Selling our home brings mixed emotions.
It’s been the place we’ve called home. We’ve had good times, we’ve had fun times. We’ve also had some difficult and sad times. It’s where there are many memories and quirky traditions. The simple things like sitting at the breakfast bar, making pizza, Christmases, birthdays and doing homework at the dining table.
But, while I have fond memories of living in our house, I will miss it, although I’m not getting nostalgic. It’s a great house. Honestly, it’s too big for me (and my daughters when they stay) but it’s been the place we come back to every day – it’s been our sanctuary.
Preparing to sell the house
I thought I lived a reasonably minimalistic life. I am definitely not a hoarder, but I do like to hold on to a few things that are special to me. If I was to be categorised, I’d be in the frugal box – although my daughters would say ‘tight’. My Dad always told me ‘the cheapest is never the cheapest in the long-term, always buy the best value you can afford’.
So living with limited possessions, but equally far too many, I believed sorting out through our posssesions would be easy. How wrong I could be? I start with a single small cupboard, and end up putting 90% back in. This is never going to work. So I did what any sensible person would do. Sit down with a cup of tea and stick Netflix on. (Note to daughters – we have Netflix so I’m not that tight.)
I’m not a big TV watcher so I tend to go with a recommendation from Netflix. The recommendation – The Social Dilemma. A thought provoking documentary, especially for someone who limits their social media activity. Netflix (or at least the AI that is used) is very clever because at the end of any programme, they recommend something to keep you on the sofa. For me, it was Expedition Happiness.
Expedition Happiness is the journey of a couple, Felix and Selima, who buy an old US school bus in America. They convert it to a mobile home, travel to Canada, back through the United States into Mexico and through countries in South America. Enlightening as they’re on their life’s adventure.
And Netflix does it again. This time the recommendation is Minimalism. Ok. This is either coincidence or the real power of AI. The only reason I was watching TV was because I couldn’t clear out a draw. Now, Netflix is recommending a documentary all about minimalizing my life.
The Minimalists got me captivated. Joshua and Ryan’s story struck many cords. I resonated with them enough to check out their website and I’ve listened to some of their podcasts. It also got me off the sofa and back to the clutter, and sorting things out.
Over the last eight weeks or so, we’ve been sorting through each room, putting our stuff in to piles of ‘keep’, ‘sell’, ‘donate’ and ‘bin’. Like most people, the ‘keep’ pile seems to be the largest, but gradually we’ve challenged ourselves and the sell, donate and bin piles have grown. It’s true, as I’ve minimalised and begun to declutter, I believe I am valuing those things I’m keeping much more.
As we come to the enter autumn, we’ve tidied the garden and had a few rooms decorated, done the polishing, cleaning and fixed the squeaky doors. And the ‘for sale’ sign goes up.
House selling stress
It’s a strange time to try to sell a house. No-one knows the future at the best of times so predicting the unknown after a pandemic is impossible. Every mortgage company, every estate agent and every report has a different view. The reality is selling a house at any time is stressful. There will always be buyers. There will always be sellers. The question is whether there is a buyer for your house.
A flurry of enquiries and the estate agent arranges five viewings in quick succession. Admittedly, the first wasn’t great. I was more confident on the second, and my confidence and sales patter grew from there.
Feedback from buyers was they wanted to live more in the country; or the commute will be too long; or unsure if they can live next door to a cemetery (it’s ‘dead quiet’ – I had to). Everyone commented on how great the house and garden are, every time expressing their amazement how big the rooms are. Acres of space.
Then came the call – “Marc, we’ve received an offer on your house”. Two phone calls later. Sale agreed.
I had no expectations how soon the house would sell, and I knew that selling our home brings mixed emotions. but after small steps, this is one huge leap.
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