Having my house on the market feels a lot like what I imagine owning a show dog feels like. Y’all know how I am about analogies so bare with me.
Much like owning a show dog, you make an effort everyday to maintain its appearance. Knowing it would be a tragedy if on the day you chose not to brush your prize winning dog, “Felicity’s Diamond Jim*”, and while taking him for a walk, you have a chance encounter with an adoring fan that would give anything for a picture with “James”. So you oblige, not wanting to let anyone down, all the while knowing “James” does not look his best.
Same with the house. Imagine the misfortune if on the one day I chose to let my chores slide, someone wanted to view the house? While I am generally a neat person, I wake up a little earlier to get everything in order. The bed is made everyday, the toiletries are put away, there’s nary a dirty dish in the sink, and the pillows are given an extra fluff. I perform a final walk-through before leaving for work , assuming this will be the day it will be shown to its new owner! Very much like the scene from American Beauty when Annette Bening frantically cleans a home before the scheduled Open House…”I will sell this house today…I will sell this house today…I- will sell – this house – to-DAY!” I perform this mantra as I lock my front door and remove my key.
(photo credit: http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue08/reviews/americanbeauty/)
No amount of chanting will make the phone ring. Lord knows I’ve tried. So many more days than not, it isn’t shown. And of those few, even fewer come back to take a second peek. I come home from work and make an effort to avoid the rug so as not to disturb the lines in the carpet that indicate it has been freshly vacuumed. I wash my dishes immediately after I use them, if I use them at all, and I tuck myself into bed knowing I was simply mistaken: tomorrow will be the day the new owner of my house will look at it for the first time.
So when the phone call from the real estate agent comes announcing a showing, I go into “AKC Championship” mode:
::Announcer:: “We’re here with Susie, the owner of ‘Poplar Drive House of Susan’, who took a heartbreaking third place in the last showing. Susie, do you feel like Poplar is up for the challenge in this round of competition?”
::Me:: “Oh yes! Poplar has been combed and groomed and coddled and exercised more so in the last three weeks than she’s ever been! We learned a lot from our last showing and we feel like we’ve got what it takes to overcome that adversity.” (While straightening the drapes) “Ain’t that right, Poplar?” (Picking a piece of lint off the floor) “We’re gonna get ‘em this time, aren’t we girl?”
Making it past the first showing and on to a second showing is like winning Best in Breed. All dogs in the same breed have pretty much the same characteristics. However, each dog offers its own little something special that sets it apart from the others. The potential home buyer has a certain set of criteria in mind for their next home; size, style, location, price range. In this case, mine was among the list of homes that met this criteria so when they saw it in person, they liked it so much so they want to look at it a second time, thus awarding my home the “Best in Breed” ribbon!
While I am still feeling the buzz of having won Best in Breed, I am called upon to compete for “Best in Show”! The mind reels at the thought of a third showing! In the same manner the handler puts her prize dog on the table for the judges to see, smoothing her coat, straightening her legs and tail, I put my house on the proverbial table for a good grooming, too.
The pansies are holding their heads up high, the drapes in the dining room are pulled back with care, the music is playing lightly, and the grass is trimmed to perfection.
Smooth…straighten…and for Pete’s sake, please don’t bark.
*Felicity’s Diamond Jim is a real champion. Take a look at the link below. Let’s hope Poplar proves to be such a champion.