3:00 AM 6th November 2021
Selling Your House Is Like Giving Birth
There are few pleasures greater than chinking chipped mugs full of bubbly while surrounded by boxes, knowing that you’ve successfully made the transition from your old home to your new one. But there’s much to endure before we can celebrate with that sweet exhaustion. 40+ blogger Claire Marie looks back on selling her house during last year’s lockdown.
It’s been almost a year since my house move and I’ve been reflecting.
Moving house is a little like giving birth: you forget how painful it is and only remember the lovely bits. Is that why we wait until we’re settled and happy, then get itchy feet and say we’ll move ‘one last time’?
When making my decision to sell halfway through lockdown, I definitely forgot the consequences that came with it. Mainly having to keep the house scrupulously clean and tidy and ensure the dog’s bed, which is bigger than the sofa, was put in the garden when people came for viewings so that it didn’t skew the proportions. Having to light/activate every possible home fragrance option to cover the constant smell of his farts was another drag.
As working from home had become a proper ‘thing’, I turned the spare room - previously my absolute storage saviour and dumping ground - into an office. Having a home office really made me feel like I had my shit together, but actually meant there was nowhere to put any shit, so I had to tidy every surplus item away. By 'tidy', I mean stuff anything I couldn’t get in the loft in a cupboard, which meant that every time I opened one, half of my possessions fell on my head.
The absolute worst bit of selling a house is the utter awkwardness of having to follow prospective buyers around with inane commentary when they can see quite clearly for themselves that they’re in the kitchen, thank you, and that the oven is integral (yes, I did use that as a selling point).
Viewings and pandemics aren’t the best of combinations. It was bizarre that the first person in my house for months wasn’t a member of my family, but an estate agent in a smart suit with gloves, a mask and weird plastic things over his brogues, closely followed by two random strangers. But at least they were nice. One viewer had the charm of a fart in a phonebox. The pandemic did nothing to stop them from opening the airing cupboard to check the boiler and twisting taps to check the water pressure. Without asking! They then cornered me in my bedroom to ask me a series of questions that had nothing to do with the house itself, including:
Ofsted ratings of the local primary and junior schools (I didn’t know)
When the property was last rewired (I didn’t know)
How much my utility bills are (I didn’t know, but I knew I should’ve known)
What it was like in the snow (snowy)
Then there were the questions about how old and energy efficient the house was, which I couldn’t answer because I find such topics intolerably boring. This became mortifyingly apparent when I realised that after the last two viewers had asked to see the immersion heater, I’d actually showed them the boiler (the thing that wears the jacket).
Still, I eventually found my buyer, who perhaps loved the house for the same reasons I did: a pretty, private garden and a lovely vibe. Nothing to do with the boring business of bills or boilers (or whatever the thing is that wears the jacket).
And I can honestly say that I’m never moving again.
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