Am I sitting in a red Lifesaver? A velvet Cheerio? Or The Circle of Life, reupholstered? I’ll get to that in a second. But first — I’ve been unable to write on this blog for a very long time. It’s not due to poor health, my kids, my mother, my other writing jobs, my pets, my boyfriend, or even extensive traveling. Neither have I been held hostage or threatened that if I post another strange blog, I’ll live to regret it.
Nope, what’s prevented me from writing here is the stress of attempting to sell my home, fully furnished. A house I’ve lived in for twenty years, raised six kids in, and put a lot of time, energy, dollars, and Love into.
And this “Love” comes in the form of a very unique remodeling job, which apparently aside from myself, only Dr. Seuss and Willy Wonka approve of.
Here’s what you see when you first walk in:
Here’s a close-up of some “novel” chairs that are not visible in second photo:
Here’s a staircase wall:
Here’s what’s under the staircase:
And yes, that is a built-in drinking fountain. Six kids, remember?
The kitchen at night (during a power outage!):
Now before I even talk about what happens when an Open House is held, I want to emphasize that my realtor has insisted, “You must all live here like you don’t actually live here!”
So there are no toothbrushes accessible, no actual towels on which to dry our hands, (only fancy model-home display ones) and we are only allowed faux food to be visible. Yes there really is such a thing. It’s part of “staging” your home to sell quickly.
Essentially we all exist in this make-believe house starving to death (with rotting teeth and damp hands!) while our cheerful broker comes over every Saturday and Sunday morning and freshly bakes a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies in an Easy Bake toy oven (mustn’t dirty the real one!) so legit potential buyers will get a “homey” scent wafting throughout their very real nostrils.
Now if anyone thinks I leave my house during these all day Saturday and Sunday debacles, they’re sadly mistaken. Why would I miss all the fun of seeing and hearing what other people (serious buyers AND Looky Loo neighbors) think of my newly renovated home?
So I stay put during my open houses, admonished by my realtor to keep my mouth tightly shut no matter what I see or hear. And of course because I’m me, I also pretend to be an interested person who has come to view the home after seeing it advertised online. Here’s a three minute actual scenario. . .
Potential Buyer: What in the world?? Are we in a home or on a movie set?
Me: (Eavesdropping and trying to pretend I do not live here) I know, right? Isn’t this place just sooooooo amazing?
Potential Buyer: Uh, I guess. If you like going down the rabbit hole in Alice In Wonderland and having a mad tea party!
Me: What an uncouth comment. I find it simultaneously innovative and modern. Whimsical and fun, yet extremely cozy and (sniffing the cookie-scented air) very homey! And anyone who can’t recognize what classy taste the person who owns this home must have was raised in a barn.
Potential Buyer: Then by all means, I dare you to make an offer on this ridiculous residence.
Me: (not one to handle a dare very well) Yoo hoo! Miss Real Estate Lady! Over here, dear. Whatever this gorgeous home is priced at, I’ll offer 50K more! I can’t bear to let this dream house slip through my fingers.
My Realtor: (Shoots me dirty look)
So after buying my own house back, I’m told I have a very controlling personality and the home will surely sell much faster if I vacate the premises. The nerve! I leave my own house, but not before turning on all my nanny cams to record the goings-on. That night I watch the videos in disbelief as person after person comes in, mocking the comfortable red circular piece of furniture you see at the top of this blog. Listen . . .
“Why do I suddenly have the urge to sing, “Roll Out the Barrel?”
“Where’s Austin Powers hiding?”
“Talk about going in a vicious Circle!”
And then the home in general….
“It looks like a rainbow vomited all over the flooring!”
“No Billie Jr! We are definitely not moving into this Whoville home. We’ll just let Horton continue to live here.”
“Oh look honey, the home comes with two fireplaces and enough kindling (gestures around at furniture) to last a few years!”
“The poor dear really has a bad case of it. Let’s make a small donation to the Colorblind Foundation in her honor, shall we?”
But then I truly got an earful when I heard my realtor telling everyone the owner was a creative writer and shouldn’t be held accountable for her poor judgment. “And you should see her nonsensical blog,” she continued. People nodded solemnly and said, “Ohhh, now we understand. That explains a lot.”
So after not publishing here for weeks, I decided to turn to wordplay for my real estate therapy because poetry is always so cathartic for me.
I Got The Real Estate Blues!
Hanging up a sign in my front yard.
Selling shouldn’t ever be this hard.
Yes my house is decorated rather novel
But to get you to buy it, I refuse to grovel.
Selling a modern place I was under the impression would be so easy,
But folks think it’s a theme park and instantly they’re queasy!
I refuse to reduce the home’s value because you can’t appreciate,
Frank Lloyd Wright (on acid!) whom I’ve tried to commemorate.
Sorry, but I’m gonna say “No dice” unless you’re close to asking price.
And please don’t even try to proffer making me such a low ball offer.
Yes the washer and dryer and the refrigerator/freezer will definitely stay,
And unlike the decor . . . they look normal, they’re not designed cray cray.
True, there’s hot and cold running water and lights that go on and off,
So what’s the big deal if my furniture has balls? Go ahead and scoff.
My home may not be for everyone, the buyer will need a decorator’s knack
Okay, who am I kidding? It’s going to be like finding a needle in a haystack!
But if by chance you’re out there and want to come to San Diego and have a look,
For a great price, you too can see how fun it is to live in a children’s coloring book!
Just contact Me, (the Wild and Crazy Owner) at this blog, “Once Upon Your Prime”
And I promise you the house will hold up better during inspection than this silly rhyme.