Today was the big day: the first open house for my condo. I was too exhausted to be nervous, excited, or even civil.
As this day grew near, I’ve been getting very little sleep. The place still looked like a construction zone yesterday. My friend and Realtor, Theresa Immordino couldn’t even put any recent interior photos in the initial listing.
Theresa and I have been getting increasingly snippy with each other–and now I think I understand why homeowners are expected to stay the hell away from their own open houses. I was irritable and unwilling to take shit from anyone–and my perception was that everyone was trying to give me shit.
Yesterday I got some help from friends Derek and Robin. This morning, with fewer than three hours to go before the house was scheduled to open, there was still an insurmountable amount of cleaning to be done. Robin came over to help again, also bringing me coffee and a bagel.
Robin was patiently trying to get me to prioritize. Then Theresa called me on my cell phone. “I found a housekeeper to help you clean up. You’re going to have to pay her. She’ll be there in 20 minutes [click].”
The housekeeper, Anglea, arrived, and she and Robin took over. I felt like one of the kids in The Cat in the Hat, who stood dumbfounded while Thing 1 and Thing 2 frenzied about cleaning. Theresa (who had just completed a quest for the perfect shower curtain) showed up and played the role of The Cat.
At the exact time the open house was to start, Robin was left alone in the condo to stand watch while Theresa handed over the Open House signs to me. This took longer than expected, and Robin spent about 20 minutes with a seemingly interested potential buyer–and not having answers for her questions. Apparently they talked about the photos we had hung on the walls less than 30 minutes earlier.
I put up the Open House signs around the neighborhood. Then I had nothing to do but stay away. It felt like a restraining order.
I went to Borders Books and fell asleep in a chair.
By popular demand, here are some before and after photos
According to Theresa, the Open House went well. I can’t thank Robin enough. Derek too, who not only helped but referred me to my wonderful contractor Chris Stanton.