano, and then you get another dozen showings with the exact same response. "That volcano is not so hot. LOVE the house though. LOVE IT. WOW GORGEOUS HOUSE. Gonna pass."

And then a few, "I don't mind the volcano, but I feel the vibe that a statue used to be here... a really big statue... not such a good vibe. Was there a statue right there? Deal breaker."

Um. OK.

Kids skip nap times as you sacrifice ALL to do these showings. Showing after showing for months and months as your non-napped kids drive around town eating bribed donuts and you feel the shame of your parenting game crumbling around you (not unlike those donuts...all over the car). The bar is lowered from "good parenting" to "yay I didn't accidentally leave any of them behind for this showing!"

Your days go from kid-themed learning activities to activities like, "OK everyone sit on this tiny rug with ONE toy and DO NOT MOVE while I mop the floors around you. If you are super still I will also turn on your music. The winners of this game gets A DONUT!" And then wonder what you did wrong in your past life when your two hours of frantic cleaning ends with a child taking off a poopy diaper and scattering the extremely smelly poop- minutes before you are about to walk out the door for a showing. FYI- there aren't enough candles in the world... (also...I don't recommended hanging a sign that says: "BEWARE MISSING POOP BALL" The prettiest font in the world won't class that bad boy up.)

Day after day is spent obsessing over sweeping every dropped crumb, sanitizing every surface that is even slightly breathed on wrong, decluttering and putting away every object that suddenly materializes, shining up appliances and sinks and doorknobs, and sanctification is lost over smudges and unfolded clothes and the wrong candle in the wrong room. A crushed pretzel in the living room requires a brown paper bag for deep breathing exercises, and a dinner-covered hand touching the white doorframe on the way to bath time involves hysterics and loud shrieks.

You are doing this for them -- right? So why do you find yourself snapping at them every time they get within a foot of a pen/marker/pencil/anything that can possibly write on the walls? Why is your patience growing shorter and shorter every single showing as you do 110% and yet find yourself not only 1. in the space where children are busting out of the seams but 2. not able to actually LIVE in that space because it needs to be kept nice for showings. Your small living space suddenly shrinks to the perimeter of your car which somehow mysteriously fills with sand and snacks and crumbs and extra outfits and random shoes, and sticky remnants of good behavior that used to belong to your children.

After paying another BILLION dollars to have the volcano tested and inspected and stated "A-OK" you get a few showings of, "I really like the house! Don't love it though. I'm going to go buy a different volcano house that has a better view of the lava."

And also, "WOW this house knocks my SOCKS off! I really love it..."

Wait for it.

"But... I noticed there was a child's handprint on the sliding glass double doors. A handprint!!!! I'm out."

Oh sure. Because -- buying a house... no problem! But buying a bottle of windex... OH NO THAT'S JUST TOO MUCH!

And THEN the day comes when a blessed soul says, "I don't mind the volcano. I think it gives really nice ambiance to the property. And a statue right there? I adore statues!!! This house is perfect!"


"I'll give you 1 dollar for it."

Wait. What?

And then it feels like you are negotiating with terrorists.

"Yes, 1 dollar -- and we are going to need .75 cents of that back so that we can build our large bomb-building shed over by the garage. Oh, and we don't want to close until 2020 to give us lots of time to get the troops -- I mean our family -- ready to move in."


You find yourself curved in a fetal position in a room that you used to think was GORGEOUS because of the sleek, brand new wood floors, light and airy gray walls, and huge, new picture window and now you're like "IS IT?" Will we have to PAY someone to take the house that we built with our SOULS? You limp into the brand new kitchen that is still shouting "DREAM KITCHEN", see a tiny purple crayon mark scarring one of the shiny new white cabinets and the next thing you know you are waking up in solitary confinement in some sort of padded white cell and not really sure how you got there.

Hypothetical situation, of course. Side bar and totally unrelated: straight jackets are super comfy.

As you sit there in the blessed peace and quiet, you think "We could add on to the house! We can build a fence! We can add some chlorine to the volcano and call it a pool! Why are we doing this to ourselves? Why just why?"

............... (every high emotion emoji in the world).............

I'm not going to include our house link here, because of privacy reasons (it's nothing personal, but I just don't know all of you in real life and hello-this is our address). But rest assured, we have a FANTASTIC realtor who is doing above and beyond to get this info into the hands of the right buyers. Really, I have been so humbled by the gracious help and encouragement of our realtor through all of this. She is amazing.

And if your first response is to comment with "I sold my house in SEVEN HOURS! How blessed am I!" or "Here's what you're doing wrong!" or "If only you did it the way WE did too would have sold much faster and avoided all of this" Or any version of patting your quick sale on the back at our expense. Please don't. Just DON'T.

My mental state is a little fragile right now, and it wouldn't take much to push me right over the edge.

It's easy to be smug about how dry your shoes are standing on dry land when you're not the one swimming...across the a violent downpour.

Feel free to comment that this made you laugh. (as opposed to those other comments that we already discussed). Because I laughed while writing it. Because I prefer to laugh rather than cry and if you know me in person, you know that the thing I want MOST in the world (beside a sold house) is a sarcasm font. Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to go for a swim in our lovely volcano while the kids are napping. Because....volcano perks....