"Wanna let you know we just got out of the mud," the email said. "We can make tomorrow's appointment as planned."
Good to hear you're alive and well. We'll see you then.
It certainly can't have escaped anyone's attention that those who participated in Burning Man this year ran into some unexpected MEGA rain storms that turned Black Rock City into one BIG, GOOEY, MUDDY MESS (!), making it nearly impossible to escape. A few survivalists walked miles in knee-deep mud to do so while others spent 10 hours by car slipping, sliding, skidding, and slowly inching their way eight miles out of camp onto a 2-lane highway, with tens of thousands of other trailers, RVs, and vans in a long line of slow-moving traffic. (Exactly, how fabulous is this event?)
Count me out. I've never attended Burning Man and admittedly, it's stories like these that secure my "stay-at-home" position. I don't need, nor want, to be anywhere near 73,000 counter-culture concertgoers in what looks to be a cross between Mad Max and Woodstock (especially in the rain) . . . but hats off to those of you who do; you're clearly more intrepid souls than me.
Instead, my darling niece and her lovely fiancee traveled all the way from London to celebrate their pending nuptials. In a far less dramatic event, our family met in Calistoga at Sam's Social Club and dined on farm-to-table fare, toasted the happy couple, and lounged around a fire pit after dinner in Adirondack chairs. The evening was beautiful, to say the least (not a drop of rain in sight) and the event was nothing short of magical. In short, it was heaven.
My point being, that between being stuck in the mud or raising a congratulatory glass by the fireside, I'll take the intimate family gathering every time.
However, it occurs to me that being "stuck in the mud," while quite literal for some, represents a metaphorical hurdle for others. The vast majority of Sellers aren't actually physically stuck, but emotionally frozen, and that can be a difficult place to be, no doubt.
Whether it's because they've owned their home for years and find it agonizing to part with, have found the property too large to maintain once they become empty nesters, have divorced and must move on, or have inherited the property and now need to sell, the truth is purging, packing, or dispensing of the contents of a home can create a tremendous amount of distress, not to mention MOUNDS of work. Take it from me, it's these physical tasks that begin to "unstick" us and make ANY move possible.
Fear not, this is where experienced Agents jump in to support Homeowners by creating a plan of action that includes storing personal items, referring Sellers to home organizers, moving specialists, and estate sellers, and identifying what needs attention, one task at a time. With a defined "to-do" list in hand, a firm timeline in place, and talented professionals at the ready, it's easier to tackle whatever lies ahead.
In fact, each step along the way from selecting your Realtors®, signing the listing agreement, filling out the disclosures, compiling documents, packing up the kids' rooms, giving, donating, and purging your unnecessary items, helps support the difficult journey of letting go . . . .
By the time you physically move out, you're halfway there, and if you've been fortunate enough to identify your replacement property prior to selling, so much the better. Once you hand us your keys, our (intrepid) team takes over with vendors at hand to repair, paint, garden, and stage your home for potential Buyers, and you can now relax (at least for the moment). After that, we're concentrating on photography, marketing, and Open Houses. By the time offers roll in, you should - both physically and emotionally - be more than ready to move on.
And that's as it should be. Life is a constantly evolving process, often with unexpected hurdles along the way. But I assure you, we WILL get there IF you are willing to move forward . . . one dusty step at a time.
So if you're feeling "stuck in the mud," understand that's par for the course. There'll be brighter days ahead. (Rain boots anyone?)
How can we help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 750 humorous but always informative, essays on life and real estate.