We’re Selling Our House and It’s Hard

This post may get a bit personal, and I apologize. I know the vast majority of you come here for decor and DIY ideas, and I love giving them to you. If you couldn’t care less about me, scroll down for our listing photos. No hard feelings.

If you want to read on, pull up a chair, grab a drink, and let’s do this. As you can see, Pee Wee’s Parlor (below) is empty. I brought the sofa and rug to the apartment (which I will show you all soon!) 

The reason we are selling our house is because I got a new job. This is all my fault. Well, maybe not fault, but the reason my husband is looking for a new job when he has a perfectly good one, the reason our house is on the market, the reason we’re paying for an apartment and house, and the reason I sleep alone at night without my family is my fault. My choice. My doing.

I’m uprooting our family 80 miles away to new city for my mental health and work/life balance, ultimately. I decided my mental health was worth the sacrifice of leaving a home I loved, a town I loved and living away from my husband and Pee Wee for about 2 months.

I don’t regret my decision per se, but I want to stop feeling guilty about being so selfish in making this decision. All that is happening and stressing me out in my life is my own fault.

I signed a one-year lease on an apartment, and I started my new job on September 19. That first week at my new job was one of the most challenging weeks of my life. I cried in the morning, I cried in my car at lunch, I cried for hours on the phone each evening to anyone who would listen. I didn’t sleep. I thought I was dying from heartache. I didn’t eat. 

I didn’t realize how much I would miss my husband and dog…I mean I knew I would miss them, but I didn’t fully understand how much it’d kill me to not see them daily. I wanted to drive home that Tuesday the 20th, but my sister-in-law (who lives 6 miles away from me in my new city) invited me out to her birthday dinner.

So many people told me it would get easier, and now I’m in week 3 and it is easier. I don’t cry as much from missing them (I miss them just as much, honestly), I sleep a little more, and I love my new job and employer. My colleagues and bosses are kind, the environment is positive and laid back, and as an introvert, it’s more in my element and comfort zone. Other than the rush hour commute home, it’s truly perfect.

For the record, I drive home on Fridays to spend the weekend with them at the house and then drive back Sunday evening to prep for the work week. Those 50-ish hours fly by. I cuddle with Pee Wee for hours and hours. This upcoming weekend will be the third weekend of this arrangement. Next weekend they’re coming to see me, so we’ll finally get to enjoy city life as a family. 

The house has been on the market a week. We had two showings early last week and nothing since then. This process dragging on for months is daunting. 

You’ve seen the majority of my home thanks to the blog, BUT we did finally finish the guest bathroom, hallway, living room and a few other projects that I haven’t even written about yet on the blog. I will be sharing these projects over the next few weeks because I think they are cost effective, high impact ways to get your house market ready in a flash.

We also had a HUGE garage sale where we sold about 10+ pieces of furniture and lots of decor to declutter the house and make our move easier. Based on your feedback in the comments of this post, we’ll also be purging more decor to make it more neutral- thanks for the feedback!

Without further adieu, here’s a few of our listing photos. NOTE: There are whole room photos/wide angle, etc. that the agent took that are on the MLS listing but aren’t “blog” worthy. I realize the pics below aren’t wide angle photos, and thank goodness our agent took care of that for us.

If you have any tips for selling a house in a slow market, please tell me in the comments section. I want it to sell like yesterday. (But no mean comments…I can’t do it right now, y’all!)

LIVING ROOM

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

DINING ROOM

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

KITCHEN

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

GUEST BEDROOM

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

HALL BATHROOM

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

OFFICE (2ND BEDROOM)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

HALLWAY

House listing photos from Monica Wants It (monicawantsit.com)

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12 Comments

  1. jlpeth
    October 5, 2016 / 4:28 am

    Monica! I love so much about your house. I love the living room. That fireplace is gorgeous. I suspect that room is still a bit cluttered. Take away some of the pillows, lose the throw. Make it all a little more bland. Unfortunately, most buyers don't know you so they have no idea that the colors are very reflective of your personality. You know what you didn't get renovated, so try to make it all look a little less like you and more like a house that just needs a little MORE updating to be perfect. Double check that you are not priced too high and get a pro to photograph (it's worth it) Finally, ask your agent for suggestions and follow the advice. We listed our house on the first of June and sold within 3 days. I credit my agent. She gave me good advice.

    • Monica Benavidez
      October 5, 2016 / 1:15 pm

      Thanks! I'll work on blanding it up this weekend and removing even more things. I appreciate the honest feedback.Our agent is pretty much stating she's marketing it, it's a slow market and that's about it. I'll have an honest convo with her later today to see if she has any insights moving forward at a quicker pace.

    • tinab158
      October 5, 2016 / 1:43 pm

      Morning! I was going to make the same suggestion as above. My daughter listed her house and sold it in the same week. She left only the dining room table and chairs in position and shower curtains and window blinds and curtains in every room. Other than that, nothing in the rooms or on the walls…and only a soap dispenser and a hand towel at each sink. I think she was able to sell it so quick was because folks could "see" the room and not her personal stuff (personality) in the room. They could picture their own belongings in the room. (FYI…I have no problem "seeing" a room empty or painted another color, some people struggle with this. 🙂 )

  2. Anonymous
    October 5, 2016 / 11:55 am

    I feel your pain, Monica! Waiting on showings is the hardest but your house is adorable and it will sell!!!

    • Monica Benavidez
      October 5, 2016 / 1:15 pm

      Thanks for the kind words! Fingers crossed.

  3. Anonymous
    October 5, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    Totally agree with JLPETH. Having just recently sold our home in a short period of time, I cannot stress how important it is to declutter and remove decor that reflects your (beautiful and unique) personality. Keep it plain and simple. Let the prospective buyers see themselves in the home. If you think you're stressed now, wait till it sells and you experience the home inspection. ;). This too shall pass.

    • Monica Benavidez
      October 5, 2016 / 1:16 pm

      Got it- thanks! Removing some of my fabulous personality is on my to do list when I go home this weekend. I appreciate your honesty! 🙂

  4. Misty
    October 5, 2016 / 1:35 pm

    I feel your pain. We moved (when I accepted a new job) last November, and our house sat on the market for several months before we finally decided just to rent it. We had TONS of showings, and I know it was well marketed, but there was literally one thing NUMEROUS buyers said kept them from pulling the trigger, and it was the one thing we had no control over (proximity to a large apartment complex).You should not feel bad at all for pushing your agent if you feel like she's not doing a good job for you. It's extremely shady that she told you all that stuff AFTER you signed an agreement with her. You should also make sure she's marketing it in numerous places and not just on Facebook and her own website. Our agent had our home on dozens of sites.On the painted wood paneling thing: We painted ours, too, at the suggestion of our Realtor. It takes the right kind of person to appreciate hardwood paneling, because to most people, it's just dated. So just ignore those folks. :)I'm glad your new job is less stressful. I really do sympathize with a lot of what you've been through in recent months, because my situation last year was so similar. But I'm over a year in on the new job and nearly a year in on the move, and I'm happy, my family is well-adjusted, and our new town is awesome. Hope you have the same experience!

  5. Unknown
    October 5, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    Unfortunately it's not your agents fault that fall is traditionally a slow home buying season, the buyer pool is limited at this time, especially when you are in a price point that is above the median average in your area. The house is decorated beautifully but the buyer is ultimately buying the house, not the decor. The kitchen doesn't look to have been updated which is usually one of the most important selling features of a home. The fact that you priced your home below the recommended market value is smart when you are looking for a quick sale. I know that "be patient" is not the advice you are looking for, but connecting with the right buyer is the key.

  6. Hope Stakes
    October 5, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Where can I literally find the listing information (price/location/etc)? I may be interested! 🙂

  7. Sharon
    October 6, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    Well, I'm going to differ just a smidge from the above advice. I've only sold one home (our first Dallas home) and it was full of unusual paint colors and taste-specific decor. We had 5 offers the second weekend, one for cash and over asking price, which we accepted. The driving factor for us was a highly desirable location and limited inventory in our price-range (under $225k). Even though our home in SWGA was beautiful and much more neutral (white paint, calming pale colors in bedrooms, etc.) we were unable to sell and had to use the buyback program (thank goodness it exists for us!). The market was much smaller and considerably slower. The home finally sold nearly a year later for $45k less than we paid for it. All that to say, the condition of your home is great–the other variables are location (fixed) and price. I'd have an honest talk with your realtor about whether you're priced appropriately for the area before I'd invest time and energy into changing paint colors or accessories. Price will be the major driving force behind what your home sells for. Keep in mind your monthly mortgage costs and the difficulty of maintaining a property you're not living in. If you price aggressively now, you can save yourself the headache of carrying your mortgage into the super-slow real estate months ahead. Good luck, my friend–I'm thinking of you!

  8. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up
    October 12, 2016 / 1:05 am

    Hi Monica – I love your blog! You are the reason that I gel stained my bathroom and then was crazy enough to do my whole kitchen – and I love the way they turned out! Your home looks amazing! I love all of the light fixtures! I wrote a post on our blog about selling your house – http://www.justmeasuringup.com/blog/how-we-sold-our-house-in-one-week. We sold ours in less than a week, but your house looks much more amazing than ours! The only thing I can think of is to look at what other similar houses are selling for and just sold for and make sure that yours is priced accordingly. That can make a big difference. Good luck!!

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