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On The Market (I Think)

Grab your popcorn and get comfy people … this might take a while. So … after weeks of yo-yoing back and forth like a crazy person, I’ve finally pushed the button and made the big, fat, hairy, scary call to put my house on the market. Even as I write these words I’m tearing up and drafting an email in my head about how I can legitimately pull the pin at the 11th hour. Solitary confinement due to an outbreak of ebola virus?   … House condemned due to a black mould infestation? … both sound like feasible options I think.

Like most parts of my life right now I’m having an ongoing virtual debate with myself. I am both the affirmative and the negative and I make a pretty mean argument for both sides; even if I do say so myself. The affirmative (and annoyingly rational) side knows that this is a prudent time to sell … the market is softening (blah blah blah) and it probs makes way more sense to move before the tsunami that is the HSC hits with full force next year. With only one ‘economic refugee’ (aka kid) here, I’m spending a small fortune maintaining all the trappings of a house that is way bigger than we need. The house now resembles a cross between an empty shell, a trip down memory lane and a storage facility of which I have become the reluctant caretaker. On the upside, I am happy to report that all crockery is now accounted for and at last check there were no plates growing penicillin under the bed. I no longer need to don a breathing apparatus and ensure tetanus shots are up to date before entering bathrooms. I never have to scream “Who took the conditioner?” from my shower and more often than not my towel and make up is almost always where I left it. There are not 12 empty toilet rolls on the floor around each toilet anymore and my clean washing no longer goes into a 3-week holding pattern before reaching its designated wardrobe. To be honest, my home feels a bit like a movie set where the show’s been cancelled and the actors have all done a runner. So … it makes perfect sense to sell. Right?

In theory yes … but this isn’t a rational bricks and mortar, dollars and ‘sense’ decision. This big, old house has been our home for the past 16 years and I feel as sentimental as Marion Cunningham on the Happy Days reunion special. I’m actually setting the wheels in motion towards this whole ‘next stage of life’ thing … not just waxing lyrical about it and now that it’s happening I’m feeling decidedly nervous. But with my Golden Gap Year in my sights and my tissues in my pocket I’m powering on. (At least for the next 5 minutes)

Putting your home on the market is about as fun as a colonoscopy. But, on the flip side the house has never looked so good and I wish I could have been bothered to put in this much effort over the last 16 years (who am I kidding). Before an open house I turn into a cleaning ninja … vacuuming, sweeping, styling, joojing and hiding all manner of unsightly objects like kettles, toasters and wash baskets … because heaven knows any one of those things could be the difference between closing the deal or not! Don’t even get me started on the ‘good’ towels … those fluffy, white, pristine and completely impractical works of art that now reside on every towel rail are clearly for display purposes only. “For the love of god … please do not touch them let alone wipe your grubby hands on them” I’ve cleaned out my undies drawer in case Mrs Mangles decides to take a peek, I’m playing cool jazz through every speaker, cornered the cut flowers market and running out the door with a puff of room spray over the shoulder (because … well … doesn’t everyone?) It does feel like we’re living a double life of sorts … real house versus open house reality … a Stepford-esq virtual reality devoid of small electrical appliances, dirty washing and unmade beds.

I don’t believe for one second that a prospective buyer will be wooed out of their hard earned cash by the whiff of gardenias, a few cool tunes and a house full of flowers without a kettle or washing basket in site. But it’s all part of the theatre. Not sure if I’m selling a lifestyle, a display home … or just an old movie set the actors have left behind but I am sure that many bottles of wine and boxes of tissues will be required over the next four weeks. Wish me luck!

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