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The Challenges of Selling a Home

by Lilli Harris Lee, December 2007

Eight weeks ago we decided to put our house up for sale and I had no clue what a traumatic experience it would be. We picked a time to sell mere moments before the mortgage crisis hit the headlines, turning the market solidly against us from the get-go. Despite all the negative press we were still confident our home would sell  quickly.  My husband Ben is a broker with Coldwell Banker’s top L.A. team.  Between his expertise, our home’s fair asking price and its prime Westside location, we honestly felt we’d have no problem finding a buyer.  We were wrong. “Sundays” soon became “Suckdays” in honor of how much I hated those open houses.  Anyone with boys ages one and three can attest it goes against nature to have a house in a showcase condition.  And once it does attain that perfect image of suburban cleanliness the children simply cannot return home. So each Suckday, from the moment I’d finish getting our house as pretty and perfect as possible, I’d leave Ben to try to sell it while the boys and I became vagabonds.  For hours we’d cruise around town looking for things to do.  Usually neither child would be awake at the same time so I often found myself driving aimlessly around in my car.  It was an embarrassingly messy car, our makeshift shelter, with enough clothes, toys, diapers and food strewn about to survive a long day with toddlers. And when, at the exhausting end of another day of exile, we were finally allowed to come home, there was never good news.  Lots of lookers, some interest but no offers. Week after week we’d repeat the routine and it didn’t take long before all of us fell into a pretty deep funk.  One morning we went to Coco’s for breakfast (since cooking would be too messy) and the waitress asked if we had just been evacuated because of the fires.  We had sunk that low. I think what bothered me most was how I expected others to love our house as much as I did.  We bought it right after Ben and I got married and all of our memories thereafter took place within its four walls.  It was where we first brought our babies after they were born.  It was where we celebrated after Ben first passed the bar and then the brokerage exams.  So many parties and endless amounts of laughter shared by family and friends took place in that house.  It was such a happy place for us, why weren’t people knocking down the door to live in it next? Now I know it’s not so much the house, but its history that made it so special.  Luckily those memories will follow us to our new home where more memories will be created.  And even though the real estate market can be a cold, cruel world, this experience has reminded me of one important thing: No matter where it is, there’s just no place like home.

Growing Them Up
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Beverly Hills North Office
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Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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