The sign is up on the lawn. You've cleaned and buffed and polished sorted and tidied and fooled yourself into believing the house is ready for showings. But you still live in your house. Your kids still make messes. You still have to shower in your bathroom. Your pets still track in mud and bits of grass. And that coffee is still an essential start to your day.
Then the phone call you've been anticipating (and dreading) comes. A showing! And can these lovely potential home-buyers come in TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES?
Thus begins the phase known as STASH AND DASH. You run around madly with a vacuum in one hand, a damp cloth in the other and dusting rags attached to your feet... while canned cinnamon buns cook at warp speed in the oven. Dirty socks get stashed in closets, pj's under pillows, toothbrushes jammed in drawers, today's breakfast dishes unceremoniously dumped in dishwashers(on top of clean dishes, of course). Items of all shapes and sizes get stuffed in your pockets--coins, pet-hair, hay, toy cars, loose threads, buttons, tissues, dryer sheets, paperclips, pens, pencils...the list goes on and on. Time accelerates until there's nothing to do but give up, hope for the best, and (pets and toddlers in tow) jump into the car and leave.
Inevitably, this is also the time when said pet decides to vomit on your just cleaned carpet. Or your toddler dumps her entire lego collection on the floor. Or a glass drops on the floor, shattering and spewing shards in forty directions, while also denting your not-so-pristene hardwood. Or your basement floods, a flock of geese flies by and spatters your house with ick, the cat runs off with a carpet-thread pulling behind her, the cupboard door falls off of it's hinges or the toilet clogs.
And in the military? This is usually when your husband/spouse takes off for a four month course in the Caribbean, and you are doing it all by yourself while he drinks rum from a coconut in a tiki bar on the beach.
I remember one house showing where the home-buyers showed up half an hour early, and my then eighteen-month-old exploded with the stinkiest poop on the planet just as I noticed them walking in our back yard. Yeah. The aftereffects were smelled for weeks afterwords. Needless to say, our house didn't sell that day.
It's a crazy time, selling a house. You'd think after eight moves I'd have perfected the art of the stash and dash, but every house is different. It's certainly never dull!
I'm sure you have a great house-selling story... ever have someone come into your house unannounced? Have a household disaster the day before a second shown? What's your worst (or best) stash and dash? tell us about it below!
Check out my other Posting Phase Blogs!
Posting Phase One: Real Estate Research
Posting Phase Two: The Closet Clean-Out
Posting Phase Three: Orders!