You’ve got two hours of uninterrupted time.
Where should you start? Every time it seems different. You can’t seem to get it down in just the right manner. Sometimes the floors are in desperate need of a good sweep, double swiff, both dust and then mop. Other times the bathroom seems like the priority with white tiles showing every piece of dust or hair. And there is so much hair, wasn’t it supposed to stop falling out by now? Today, the kitchen seems especially filthy. You’re surprised there isn’t a routine. You don’t know how the perfectionist in you hasn’t come up with a repetitive full home cleanse. The sensible voice inside your head is telling you to let it go. Your mom’s voice, your husband’s voice, your agent’s voice. Do what you can, don’t worry so much about having it clean. But you have no clue how to do that. In your self degrading mindset, the responsibility to sell this place is all yours, pull your weight. You’re a control freak, and you haven’t been reminded of it in awhile. It’s enough to be intermittently cautioned about your flaws. On the other hand, you’ve been made aware of this particular blemish in character increasingly with every showing. Moreover, there have been maybe thirty plus showings.
Your eyes hysterically dart around. You see one thing after the next, the positioning of a pillow, and the tiny scratch on the floor, which you’ve learned to rub baby oil on to make it disappear. Don’t forget to do this upstairs and down! Focus, the clock is rapidly ticking and you must get it all done. You feel slightly tortured with the task of making this place look more than presentable. Because it can’t just be okay, it has to be incredible. What’s that smell? Light candles! Quick, wipe off all those tiny handprints on the fridge and the dishwasher! Recycling? Run it down to the laundry room! How’d this toy get in here? Luckily, you’ve already ordered that storage ottoman to hide such things, although lately it’s an exasperating puzzle to fit them all inside. Can it just close shut already?! Oh no, you’ve forgotten to organize the cupboard. You swallow the embarrassment and move on. You wipe the sweat off your top lip as you drag the vacuum out of yet another unkempt closet. Gulp. Everyone knows a well vacuumed home has a good sensation. You continue to check things off your mental list. This list actually seems to be interminable, and time is almost up realizing you only ate a bite of your son’s waffle this morning. Is this what manic is like? Well, this has become a part of your life. Mostly on weekends, some scheduled for weekdays at two, which is exactly the time your sweet little one wakes from his nap. Too bad, wake him up, get him out, this could be the one!
You’ve been acting this charade since you made the decision to uproot and relocate in early January. You’re no real estate guru but you know this is not the time anyone is looking for a home. The weather is troublesome, causing muddy tracks that remind you to put up a sign advising to wear booties or take those untidy soles off! The beautiful dark stain you thoughtfully chose is now so meticulously clean that the sight of mud makes your blood boil. Especially when you get no feedback. The buyers come and go. Each one could be the one.
It’s now the end of May. Can it really be true that your home is still on the market? Is it possible that the inane comments could cease to offend you? Fortunately your husband is home for this one. Let’s just say it’s a hell of a lot easier when you have two people instead of one. Besides, you can begin the process before nap. Only the stuff a seventeen month old can’t reach. You never planned to try and sell your co-op under such pressure. It hadn’t occurred to you that your beloved twelve hundred square feet would take time to find it’s new occupant.
She arrives alone and you already know she’s a cash buyer. You’re skeptical as you pull out of the parking lot to get out of the way. You were imagining a young couple similar to yourselves when you first found the place. You also remember that you failed to not only wipe the dust off of the windowsills but to check for crumbs on the top of the refrigerator door. Your husband calmly turns to you with a smile and says, “It usually comes from the most unexpected places.”