Monday, November 16, 2009

Open House of Solitude

So our house has been on the market for a little while now. After a decent first month, we haven't had any traffic in about 6 weeks.

Our realtor decided "it's time for a (magic) Open House."

We picked a date in November, working around birthday parties, Thanksgiving, and a mini-vacation, but knowing that there was really no ideal time to have this thing.

First of all, Open Houses are not family-friendly. They're held in the afternoon, right in the middle of NAP TIME.

So the options are:
1. Drive around for about 2 hours in the hopes that small children will fall asleep.
2. Go do something fun, knowing that small children will be completely giddy, hyperactive and delirious due to nap-deprivation.

I had to put in beaucoup hours at work the week before the Open House.

Mom-E is beaucoup pregnant and therefore fatigue is a factor (even though she'd prefer to go full-tilt).

The boys are beaucoup good and making messes (even though they try to help clean up and put away, you can't ask them to lick the Cinnamon Toast Crunch residue off the kitchen floor).

But still, we persevered, and the house was pretty much spotless come Sunday afternoon.

And by persevered, I mean that Mom-E made a detailed schedule of what tasks would get done when, such as:

1. Dad-E stands on a ladder scrubbing dirt/mildew off the gutters with 409 at midnight on a night of his choosing, while Mom-E is scrubbing Cinnamon Toast Crunch residue off the kitchen floor.

2. We both stay up until after 1am the morning of the Open House, only to have both boys wake up before 7am to ensure timely completion of the remainder our to-do list.

3. I'm blowing leaves off the deck, while wearing church clothes and holding a 2 year-old, less than 90 minutes before it's time to leave. Mom-E uses both free arms (which when compared to carrying around small children makes you feel like you have about 6 functioning arms instead of just a pinky finger) to help complete the magical transformation of the house's interior.

And so, we make it out of the house with enough time to spare that we can go grab lunch at (where else) Subway before church. (Which is a good thing, because church is hard enough for us when the boys have full tummies.)

Church runs long, which today is a good thing. When it's over, we only have about an hour to kill.

So we drive to get some gas. Little Brother pretty much falls asleep as we're putting him into the car. Big Brother is calmly enjoying the view.

When we can't don't go home, Big Brother starts in to have a mini-tirade of frustration for about the next 30 minutes. Amazingly, Little Brother is not aroused.

We finally get Big Brother to laugh by telling him, "When you were a baby, you called the kitchen the "chicken", and granola bars "bita barn." His sour mood turns to gut-busting laughter on account of his delirium.

We pull back in to our driveway right at 3pm, greeted by the wonderful news from our realtor that...

Drum roll...

We had a grand total of 0, that's right, ZERO, visitors during the Open House.

In the words of Q-bert, "!@#$%^&*!"

The realtor called all of his realtor buddies, and apparently there was an city-wide "boycott" of open houses, because no one was getting any traffic.

As he's leaving the realtor says, "don't worry, we'll have another Open House sometime."


Oh well, at least the house is clean again (for the next 5 minutes), and Little Brother was successfully transferred from car to crib without interrupting his REM cycle.

Have a good week.

Please come buy our house, or send someone to buy it,


  1. I used to be a Realtor. I stopped selling Real Estate when my son was born to spend more time with the family.

    But Open Houses NEVER result in a sale of the house. Okay never is a strong word, but 99.99% of the time they do not.

    The only thing they are good at are for potential clients for the Realtor. If you see open houses on the TV Shows and they show someone that will put an offer on, I bet you they never do.

    I hate the cliche, but it's the market. I went to see my old broker last weekend to help them with an audit, and they've had crap sells this year. It's mostly been new homes.

    Ask your Realtor about a web presence, how is he marketing? Is he just relying on the sign in the front yard? Is he passing out flyers to the people in his office? Does he have other clients that he is showing the house? Is the house going to be in any home for sale circulations?

    Don't mean to be a Debbie Downer. But I wouldn't do an Open House if it yields no results.

  2. OMG my heart just sank when you said zero visitors. I am so sorry! Its great that the house is clean, but i know all that stress going into trying to get it done, especially with you working a lot and Momm-E being so pregnant! Wishing you luck! Love, Aunt-E

  3. That would have me cursing too. I hope you get some bites soon.

  4. Oh, I am so sorry! I completely feel your pain. We did one open house too and we got your horrific number of "0" visitors. Its a horrible feeling especially since you work so hard to get there and not have any results. I remember even baking fresh chocolate chip cookies! I hope you get a buyer very soon. Rosi

  5. it is a killer trying to get the house cleaned up when it feels like the kids are just constantly making it messy again. Especially when you're trying to make it look attractive for someone to buy. Good luck and hang in there!

  6. Sorry about the open house. I hope you have better luck in finding a buyer. The Q-bert line was a killer. I haven't thought of that funny looking guy in years.