ready to put on the market. And then, except for posts about de-cluttering, I stopped talking about it. I don't do well with uncertainty and it made me too anxious to write about the process. But my realtor just let me know that the folks who have a contract on my house finally got their mortgage approved and we're set to close on the 30th. They actually made an offer about ten days after I listed it. Time started dragging from there as we slowly went through offers and counter-offers and counter-counter-offers and then inspection and more negotiation and then appraisal... And in the meantime, I had to find a house. I screened the listings my agent sent me on-line first, then drove to the neighborhoods of the ones I liked to have a look at them, then went to see the inside of four houses. Just like the house I'm in now, I knew from the minute I walked inside which house I wanted. I just fell in love with a small older house in a pretty neighborhood and immediately could see my life there. The current owner's furnishings and wall colors disappeared in my mind and I started dreaming of which walls I'd paint and what landscaping I'd do and which furniture of my own would move with me.
Following the inspection, the buyers, worried about the ungrounded plugs (common in older houses), insisted that they all be grounded, along with some other electrical work. I had the outdoor plugs replaced and an additional GFCI put in, but the grounding estimate was $2500. I was NOT happy. I'd poured way too much money into updating the house as it was, I'd already cut the price quite a bit and made other concessions and it was starting to feel like the buyers were going to wring every last cent out of me that they could. On Sunday night, as I was fretting, I suddenly stopped and consciously made an effort to see the situation differently. I googled the buyers and discovered they are younger and, judging from their concerns about a lack of railing on the screened-in porch, probably have young kids and I know they are first time buyers. I thought about how they were probably, like me, just doing the best they could in a difficult process. And I started to view them with compassion instead of anger. I sent an email to their agent asking her to forward this note to the buyers:
I wanted to ask you about some things I could leave behind or not, depending on your preference. In particular, the family room (the room with the fireplace and knotty pine walls) furniture. I'm not offering to sell it - it's serviceable but not in fantastic shape. But I'm moving to a smaller home with a living room but not a den and I thought if you happened to be moving from a smaller place it would give you some time before you had to buy new furniture for it. There's a love seat, easy chair, ottoman, television cabinet and computer cabinet. Also, the house came with wicker-like furniture on the screened-in porch which I cleaned up and painted when I moved in, and which I'd planned to leave. Finally, I can leave all the curtains that are up if you want them. If not, I can send all of that to Habitat. You're welcome to let me know through your realtor if you prefer."
I figured whether or not they took me up on my offer, I had changed the tone of the process in the same way my older son positively altered the mood at graduation with his cheering. I felt better and let go of any lingering frustration about the money I was going to have to kick in for the rest of the electrical work. Yesterday, to my surprise, I got this back from their agent:
"Thanks so much for your offer. The buyers would love for you to leave those items if they are of no use to you. Also, the electrical that had not been done is fine since it's not a safety issue like the other was."
Guess who did a little dance of karmic joy? So in a little over a week, I'll be heading happily into the next adventure.