The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
The tale and the saga – Part III

(The photos in this post are the ones I took for our marketing campaign, honestly, one the most stressful photoshoots I have ever done! I felt as though the sale of our house depended on my photographs!)

The first few weeks of having our house on the market went really well. We had record numbers through for our first open house, 22 groups registered in total, more than double the estate agents second busiest house that day.

There were lots of favourable comments and some talk of following up with contract requests but as the weeks went by the numbers started to drop and the requests for contracts dried up. My subconscious started muttering “I told you so…” and Ron and I spent a lot of time running the numbers, over and over, different scenarios and configurations.

People asked me if I was excited about moving into our new house and for a second I would have to think really hard what they meant. I was pushing the new house to the furtherest part of my mind, almost like a talisman. If I don’t think about it, then it will come true. The initial excitement of imagining my dream kitchen had long since been replaced with my sad version of practicalism, imagining a budget renovation done quickly so we can get the new house back on the market for resale when our house still isn’t sold after six months on the market.

It sounds quite silly now when I type this out, but it does feel good to be honest about how hard this process has been for me. Friends suggested I might be finding it hard to keep the house in a constant state of clean in case of a sudden inspection but actually I found it quite theraputic to clean and tidy.

Our house looked better than it had in years thanks to the massive declutter and decamp to storage that we had done and I felt comforted by the clean spaces and lack of, well, stuff. I wasn’t stressed about the girls colouring in on the kitchen table or eating afternoon tea on the rug, even getting ready for the open days wasn’t that hard.

The first weekend it took us nearly five hours with Ron mowing lawns and raking leaves while I scrubbed the floors and grouting but by week four and five we were able to whiz round in a couple of hours before getting in our car and heading out for hot chips and a play in the park. It was actually really nice getting all the housework done in a few hours on a Saturday instead of frantically between school drop off and friends coming round for morning tea!

The weather gods favoured us and each Saturday the sun would shine as we drove off, showcasing our lovely home in the kindest possible light.

Sadly however we just weren’t getting the buyers we needed. You see our pool of potential buyers was limited for a number of reasons. Our house is on the low side of the street which means that investors don’t like it because they can’t build a duplex, the road frontage was just slightly too small for the developers and the position and fact that the house is a weatherboard clad fibro home and not made of brick ruled it out for many buyers. So we were appealing to a very narrow band of the market, young couples, childless or with a baby, probably first time homebuyers.

Despite nearing 60 or more viewings, we had yet to get any offers. No one could quite understand what was happening, why wasn’t someone falling in love with our house, the private backyard and the views across the valley from the secluded deck? The neighbours were astounded not to see SOLD signs up within the first few weeks, our estate agents were genuinely perplexed as to how we could get so many people through the house and back for second inspections with only a handful of contract requests and no offers.

All this fed those nasty negative voices in my head and my stress levels soared until one Saturday night it overwhelmed me and I had a long and much needed sob on the phone to my Dad. Poor dad got quite a fright when he heard how upset I was and later that evening I had a long chat with Mum and a few glasses of wine.

Ron and I sat down together again and ran the numbers for the worst possible outcomes and slowly I faced my fears. Just saying it out loud had given me a sense of relief and that night I slept better than I had in weeks. I made a conscious decision to push my negativity aside and focus on the here and now and somehow the combination of just getting used to the whole process after nearly a month, along with my choice to focus on the good stuff meant that my stress levels started to improve.

Of course around the same time our car went in for a routine service and we were given the bad news that it needed a lot of work, an expensive engine rebuild and I started to feel like the proverbial universe had it in for us!

At the six week mark we had only had one offer well below our personal lowest benchmark figure. This offer was withdrawn before it could become a formal offer and I was starting to believe that all my worst case scenarios might come to fruition. Through out the whole process our lovely estate agent had been an absolute godsend. Honestly, I can’t begin to tell you how amazing she is and how she managed to make this very stressful process less fraught and tense. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been to go through this ordeal without the regular and consistent communication we have had. If she said she would call us, she did, if she promised us a report, she would email it, if I had any concerns or questions, she was available almost around the clock to answer them. She had already advised us to make a few changes to our marketing campaign which we did and she was working very hard to keep a few interested parties on board.

At this point we had three groups that were still hanging around, one group had some very unrealistic concerns about the property which lead us to believe they were angling for a low offer, the other couple had their heart set on another property in a nearby suburb that was on the market for a significant amount more than our house. The third couple we had pretty much dismissed because despite them being very keen and having a clear emotional reaction to our home, their finances were looking complicated and they weren’t in a position to act fast.

Ron and I continued to put our efforts into making sure our home looked fantastic for the open houses but now we were venturing into unknown territory with the settlement on the new house less than six weeks away which meant if someone were to make an offer, we would have to move quickly to still be able to arrange a simultaneous settlement date. Where I had started to feel a bit more relaxed at the process, my nerves started to jangle again and when Ron’s eternal optimism turned into blind faith just before our 7th open house, well, it was hard to maintain my sense of humour….

To be continued……

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