I’m rapidly losing heart with this whole house-selling business. I think, perhaps, it’s not for me. You’ll remember that I’m a simple soul (see also: idiot) who leads a simple life. I thought buying and selling homes involved putting up a FOR SALE sign, a passerby saying “I’d like to buy your home for a reasonable figure” and us saying “well that seems fair enough” and handing them the keys, and then repeating the process, but with us offering a reasonable figure for a new home, near the beach, and with a scullery.
Well I don’t know if you’ve ever bought or sold a house, but it is NOTHING like this. People turn into real pricks. I’ve turned into a real prick. I’ll be honest: I’ve always had borderline OCD tendencies. Before I had children, I was a bit of a weirdo about home cleanliness. Three kids tend to knock that out of you (nothing like a handful of Monster Sticks wedged in a plughole to help you re-evaluate obsessive cleaning disorders). BUT, now that I have to open my home once or twice every weekend – and even on a Thursday night, once – those OCD tendencies are resurfacing. I’m a bit of a nightmare, truth be told (no shit, says my husband and my children, in unison, as I Dustbuster the toast crumbs from their pyjamas). I could do without this. I could do without being nuts. But the thought that someone could come into my home – MY home – and say: “Ooo, they’re a bit of a grotty family,” (just as I would), well, it makes my right eye twitch. I can’t deal with it.
So there’s that. There’s also the fact that FOR SALE signs attract weirdos. Real weirdos. Yesterday I was working in my office, which is at the front of the house, and I spotted a weird dude pull up in his car, and get out to inspect the for-sale sign. Which is weird, ‘cos it’s pretty big, and doesn’t really require a close-up inspection. And I’m thinking, this is weird, and a little unnerving, and where’s the big spanner that Paul keeps under the bed for occasions such as this.
So anyway, the dude then walks AROUND the for-sale sign, to inspect the BACK of it, and that’s when he spots me in my office. And he smiles a big, weird smile and beckons me out. I go to the front door (because I am an idiot, as previously mentioned) and open it a little, and think GOSH, this dude looks exactly as you would imagine those Nigerian princes who email to say you’ve inherited a million Nigerian dollars, you just need to send your bank account and blood group details to this email address, would look (ie, dodgy). And he goes: how much you want for house? And I go all middle class and snooty and say: we’re accepting offers above $669,000. And he says: I give you 500. And I say: fuck off. And shut the door. And lock it. I mean, what’s HIS story? Is this what he DOES? What’s his success rate?
And then Ben comes home from school (the same day) and says: “Rita’s mum wants to buy our house, she says can you meet her at school tomorrow.” And I’m, like, what the FUCK? This is not how we do things! And also: I haven’t been to the school since 2011! So I’m, like, err, NO. But then the next day SHE pulls up outside our house, and lies in wait for me. I mean actually LIES IN WAIT. Well not literally lies in wait. She wasn’t lying down. She was in her car, upright, but very, very still, and not taking her eyes off the front door, which meant I couldn’t go into my office and post a Facebook update about the weird school mum lying in wait for me outside our house. She hung around for ages, until she had to leave because the school siren was about to go. Again: THIS IS NOT HOW WE DO THINGS.
Then, of course, there’s the fact that you’re letting people into your home, and allowing them – nay, ENCOURAGING them – to criticise your fixtures and fittings. If you’re a bit houseproud – as I am – this is the equivalent of letting a dumb-shit stranger critique your outfit. People have complained because the pool’s too small, because we have a pool, because we don’t have enough bedrooms, because we have too many bedrooms, because the kitchen benchtop is the wrong shade of white. I can’t help but take this personally. And I can’t help but think: fuck off; you don’t DESERVE our beautiful, happy home. So there.