Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hey, whose house IS this, anyway?

Since the house has been on the market, a few things have changed around here. Like what I mentioned in one of my earlier posts – many of my bottles and jars in the bathroom are now hidden underneath the cabinets, just like the small appliances in the kitchen. I try to keep the kitchen clear of clutter, because it tends to be the junk mail collection point… and if I notice dust on a bookshelf, I wipe it off right away.

I’ve also had to tweak my schedule a bit, as I’m used to working out sometime around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. But lately I’ve been waiting until at least 5 o’clock, in case someone decides they’d like to see the house. Now, when we listed the house, our realtor asked us for a phone number – this phone number, according the realtor, would be the way to “control access” to our house. When people want to see the house, they call up our realtor and our realtor calls the “control access to our house” number (which happens to be Rick’s cell phone). That way, we can set up an appointment that gives me enough time to tidy up the house, turn on all the lights and open all the blinds (as we were instructed to do by the realtor), get Echo, and vacate the premises. Then the realtor and the prospective buyer can take their time wandering around my bright, clean house, and not worry about the dog barking or about being in my way.

And my thought the last couple weeks has been, “if no one calls by 5 o’clock, then probably no one is coming by... and if someone DOES want to come by after 5, well, that doesn’t give me much time to clean up, and maybe they should just wait until the next day anyway…” So when 5 o’clock rolls around, and I haven’t heard anything from Rick about cleaning the house for someone to come by and look at it, I assume I can go change into my workout clothes and jump on the treadmill for a little while.

So that’s what I was doing today, at about 5:25 – half walking, half jogging, watching “Home Alone 2” on HBO, and noticing the quickly-darkening sky outside. When suddenly, the hall light flicked on – this has happened before, when Rick will unexpectedly arrive home earlier than usual, and surprise me while my attention is on how many miles I’ve walked or how fast I’m going. So I expected Rick to eventually walk around the corner and say hi… but instead, as I continued to jog at a 2 percent incline, a total stranger walked into the room. He immediately apologized, of course, telling me he was a realtor and he was in the neighborhood and he’d been knocking but no one answered. And I immediately slowed the treadmill down and tried to hide the fact that I was sweaty and panting and wearing shorts and a sports bra. That’s EXACTLY how I like to greet visitors to my home…

So I guess the whole “control access to our house” thing only works when people actually take the time to CALL. But realtors can just walk right up to that lock box any time they want and break into my house. I’m not sure I’m okay with that. So I think tomorrow, I may have to lock the gate on our front porch. I mean, if that “call us first” thing isn’t gonna work, then I’ll just have to control access to my house MYSELF…

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