I was going to write up a thoughtful post about what it’s like to have your house up for sale, but before I could, our house sold.

Yeah, crazy.

After we returned from Europe and I had accepted the job, it became clear that we were definitely going to be selling the house. We spent a fair amount of time sprucing up the house to get it ready to list, and my parents had also done quite a bit while they were house sitting to make our list a lot smaller. While our house is far from dumpy, every house experiences entropy and energy must be put into the system to keep it spiffy. Once those items were done, we were ready to find a realtor.

Our friends moved a few months ago and recommended their agent, so we called her up almost two weeks ago. She came out to meet us and take a look at our house; then she went to study comparable sales in our neighborhood and come up with a suggested list price. The next day she sent us her findings, and we were a little surprised at how optimistic her numbers were. We’d been expecting the worst given the downturn in the market, but it’s ticked up a little in our area, and there just aren’t that many homes for sale in our neighborhood, making for a classic supply and demand scenario. We decided to go ahead and list with her.

We spent that weekend filling out some annoying paperwork, and then a photographer came out early last week to take some nice photos for our online listing. Once all of that was put together, our house hit the market on MLS early Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, we’d already scheduled a couple of showings for the weekend, and before it was over five different people had come to look at it.

DH went up to the mountains on Saturday, probably his last opportunity to do so while we’re here, so it was just the dog and me as we prepared the house for the showings. I got everything as clean and tidy as possible, and it was really looking spiffy. The problem is that it’s impossible to actually live in a house that is that spiffy! Life just happens, and even if my house is clean and picked up, there is always something on the counter or clothes to be washed or artifacts of some activity we were doing that day. I really hoped it didn’t linger on the market, because keeping it that benign was going to be a lot of work. My friend had a perfect saying about selling a house: “It’s like wearing a bikini to the beach; you have to keep it all sucked in and pretend it’s that way all the time.”

Ten minutes before the first showing, Murphy and I hopped in the car, and it started pouring down rain. While our house is the same in the rain and sunshine, a dark and dreary day will unavoidably make an impression on a prospective buyer, anyway. But it was what it was. After the allotted hour, the dog and I came home for a few hours before the next showing, then went out again. This time the sun was out, and the house seemed be in rarefied form with the golden afternoon sun showing through our west-facing windows.

Murphy and I returned after that outing, finally in for the day. It was very interesting that the dog ran into the house barking like crazy; somehow he just knew people had been in there and possibly expected them to still be there. He very much knew something strange was afoot. Later, DH called on his way home; our agent called to ask about something and mentioned that one of the families that saw the house really, really liked it. That was optimistic, we thought. At least somebody liked it.

The next morning, we had showings scheduled for 9:00 and 12:30. Since we were supposed to be at church during those times, we decided the dog was going to have to come with us and hang out in the car while we were in the service. Fortunately, it was a cool morning, so he was quite comfortable hanging out there for a few hours. After church, we went out to lunch with friends, as our house was being shown again.

While we were eating, our agent called, telling us we had gotten an offer. Not just that, but the people who had “really really liked it” yesterday were planning on making an offer, too. We were a little startled…it had only been on the market for two days, and we already had people wanting it, nay, almost fighting for it.

There was drama all afternoon; the first people gave us only a few hours to respond and chewed out our agent over the phone when we didn’t accept their first low-ball offer. They responded quickly with a full-priced offer, though, but only gave us three hours to respond (for the record, that’s ridiculously short). The second people were trying to get their offer in before that deadline, promising it was going to be a good one. We hated to turn down a full-priced offer without an actual better offer in hand, but for some reason we were rooting for the other guys (and not because they were going to give us more money, either–probably because their agent didn’t chew ours out over the phone :p). They made it in time, and we were able to accept their offer for MORE than asking price.

We were absolutely astonished. God definitely provided in the speed of getting it sold as well as giving us a little extra, too. We are so thankful to have that hurdle crossed, though it’s definitely not over until it closes. We’ll pray that nothing unexpected comes up in the inspection and closing process. And besides all that, I don’t have to keep it ridiculously pristine for showings anymore!!! Let the packing and ramshackle stacking of boxes begin. :p

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