I woke up with a start, something was definitely burning. Jumping out of bed, I raced to the kitchen, yanked open the oven door and pulled out the burnt remains of my carefully prepared stew; a beef burgundy that requires several hours to cook down; three or four - not ten!
Heavy smoke billowed out and filled the air. As expected, the dish was unrecognizable - charcoal briquettes. Nothing was salvageable - not even the pan. There went tonight's dinner. So much for planning ahead.
Thankfully, my skills with respect to real estate are better than my talents (or lack thereof) in the kitchen. When an agent handles many listings and many buyers simultaneously (as most good agents do) careful planning is a must. Likewise, when you are selling your home, planning ahead and adhering to a thoughtfully orchestrated calendar will help alleviate the stress of selling it.
There's little in life that is as invasive as selling a home. (Okay, maybe a few things but I won't mention them here.) Apart from the general list (inspections, repairs, request for permits, painting, staging) and ALL of the work required just to get a house to market (purging, packing, cleaning and gardening) there are the frequent and inconvenient "showings" once the house is officially "For Sale" that may take place for weeks and sometimes, even months.
Throwing kids and pets into the car at a moment's notice, gets old quickly - very quickly! It's no wonder that "moving" ranks just behind death and divorce as one of life's most stressful transitions. (Although my husband might say it's marriage!)
Have no fear! The high-octane, multi-tasking, plan-ahead aspects of real estate seem to fit me to a tee (never mind the stew - that was an anomaly). I like being busy. I like the controlled chaos and I like problem solving! This is where good planning really pays dividends, not only in the final product you and I bring to market, but in one's mental health as well. In short, it's back to basics for us both. Set a thoughtful course and then follow through.
Which is where I am headed with respect to tonight's dinner. Just to be safe, I think I'll call for a pizza. There's much less risk to my home and my family when someone else is doing the cooking!
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 14 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.