Have you ever thought about the weird customs and processes we humans come up with? In my mind, one of the strangest is that of selling your house. Let’s recap it, shall we? So, you hire a person to come into your house to tell you to take down all your artwork and knick-knacks and do-dads that you’ve come to love and to hide away all items of normal, daily living. That dishcloth in the sink? Abhorrent! The smudges on the fridge? Despicable! So you tidy and purge and clean like crazy. Then you invite people in to take pictures of your home, your most sacred space, that will be plastered all over the internet for people to look at and judge as they please. Then, if you’re lucky, you’ll have strangers coming into your home at all hours, without you there, looking through your house and touching your things and judging your decorating abilities (or lack there-of)……cue panic attack at just the idea of this COMPLETE NIGHTMARE.
Last year, my husband and I put our house up for sale, so the above mentioned form of torture was our lives for several months. I thought I’d put together a bit of an “Anxious Introverts Guide to Selling A House” because seriously, what is more awful to an introvert than not being able to decompress and de-stress in the comfort of their own home or for someone with anxiety to not have some semblance of control over the situation? And let’s be honest, even if you are not an anxious introvert, selling a house is stressful and exhausting, so you’ll probably get a taste of what it’s like to live as an anxious introvert!
Keep in mind that I am most definitely not a realtor (that has gone onto my list of “Things I Never Want To Be When I Actually Grow Up”). But after surviving a total of 61 showings in just a couple of months, I think I might be on my way to being an expert.
Have a couple of places that you look forward to going during showings. For the first while, we had no clue what to do with ourselves (and our three dogs) during showings and it was a real chore to get everyone piled out of the house to go sit in the car somewhere. We eventually started to explore the city more and enjoyed lots of springtime walks that we probably would have missed had we not been forced out of our house (silver lining!!). A couple of other dog friendly suggestions include visiting dog friendly stores (check with your local stores; our Homesense, Urban Barn, Michaels, Cabella’s, and a bunch more are dog friendly!), visit the offleash park or rent a private indoor/outdoor park for an hour, go for a walk or a hike or maybe consider joining an obedience or dog sport class! If you don’t need to wrangle pups out of the house during showings, maybe consider getting a massage, going to a movie, visiting the library, look at other available houses on the market – the options are endless! Having something that you look forward to doing makes your forced evacuation a little more enjoyable.
Enforce the restrictions that you need and don’t feel guilty for doing so. Everyone knows that in order to sell your house you need to, you know, allow people inside your house. The more open your availability, the easier it is to get more people in to see your house, and hopefully the quicker it will sell. However, if this is causing you to lose your mind or have permanent anxiety, talk to your realtor about restricting certain days or times. Perhaps all you need to get through the chaos is to know that every Tuesday night you can count on no one being in your house and that you can lock the doors and close the blinds and take a bubble bath and leave clothes on the floor and dishes in the sink. Yes, you are selling your home and it is going to be an uncomfortable time, but it is still your home and you need to go about your life and take care of yourself during this process!
We had to put restrictions on our availability due to working shift work, but I also placed restrictions on not allowing showings if we were not available to take the dogs out. We had allowed a few showings while the dogs were at the house which caused me to worry constantly and ended up inducing a panic attack, and the dogs started to show signs of stress after the showings that they were at home for as well. And so? We completely restricted those as well. Ideal? Nope. I know that. But my husband, myself and the dogs felt so much calmer so it was worth it.
Rant and Vent. Ahem. People be C-R-A-Z-Y. And these crazy people will be in your house and saying (potentially) rude things about your home and this takes a toll! You’re going to need some encouraging friends and family members to listen to you and talk you off a couple of ledges.
Communicate with your realtor. Let them know if you’re struggling. Despite how it may seem, they are not actually out to make your life a living nightmare, this is all just part and parcel of the process of selling your house. Talk about how they can help you make this process more manageable for everyone.
Know that it will end. I’m fairly certain that no house has ever been for sale forever. Eventually someone will buy it or you’ll take it off the market or choose to rent it out…but this season of your life will end! Someday, hopefully soon, you will no longer have strangers traipsing through your home while you hide at the coffee shop around the corner, praying that they will finally make an offer so this nightmare will end. We finally sold our house two months after it was listed and found a house we love. Yes, it was worth it. All the tears and stress and anxiety…it was worth it. And now that the process is over, I get to sit on my couch when I want, leaving a mess behind if I want and bask in the quiet solitude.
Have you ever gone through the process of selling your house? Was it a stressful time for you? Do you have any tips to add? Let me know below!