Thursday, 2 September 2010

Show and tell



I'm not sure I have the gumption for this house selling business; I simply don't seem to be getting used to it at all. I find it so unsettling, even upsetting, to have to show strangers round my home. Most people are very nice; they look, they murmur, they ask a question or two, and nothing unpleasant or critical has ever been said or implied.


On the contrary; several viewers have been highly complimentary, and there have been thoughtful remarks about the lovely feel of the house, as well its looks. But it's nerve-wracking, nevertheless - for me, at least. The cats are getting used to it.


I show people around, tell them about the things they can't really see, but would soon find out about if they weren't in good order (which they are!) and then leave them to pootle round again on their own. Then I ask if there's anything else they want to know. I think I do the showing-round part well; I hope that my openness and straightforward response to questions reassures them that the house doesn't conceal any hidden horrors.


I doubt very much if I would feel any better if the estate agent did the showing-round while I lurked at a neighbour's house, fretting about the cats and their penchant for bringing gifts or donating hairballs.


After the viewers have gone, however, I feel wrung out and slightly tearful, every time. I daresay the loss of privacy accounts for this, to some extent; after all, even my close friends don't routinely venture beyond the public rooms. Perhaps it's the unspoken hope that underlies every viewing - hope that this person will be the one who loves my house enough to buy it, hope that I can then be freed to find my own next home, instead of living in this dressed-for-show house. I can hear some of you muttering "Get a grip, woman!" and you're right....

Today's viewer was very sweet, although I suspect was looking beyond her budget's capacity. She had left her husband and baby at home too - not a hopeful sign.


Lesley texted me to suggest lunch afterwards, and we walked through the leafy shortcut to the upper part of Jesmond in hot sunshine. I love September most of all months.

We had a very nice little lunch here in the cafe carved out of the old Methodist Church in the heart of Jesmond (it's not nearly as crowded and busy as it looks in those photos, and is an easy relaxed place to sit and unwind) and on leaving, bought an ice cream to take out with us -  a Wheelbirks ice cream, from the dairy farm with the Ice Cream Parlour that Annie and I visited not so long ago. Just as good second time round!


And then I came home; the upside of having viewings is the tidiness, the fresh flowers, the sparkling cleanliness everywhere. Except for the places where the boxes remain, still packed; the plan is to leave them until next month, when I shall give in gracefully and unpack them.

But not yet.

13 comments:

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Still keeping everything crossed for you. Your house is lovely and somebody WILL buy it. Just waiting for the RIGHT person to arrive on the scene.

Mac n' Janet said...

I'm much too emotionally attached to my home to be able to market it to others. Your house is lovely, maybe the cats can show folks around.

Karen said...

House showing is so different here in the States. Unless you are selling your house yourself (otherwise known as FSBO - For Sale By Owner), you are never, ever home when prospective buyers come. The real estate agents do not want you hanging around at all.

I remember when I was looking for a house to buy and we found a family at home when they were told we were coming to look. Afterwards the real estate agent was absolutely beside herself over that and had quite a few choice words for the seller's agent.

Changing the subject. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year, but we are still looking at temps in the high 80's and low 90's for the next ten days. Global warming, anyone?

Carolina said...

Your house looks gorgeous. Love the stained glass window. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that in the very near future someone will fall in love with it and buy it ;-)

the veg artist said...

I do understand this feeling. If you've invited a friend in, and had a good time (perhaps with cake?) then there's a nice 'vibe' that hangs in the air. A memory that adds in a positive way.
This doesn't happen when you are selling houses. Or when you've had an arguement with an architect who has forgotten to order roofing materials!!!

The way I've coped with selling in the past is to decide that what will be, will be. Just let the viewings go on, without attaching too much to each one. And you can never tell who can afford what - appearances can be very deceiving (speaking as someone who will go out looking as scruffy as the occasion will allow).

Would a little treat after each viewing help?

jabblog said...

I hope your dream buyer turns up soon - and not another young doctor in a hurry. I can't imagine selling this house - well, I can - it would be a nightmare! Good luck :-)

Lucille said...

It is altogether a very odd business. Considering it is the biggest purchase most of us will ever make, our inspection of a property is often laughably cursory. I have never yet tried to open a window or looked in a cupboard. I am stupidly distracted by the loveliness or otherwise of items that will not be there and behave too much as though I am a polite guest. By rights we should be much more hard headed but a distorted version of social etiquette gets in the way.

Sue said...

It is a very emotional thing to do, it's like baring your soul every time someone comes to view and that's got to be exhausting. My fingers are still crossed.

lovethosecupcakes said...

I agree with The Veg Artist's comment about appearances being deceptive. A woman who looked as if she didn't have two ha'pennies to rub together turned up when we selling our first house. I didn't even bother to get up from the sofa (rude, I know). She said she wanted the house and could pay cash. Yeah, right, we thought. But blow me if she didn't just go and do that. And she's still living there. You will get your buyer so don't get despondent.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

It all sounds very stressfull . But someone with sufficient funds will appear very soon , freeing you up for the wilds of Somerset and lots of Cornish icecream .
Until then you'll just have to eat Wheelbirk's Jersey cows' best with good friends . Put like that , mind you , are you sure you're in such a hurry ?

elizabethm said...

I do remember this feeling. It is partly the invasion of privacy as you say. It will all work out I am sure,and in the meantime there is icecream, and friends.

Isabelle said...

Oh dear, sympathy from me too. It does look lovely and somebody won't be able to resist it. Hope it's soon.

Patricia G said...

Your house looks lovely, you've done your part beautifully. Just remember other factors that come into play for viewers are beyond your control. I'd find the loss of privacy difficult too and you are just hoping all the time, which is wearing. Chin up! it'll happen when it's meant to.

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