Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Anybody wanna buy a house?

By Deana Nall
The Baytown Sun

Published June 28, 2006

Selling a home is not for the faint of heart, I have learned. You wouldn’t believe all the wisdom I have gained just from having our house on the market for a couple of weeks.

For those of you who are considering selling your house, I’ve compiled this handy guide — based on our experience so far — called “House Selling 101” or “Hey! All the Dirty Dishes WILL Fit in the Freezer!”

1) Get your house looking really nice. Put it on the market.

2) Your husband will now leave town for a week on a “business” trip. You married no dummy.

3) As soon as he leaves, come down with a hideous sinus infection. Pass it on to your oldest child. Your toddler, however, will continue to feel fine and have as much energy as ever.

4) Lie around the house with a triple-digit fever while your non-sick child tears up the house. Answer the phone. It’s the realtor. She wants to show your house.

5) Down some Tylenol. Hide the messes in cabinets, under beds and inside major appliances.

6) Get your kids in the car and drive deliriously around the neighborhood while the realtor shows your house. Pray no one opens the oven and find the laundry basket full of dirty clothes. When the realtor’s gone, go home. Pass out.

7) Repeat this process daily for a week, until your husband comes home... sick.

I can only hope it gets better from here.

Maybe what we need is another family to live in our house while we’re trying to sell it. That may sound crazy, but Centex Homes is doing just that in one of their model homes in California. Except it’s not a real family. They are actors who pretend to be a family while prospective buyers walk through the house.

Members of the fake family hang out in the house, bake a “surprise” birthday cake for the fake mom, and occasionally yell out phrases that I’m sure all of us say when we’re home with our families, such as “I sure love these granite countertops!” and “Isn’t it cool having a washer and dryer upstairs?”

I’d rather show prospective buyers what life is really like inside our house. I’d hire a dad to accidentally set something on fire in the kitchen. And a mom who desperately wants to go to the bathroom, but no one in her family will let her. I’d also get a 7-year-old to periodically burst into tears, run to her room and slam the door. And I’d need a toddler to gleefully grind an entire bag of Cheetos into the carpet.

Maybe it could be like a running soap opera so potential buyers could come back every week to see what happens next. Will Mom make it to the bathroom? Is the 7-year-old headed for therapy? Is the baby headed for juvenile detention? Can this marriage be saved after Dad turns on the oven with the laundry basket of dirty clothes still inside?

Stay tuned. And somebody, please! Buy our house.


  • At Wed Jun 28, 02:50:00 AM, Blogger jettybetty said…

    Too funny--
    Lots of good ideas for places to hide stuff next time we have to sell.

    I hope it sells soon--not sure how anyone could have this much fun for long.

  • At Wed Jun 28, 06:56:00 AM, Blogger Jacinda said…

    HA! Your 7 year old bursts into tears often? My almost 6 year old will frequently say, "I feel like I might cry." The hormones start way too soon!

  • At Wed Jun 28, 08:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have a friend who was trying to sell their house in Ft. Worth. They came home after an open house one Sunday and discovered some missing pain medication from her husband's recent sinus surgery. After that they locked up all meds.

  • At Wed Jun 28, 09:24:00 AM, Blogger Meredith said…

    When we were trying to sell our house last year, we would stick all of the laundry and dirty dishes in the trunk of the car. My neighbors would laugh at me when we drove around the neighborhood with 3 dogs, 2 kids and a cat while the house was being show. They called my small 4 door sedan "Noah's Ark" because we would all be hainging out the windows. I feel you pain! Good luck!

    I thought of you wile we drove through Houston/Bay Town/Beaumont on our way to Florida!

  • At Wed Jun 28, 07:24:00 PM, Blogger kristi w said…

    We decided to be really smart when we sold our last house and move out our junk, toys to be tripped over, dirty dishes, and our bodies before the showings started. In order to save on rent or mortgage payements, we thought we'd really be ingenious and stay with my parents for the short interim between homes. One year later we moved into our new home. Just brilliant.

  • At Wed Jun 28, 09:16:00 PM, Blogger WadeStrz said…

    Hey Deana,

    Kelly told me you had a funny blog so I stopped by to read for myself - I married a smart woman!

    Tell Chad I said hello!

    Wade Strzinek

  • At Thu Jun 29, 07:52:00 AM, Blogger Jana said…

    I love it. Great post. I always love your blog, Deana!

  • At Thu Jun 29, 04:50:00 PM, Blogger Diane said…

    It wouldn't be so funny, if it weren't so so TRUE! And I thought I was the only one who hid things.

    God Bless you on your move - it is difficult to move away from the familiar, but God has many exciting experiences awaiting you in AR! (No jokes about that...I am from OK)

  • At Fri Jun 30, 01:24:00 PM, Blogger SG said…

    Bless you and I really hope someone buys your house!

  • At Fri Jun 30, 07:47:00 PM, Blogger Chad said…

    I love you and miss you. I'm sleeping on a matress on the floor with about 80 other guys.

  • At Fri Jun 30, 09:10:00 PM, Blogger Lauren said…

    I love this post/article. I dread the day we have to sell our house. I tried to "really clean" our house this week while I was actually home for several consecutive days. HA! It stayed clean for about 2 hours.

    Best wishes :)

  • At Sat Jul 01, 05:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, Lord, I can relate . . . because I'm wondering if we will have to go through the same thing soon!

  • At Sun Jul 02, 12:13:00 PM, Blogger Tracy said…

    Oh man, that was painful and funny at the same time. Somebody buy that house!!


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